Last Sunday was La Parisienne, an all women 6,7 km race in Paris, around the Eiffel Tower. I have done this race for the past 5 years with my colleagues, my company sponsoring us.
I laid out my things the night before. We had gotten a bright yellow tshirt to wear, but I was actually more worried about being cold & wet. It literally poured all day Saturday. Not a nice, misty rain, but a cats & dogs kind of rain. I must have checked the weather at least 10 times… keeping my fingers crossed that the rain predicted for Sunday morning about 11 a.m. would actually go away. So I also planned a change of clothes, socks, sweatshirt… just in case.
We went out Saturday evening and I was very reasonable on the food & drink because with an 8:30 a.m. meeting time with my colleagues, I would have to get up about 6 and be out of the house by 7:15 a.m. So up at 6 I was, ate, did my warm up and was out the door on time.
Getting to the race is almost as fun as running it. I love getting on the metro on a Sunday morning of La Parisienne because it is 95% women in their running clothes, all going to the same spot.
I got to the meeting point early, in time to have a coffee and use the rest rooms of a café, before heading over. If you are ever in Paris, go to Trocadero early on Sunday morning, and you will see photo shoots. I don”t think it is a real bride & groom, I think they are posing for a magazine.
It was not raining, but it was threatening to. You could hardly see the top of the Eiffel tower. A very bad sign for the weather to come.
So with my colleagues we went to line up early. We like to be in the first waves, else you can literally wait hours with 40 000 runners. And I wanted to beat the rain ! The race is sponsored by Reebok, so you have someone leading the warm up :
And you have the Paris mayor talk about how wonderful the race is.
By the time we were off we had had a couple sprinkles, but no rain. The race is itself was pretty uneventful. Last year I had gotten stuck at the back of the wave and had to weave for at least 2 km. For some reason, there seemed to be fewer people per wave. I felt great, I was running strong, no pain, despite rain for about one km in the middle of the race, which explains my drowned rate look.
So I finished uneventfully… except I did beat last year’s time by about 1 minute 20 seconds. Not sure if I was running faster, or if it was because there were fewer people. So I will go with the first option.
You can see how muddy it was as we walked to pick up our medals !
The race goes through 2 or 3 tunnels and the race organizers usually turn the tunnels into a night club atmosphere with blaring music & a DJ. One of the tunnels this year was being filled by a fog machine, and there was a fog horn, like you were running near the coast. I much prefer that over the blaring music.
I felt lucky that I didn’t have to run in the rain because by the time I got home, it was pouring !
My next race is in a week, for the iconic Paris – Versailles.
Are you racing this weekend ? Do you mind running in the rain ?