We left for Paris early Saturday morning. Our plan was to check into our hotel near Disney Paris and then take the train into the expo and do some touring. Unfortunately our room wasn't ready at 11:30am when we showed up to the hotel, so we didn't get to check in first. So off to the train station we went. But before that we stopped at a little mall where we had to buy some baby wipes, since we forgot to pack some. (how?) And we had a little lunch. It was delicious.
Me & MartyWe bought our two day train tickets and hopped aboard. It was about a forty-five minute, or hour ride to the expo. Thankfully when we showed up the line was very, very short. Like no waiting short. Rarely happens in a race with 40,000+ participants.
Marty, Brian, Me & Madi
This was us arriving at the expo. It was very big. The biggest expo I have ever been to by far. However, also the biggest race I have ever been in as well.
Packet pick up next to our goal times. Brian just about nailed it, running a 4:16. Marty(5:32) and I(4:44) on the other hand didn't quite make it. But for our first marathon we were happy that we finished. This was Brian's 10th marathon. He is much more experienced in this than we are.
This is how the expo looked. Crowded explains the weekend well. A lot of cool booths at the expo. Cliff Bar was there, however they cannot sell any bars in France, so all we could get was a little sample. It really made me miss the White Chocolate Macadamia bar. We hung out at the expo for an hour or so and gathered lots of brochures for upcoming marathons.
Future proof that Madi was in Paris. We didn't go up in the tower due to time constraints. I don't think Madi would have liked waiting around that much. She did do a very good job on her first trip though. She mostly slept, and cried only when she was ready to eat.
Marty & Emily
Marty and his wife bought locks for us to put on the bridge of locks. I'm not sure the real name for it. Now our love is forever locked in Paris....I guess. :-)
I was mildly jealous.
Race morning. I do not think I had a good enough breakfast. I intended to have my usual eggs and toast, however we forgot to bring eggs. I had a banana instead. I think that was part of my problem. We were pretty excited at this point. We left the hotel around 6:45am and race start was at 8:45 am. Or so we thought.
Waiting around at the start. Marty and I got in line for the bathroom while Brian dropped off our bags at the finish. We didn't think we would see him again until the end at our meet up point, but a little while later while we were walking to the starting line Marty and Brian almost ran into each other. It was kinda funny considering how many people were there.
Walking to the start line.
Excited for a little longer.
Brian and I started in the 4:15 goal area, and Marty started behind us in the 4:30 goal area. The starting areas were fenced off with only one little opening. We were pretty sure that we were going to miss the start, however we ended up waiting for about an hour and a half to start after the first group started. The winner finished in just over 2hrs, or, about the time we hit the 5km mark. The amount of clothes left at the start was crazy. It was pretty chilly in the morning, and then by the time the race started people had begun to shed layers. The first 6-8mi had lots of jackets, shirts, gloves, and hats laying next to the road.
This was the view I had of Brian most of the race. We ran together the first 15mi and then I started to slow down and I waved Brian off and he left me in the dust. I was right on pace through the first half(2:04) but after mile 20 I began to wonder why I signed up for this.
Entertainment along the route. About every few miles there was some sort of band playing music.
It was this crowded the entire time.
This was somewhere around mile 22. I think because of my lack of breakfast, or lack of training I couldn't push on past mile 20. I ran/walked the last 6.2. And the gels I was taking were starting to make my stomach hurt. I also probably didn't drink enough water. I learned a lot about how to prepare for a race and how to actually race.
The proof that I did actually make it! Oh yeah, the spectators. The first half of the race was great. It was right through town and there were a ton of people cheering. After about mile 16 it was very sporadic. We ran through a couple parks and on some roads where it must have been inconvenient to get to. I think that made it a little more difficult as well. One cool thing about the bibs is that our first name was printed on them. Occasionally I would hear people actually say my name and shout encouragement. That was pretty neat I thought. Maybe its normal for names to be on bibs in larger races.
Madi and I at the pool afterwards. The lady folk met us not long after we Marty finished and we jumped on the train and headed back. They also brought us Chipotle. It was probably the best part of the day. I could have eaten two more burritos, but I sufficed with one. The hot tub was a great way to relax. Marty and I really needed it.
A different Notre Dame. It is smaller than the popular one. It was pretty neat to tour. We did this on Monday on our way home.
Ally and I got a candle to light and said a prayer of thanks. It was a neat experience. I believe that this specific church was built sometime around 1220.
The smiling angel.
After touring the church we went across town (Reims) to tour Taittinger Champagne. In the cellar we toured they store 3 million bottles of Champagne. It ages anywhere from 3-10years before being sold. They have another cellar downtown that stores 18 million bottles of Champagne.
When Madi turns 21 we are going to get her a bottle to celebrate. Hopefully we will not forget. It was actually pretty good Champagne. And I don't usually like Champagne.
We thought we should have at least one group photo from the weekend. All in all it was a great weekend. I told Marty that we have two more Paris Marathons we can run before we both move. It seems like a pretty good annual tradition.