We’re all in – April 15th 2012 my whole family was there in Paris. My brother and I went out to run and parents came along for support.
I took the Eurostar train from London to meet with my brother who flew in from New York. When settled in the hotel we rented the Velib bikes to get to the Marathon Expo to get our Bib numbers before our parents flew in from Siauliai, Lithuania. Our hotel located incredibly well. Just a few minutes away from the Luxembourg Gardens – it was a perfect place to run our last practice run.
So both of us were set for the race and had some time to walk around the city, try some frog legs and (traditionally) enjoy pasta the night before the race.
In the morning we got to the Arc de Triomphe, where the marathon start zone was set, divided in multiple areas to split runners based on their predicted finish times. Paris Marathon was the largest marathon I have ever run with around 33 thousand runners taking part. Thus each of these split areas had a few thousands of runners. Ironically, there were only 6 bio toilets per area. No wonder, there were people who went off the course soon after starting the race.
My brother and I ran the first kilometre together down the Champs-Élysées before we split. He went of at a faster pace than I would be able to keep up. I tried to find my own comfortable speed aiming for a finish time of anything less than 4 hours.
The marathon course was incredible as it went along the Seine, passed by the Place de la Concorde, the Place de la Bastille, the Eiffel Tower and finished just in front of the Arc de Triomphe. Parents cheering with the Lithuanian flag added an extra boost as well.
I felt great throughout the first half of the race, even though I was ill and off my regular training just three weeks before the marathon, Only around the 30th kilometre, my knee started aching. I tried to run it off, walk it off and stretch it off. Nothing helped, so a couple of painkillers came extremely handy just to keep me going. Step by step, meter by meter, kilometre by kilometre I was getting closer to the finish line.
I was happy to finish and stop without needing to go on. I was less satisfied with my finish time as I did not make it under 4 hours – 4:04:34.