Well to be honest we weren’t going to bother with the crowds and tourists but in the end Nic our Kiwi house mate persuaded us head to Hyde Park at an early 8.30 from putters start to go see the festivities on the big screen and enjoy the atmosphere. Really glad we did Crowds and feeling were amazing, everyone celebrating and some good ole hymns belted out by the masses. Personal highlights was the flyover by the Lancaster bomber and the two spitfires (correction it has been pointed out its one spitfire and one hurricane .. thanks!) as they roared over the park I instantly felt like a giddy kid whooping with delight. What a noise! Lowlights? I mistimed a step in the pub and ripped bits of my ankle, so went home via Paddington A&E to check it wasn’t broken, which thank god, it ain’t. Hobbling like a good un now!
Good luck to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, you did the nation proud.
Jesus h Christ that hurt. They said it would and they were right! But im sort of getting ahead of myself. Start at the beginning. So a rude 6.30am alarm call on Sunday morning, a breakfast of bread and lots of jam and we were off to the start line. I couldn’t help noticing as we made the metro trip, that there were only a few other marathoners. They looked organised and relaxed. No sign of jeez we are so late type hysteria. I was confident we’d make it to the start and so it turned out.
The race starts on the Champs Elysees, hording into a fenced area to pick up our pacemaker. I had hopefully picked out a man with 4hrs 15 on his flag. This turned out to be erm optimistic! The start area was a mess. People pissing, people shitting, people being sick. It was sort of like a night out in Piccadilly really. Never the less we started an ominous shuffle to the start line, I set the Garmin up, queued some tunes and with 33,000 ish other people crossed the start line to the Paris Marathon 2011. Slow going the start, even if you do want to keep a pace your pretty much dictated to by traffic. There I was thinking this would be a non-bumping into people type of day! I found it pretty hard to keep a set pace and instead got a tad carried away with trying to keep an 8minute mile type pace, which is obviously far too fast! The early stages of the race were a nice cool epitaph of runners and the streets of Paris. Fantastic location to run in obviously and sooner or later (well actually at 2.05hrs) I hit the half marathon marker. Rach, Ross and Mrs Ross were waiting at this stage to hand over some much needed High 5 gels, awesome
So you might of noticed im looking a bit tired at this stage. In true one excuse style I shall point out that it was hot, damn hot, real hot (see good morning vietnam for the rest of this..). So yer I was suffering. Suffering when you still have another half marathon to run is not great. I mean I guess everyone hurt but my pace was suffering. Still MTFU etc and keep running. More gels were consumed more, choones were blasted into ear drums. Being honest I did have to walk at around the 21 mile mark, just for a bit and it was disappointing but I needed to collect my thougts! If you check out my splits here..
5 km 00:28:38
10 km 00:58:19
15 km 01:27:58
21.1 km 02:05:35
25 km 02:30:24
30 km 03:05:29
35 km 03:44:08
time total (netto) 04:39:18
you can see where the time to do 5 ks then the end just ramped up, this was the painful bit!! The last 4ks another english runner came up to me and asked if we could run the last section together as he was struggling.. I could of kissed him cos i really needed the support and the chat as we finished up and crossed the line. Awesome feeling of relief, and achievement. Including some bloody painful legs, but in 4hrs 39mins and 18 seconds I had finished the marathon. Raising over 2 thousand pounds for @mstrust. Fantastic, to all those who donated .. thank you
Well I have been phenomenally rubbish at updating my blog, but just in case it kills me I thought id post a quick argh fark its the marathon on Sunday double exclamation mark type thing. Hows the training? seems to be a popular question and tbh I’m not as well prepared as id like. Mostly due to injuries and manflu over the last two weeks which I still have .. (curses). The second question is am I nervous? Nah not really, excited yes. Maybe nervous excitement. I’ve done so much training for this (well it counts as alot in my life) that it will be great to actually do the thing. So a few hours away from the Eurostar to Paris, weather is awesome, gels, tunes, runners all packed. Bring it on!
For post #finnovate release of lovemoney.com we headed for an afternoon of food booze and pork pies in the out of our usual stomping ground hood of Soho to Borough Market. I used to work round here in the days of Conchango so it was nice to visit old haunts (Brew Wharf yummny food!) and find a new one in the shape of the Rake.
Happily we had expert beer man Paul (our DBA) assisting the uninitiated (thats us lot) through the massive selection of beers. He came up with some corkers. Have a little gander at the photos, I shall be heading back there very soon I hope!
Whos farking idea was this. I know exactly, Dr Simon. Let me just say that Simon is a proper athlete, he wins triathlons, he destroys lycra clad folk in time trials. Generally then, one can say he could run 26.some miles in his sleep. I, on the other hand am far happier in the pub, waking up on the weekends nursing a hangover with aspirations of getting out of bed before dark. How its it then that we are both running the Paris Marathon on April the 10th?!?!
Im not a runner, or an athlete. I’ve done some, ya know interesting challenges mostly bike trips but nothing as extreme (for me) as a Marathon. I don’t even like bloody running! So why? Well MS has got a big part to play (not the british department store the degenerative neurotype disease which I got diagnosed with last year /yeyme!), who knows if ill be able to run one in the future, well we can all say that. Nah I wanna do it to prove I can. Balls to it how hard can it be.
