This was what it looked like when I woke up this morning ! Pouring rain….
Luckily my brother in law was motivated to run, or else I might have stayed in bed. We got up at 6:30 to leave at 7 a.m. The race was 30 minutes away and we had to pick up our bibs before 8 a.m.
We drove to Azay Le Rideau where there was both a marathon and and a 10,8 km race that we had signed up for. Our sneakers were already wet with just the short walk to pick up the bibs. Indeed, it was raining….
So we waited in the car (with heat !) and watched the people around us get ready for the race. 300 were signed up for the marathon and about 150 for the 10K. Everyone was getting dressed, warming up and preparing their equipment.
We warmed up for about 10 minutes before heading over to where the race started, in front of the castle. Azay is famous for a spiral staircase that is not enclosed.
It stopped raining when the race started, how lucky. The race wove through surrounding villages, woods, fields and paths. I really liked the variety, but there were some killer hills. The first one was after 2,5 km and it was all uphill for a good 500 m. The incline was very steep. By the time I got to the top I was sweating profusely because I was overdressed. I had worn a tshirt, thin long sleeve shirt and a jacket to protect me from the rain.
At first I didn’t want to take my jacket off because my bib was pinned to it, my watch was on top of it, and my Ipod was in my pocket. So I waited but I eventually had to take my jacket off I was so hot. So I managed, awkwardly with all the equipment, but I did it. Next time I will be a bit smarter about the temperature and layers, but I am really afraid of being cold.
I had an experience at about 7 km that makes me happy to be part of the running family : my brother in law and I came up upon 6 or 7 runners and passed them. Then they all fell into step behind us ; we led the pack and they stayed with us for about 2 km. It was on a stretch of road and all you could hear was runner’s foot steps and breathing. At one point in time I announced the time remaining and our speed and one of the people started talking to me. “Are you English ? You’re leading the pack ! How much time left ?… ” There was this group cohesion that happened with everyone running together that was really great. I usually run by myself because I have such a hard time finding people who run the same speed, but I got to experience how great it can be to run with people who run as fast as you do. Positive energy !
We finished in 1’03” for an average speed of 10,29 km/H. I would have liked to finish in under an hour but the four hills killed me !
Even if there were a few sprinkles, the rain pretty much held off. We still look like drowned rats.
Once we got back to the car, a mug of hot coffee was waiting for us !
With the race entry you had free admission into the castle but we didn’t stay around to visit it. Being wet in a cold castle was not my idea of fun.
So glad I ran despite the weather. BIG THANKS to by brother in law to have run it with me.
Do you like to run solo or with people ? What is your best race experience ? Worse experience ?