Going to Nice to run races is becoming a bit of a habit for me. First, there was the Nice semi-marathon, then the marathon Des Alpes-Maritimes, and most recently, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nice 10 Miles du Carnaval. It looks like running Rock ‘n’ Roll races is becoming a bit of habit for me as well since the 10 Miles du Carnaval, added to Lisbon and Madrid makes three.
I wrote in a previous post that I was ready to run again, however, there were no destinations in my sights that I was trying to conquer. A few days before the Nice 10 Miles du Carnaval, I got an email stating that online registration was closed, but that it was still possible to register in person at the race expo. Participating in the race had not entered my mind until that moment, but I took that thought and “ran” with it, so to speak, and promptly booked a flight and a hotel to Nice so that I could register in person for and run the 10 Miles du Carnaval.
Having logged countless miles in Nice – not only races but simply running along the Cote d’Azur while vacationing there over the years – this was not a new destination conquered in my quest to run the world. It was, however, the most fun I’ve had running a race in a very long time.
On Your Mark
The 10 Miles du Carnaval is part of 3 weeks of carnival festivities in Nice which included a number of parades, family activities, exhibitions, and sporting events.
So while the expo, with the sometimes accompanying pasta party is the main pre-race event for most races, for the 10 Miles du Carnaval it was the opening festivities for the Nice Carnaval, with it raucous music, carnival king and queen and flower parade that served as a prelude to the race.
Donning a costume was one way to get set for this race. It is carnival, afterall. Since I signed up for it on a whim just days before, I didn’t have to time to do anything too fancy. Instead, I riffled through the dress up box at home and found a wig, a mask, a boa, and a tulle skirt and did my best Tim Gunn impersonation to “make it work”.
In the end, I ditched boa and replaced the wig (fearing it would be too hot to wear the entire race) and mask (for one that was less black widow and more carnival) that I’d brought from home, replacing them with ones I bought in Nice. Truly, nothing fancy at all, especially when I saw some of the costumes other runners wore.
There was the painting in the frame, Charlie Chaplin, and the ones who did the rock and roll thing and dressed like The Beatles (pushing a non-runner in a yellow submarine) and The Village People, who were the group winners for the best costume contest.
Photo credit: Rock ‘n’ Roll Series
The course was spectacular, as I knew it would be. We ran along the Promenade des Anglais, past the famous Hotel Negresco while taking in views of the Baie des Anges. The other races I’ve run in Nice have gone along this route and I never tire of it, especially when the weather is as gorgeous as it was.
At the end of the bay there was a switchback and we turned around and ran in the opposite direction, along and around the Port of Nice before making our way back to the center of Nice and toward the finish line. But not before encountering a hill at around the 8-mile mark. We started our descent at the 9-mile mark and came in for the finish at Place Massena.
As is the case with RnR races, there were a few bands along the course. A very few. Like, three. Two bands were located along the Baie des Anges, and since that part of the course was the switchback, the bands, in essence, played 2 sets playing at (approximately) the 1 and 2.5-mile points, and the 4.5 and 5-mile points. There was also another band at around mile 7. I was surprised that there was no band/DJ at the finish line nor was there a post-run concert, well not exactly. There was a charity Zumba session, but that’s not very rock and roll, is it? Since I ran with my iPod like I always do, I had my own soundtrack with me, so the band situation didn’t really bother me, I was just surprised by the lack of music along the course.
According to my finisher’s certificate, my official time was 1:49:14. However, I’m claiming the 1:47:27 time clocked by the Nike+ Running app I used because it paused when I paused (a feature that I love, by the way), which I did often to take pictures.
And while neither time is particularly fast, I am proud to say it is significantly faster than I’ve run in a while and is just one more reason why this was such a great race in my book. That and the costume. Any race run in a costume is pretty awesome.
Oh, and the medal. I do love me some fab race bling.
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