The signs that would lead the way.
Saturday March 24th 2012. 12 PM. Toeing the start line. Temps were up (le sigh...), sun was burning on my scalp. After a short briefing, we were ready to go. Woo Hoo! :) I had been looking forward to this race for monts...and now I was finally getting ready to cross that start line.
First, we ran a loop through a park. Pretty crowded, but nice trails. :)
We entered the first aid station after 22K /14 miles. Mom was waiting for me there, so I chatted with her for a bit, refilled my pack, had some energy gel and drank a bottle of Coca Cola (yep...). There was a hilly / steep climbs part coming up after this, so I took some time to refuel. :) Especially since the next aid station (water only) would be at 45K / 27 miles.
After the 45K aid station, I ran into a nice French guy named Patrick and ended up chatting with him for the rest of the race. At the 55K / 33 mile aid station (on top of a hill :)) we refueled and had some noodle soup. Best. Soup. Ever. Especially since my tummy wasn't a huge fan of the heat / GU combo. Since the race started at 12 PM and I would end up finishing this race in the night time, I changed my shirt for a short sleeve (I could make a long sleeve out of it with the arm sleeves I was wearing), and took out my head lamp. It would probably be dark before I'd make it to the next aid station, so I figured it would be better to take care of that before I'd stumble over some sort of tree trunk. Uh-huh. :)
67K in. Last aid station before the Eiffel Tower Finish line. Before the start of the race I was pretty worried about the night time running, but ended up loving it. :) After the 67K /42 miles aid station there was a short down hill, and after that we were following the Seine River to the Eiffel Tower. :)
Insert Eiffel Tower photo shoot. Ha! How cool are the blinking lights? Seriously, how cool is that? :)
With the Eiffel Tower withing reach we must have been almost there, right? Yep, exactly! Running under the Eiffel Tower with the crowds cheering you on: total rock star moment. ;) Made climbing the stairs to the first level of the Eiffel Tower to the finish line feel like a walk in the clouds. Crossed that finish line after 10 hours and 9 minutes of fun. Slowpoke for life. :)
The day after. Bringing sexy back in my compression socks. Wearing the race shirt, a size small, which ended up being more like a size XXXX-large. Yeah...
Despite of the fact that I actually felt okay, somehow walking down steps was less funny...
Post race lunch. :) Still could not stop smiling. :)