What a weekend. I don’t even know where to begin…
Most of you know, I ran the marathon in Saint Michel on Sunday. I’m still getting over the fact that I ran a PB 3.30.44 and came 9th in the women’s. Thank you to everyone (including Human Race who gave me the spot) who has sent me the kindest messages, you really don’t realise how much they mean to me.
If you’re thinking of signing up to do this next year, here’s the lowdown on what you need to know…
- Expect it to be hot. It’s May guys – I should’ve realised. Sunday was a blissful 30C+. Suncream, visor (yep I’m that cool) and lots of water saved me. They have huge buckets of water around the course to cool you down along the way. As appealing as they seem, I didn’t go near them because I knew I would wash off my sun cream. Visor and drinking water at the stations (every 5km) should be enough to keep the sun off your face and keep you hydrated.
- Plan for breakfast. The race starts at 8.30am and unless you’ve got accommodation near the start line you will need to take a shuttle bus from Caserne which takes over an hour. That meant a 5.30am start for us and breakfast on the go.
- Stay near to the finish line. We stayed in Pontoroson which was 10km from the finish (Caserne). However, I do advise to either rent a car or organise a taxi in advance. The bus timetable said it was amended to support the marathon, no buses turned up!
- We checked out the route before the race and it looked like we were going to endure 2 miles of torture at the beginning. It’s not that bad. The hills are a gradual increase and it’s easier at the beginning than having it at the end. Trust me.
- There is support all the way. The French running community are awesome. There was support all the way, even in the most remote parts of the course. You might find some of them handing out cheese!
- This is the only marathon in the world where you can see the end at the start (and most of the journey.) Initially, I thought how nice, Saint Michel is so beautiful this will be really motivating. At about 24km I was like, it doesn’t look any closer! It’s a tough call to say whether it’s inspiring all the way. At the end, definitely!
As much as I love running in the UK and Ireland there’s nothing like taking the opportunity to go abroad. It’s an excuse for an extended weekend holiday and you can smash your own PB. Saint Michel is definitely one to put on your bucketlist.