Ive actually started training (sensible rare moment), a few months back. I wouldn’t say I was 100% dedicated but im pretty happy. Hit the 16mile mark the other week on my traditional weekend run round Richmond Park. So yer crack on. Ill let you know how the training goes. Ive been piss poor at updating this blog, sorry. Must try harder!
Great start to the day to see the troops practising for what is I assume some terribly official parade later on in the month (tho a quick google shows nothing). Closed down Horse Guards Road but enabled me to walk alongside and get some pictures. I get all patriotic and the like when I see a bit of the BEST army in the world
It was a nice cycle home last night. Punting it along the embankment as you do when all of a sudden a minor explosion emanated from the carbon fibre stead of loveliness and wiggly handling ensued. Pulled over to the pavement (or side walk if your reading this in the U S A) and sure enough an exploded rear (oh er). It had been pointed out to me by a fellow cycle commuter that my rear tyre had a unsightly bulge in it a few (like 6) weeks ago which I obviously ignored being the studious bike maintenance geek that it am. This manifested itself in a totally warn through tyre and the accompanying explosion of my inner.
It was during the changing of the inner tube and cunning reinforcing of the wholey tyre with bits of ripped up inner tube box that I realised I had a Worst In Class pump. I found it in my house and never had to use it so there I was waving my shit pump at passing fellow cycle commuters whist shouting “Spare PUMP?!?” at them. No one stopped. So I kept cursing the shit pump when a wild eyed hairy man on a bike rocked up beside me and asked “Everything ok?!”. “Do you have a pump?” I replied and lo he brought forth an ACTUAL working pump and proceeded to pump my tyre whilst discussing the use of carbon in bike frames. What a legend and I was soon on my way via Putney Cycles for a new tyre (35 quid Michelin one I fitted this morning cos I was very busy drinking last night) and a few spare tubes. Lesson learnt? If your gonna carry bikes spares/tools make sure they work. Oh and schedule in some bike maintenance time!
Check the stats. A nice burn up to the top from the first rest stop. I put the choones on for this section to motivate the legs. Starting with some Tiesto and moving onto Linkin Park … yer PNAAAAAAAAR as they say It must help cos I pace it up the mountain leaving gringos in my wake (this may have something top do with my relative acclimatisation to altitude.. maybe). I punch it up to 100m from the summit of Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman’s Pass) and relax waiting for the boy Wrighty who due to stomach erm issues is quite literally farting around somewhere
Kicking back on a rock I enjoy watching the struggling hoards pant up the mountain. I crank “View to a kill” on the iPod and try and take a timer photo with Wrightys camera. Which I totally manage to fail at so its phone photo time
So Wrighty appears after a few hours (ish..) and we summit as a TEAM for the TEAM. TEAM. Much high fiving and photo taking is engaged.
Wrighty would like to thank his missus for the Kendal Mint Cake, as would I. Our guide enjoyed his first taste of this sugar delicacy too So we cruise into Pacagmagu (which im told translates to little river) out second campsite. Good day on the legs with spectacular scenery, will sleep sound tonight!
Just for a change its an early pick up for a bus ride to kilometre 82 and the start of the Inca Trail. Half way we stop off in Ollantaytambo which serves as a reststop on the way. Oh joy we locate the best Worst In Class cappuccino. Should of known better really (and apologies here for lack of photo I was too depressed after a day at Jacks in Cuzco) but we basically got a Nescafe with a massive splodge of whipped cream on it. Nasty.
So after not downing that mess we head to kilometre 82 navigating roads that were meant for one, very small van in a bloody big coach. I shit you not it was millimetres of passing room at stages. I dunno how people aren’t killed on a regular (ie every 2 minutes) basis. Still we made it and met our guide Viktor or to give him his official title “King of the Mountains”. Seems like a legend and we were soon on our way. Whipped out Wrightys camera to take some snaps and heard the dread sound of broken glass. “Er Wrighty should it make broken glass noises when you shake it?”, “Fuk”, “indeed”. Happily it was just the filter that was smashed not the lens. So the stunning photography could be engaged. Ace
The first days pretty easy, already acclimatised to the altitude there were no passes to climb just the famous Peruvian “UUUUNDUUULATIONS”. No sweat. We rocked into our lunch stop expecting a sarnie or summin and were greeted (eventually) by an amazing meal of shallow fried trout (they do amazing trout in Peru dont you know!) with rice, potatoes and fresh Palta (avocado) (Cal be JEALOUS). There are no worries about loosing weight on this trek!
So into the first campsite which is Wayllabamba. This is the first and last community owned campsite (note drying flesh on the fence nice touch). So we are basically sleeping in someone’s large backyard. Interesting squat toilets.. all part of the fun I guess! We did happy hour (popcorn and Coca tea), played cards and ate another fit for a king meal. Good day
Oh special note on porters. These guys carry 25kg’s of tents and cooking kit and kg’s of their own stuff all at almost a run. Its impressive. They are the only ppl who can keep up with us on the trail.. SPEED OF THE PUMA!
One last thing. Wrighty forgot the water purification tablets. He is NO LONGER in charge of life saving equipment.