Few days before D-Day, I read lot of marathoners reports. I already did Marathon (in 2015 in Paris and 4h15), but I never felt this feeling described by bloggers, who all describe this event as an “adventure”. And yet. That’s exactly what I experienced on this second marathon. Come with me for the 42,198km of adventure!
Saturday – marathon eve – 2pm
I made 3 hours of driving to reach Saumur. Beautiful small town dominated by sublime castle. Of course, my first reflex of future marathoner is to make this reflection to myself “Will we have to go up at the top?”. This is the first adrenaline rush. The second will come from the sacrosanct recovery of the bib. Small check of the official departure; “It’s close, I hope we will not be as numerous as in Paris”. The rest of the day, you know it:
– Unlocking footing (way too fast to change)
– Racepack preparation
– Good pasta dish
– And go to bed (if you can)
Sunday – D-Day – 8.30am
Breakfast has been taken since 2 hours, warm-up jogging is done. It’s raining, garbages bags are out. Finally, we are 3,000 on departure, I immediately feel the atmosphere of the SAS has nothing to do with Paris. Everyone laughing, little jokes go on, and most of people run in teams of two or three.
My objective ? Less than 3h45. I followed a 14-week intensive preparation, but now I’m beginning to doubt.
The atmosphere is top. The residents leave their homes or make signs from their windows. We discuss between runners, atmosphere is friendly. I refuel myself correctly and taken, for now, only one booster gel.
We cross the Loire to join the passage of the half marathon. A small crowd of supporters is waiting for us. My legs are cool, I take advantage of the crowd looking for their support and applauding. At the turn, I see two well-known faces. It’s Maude and Audrey, two close friends who made the trip from Paris just to support me!
km 28 is decisive for me. It’s a bit like crossing the desert. More than half is done, but I start cutting my races by 5km to pass the time. We already talk less between runners. Fortunately the shouts of the fans come to cover the sound of our footsteps.
It’s also at this moment that I meet again my team of supportrices. This time Maude sees that I’m starting to get into the heat of the race. The smile is there, but more tense. She offers me to find her at KM35.
No more gels, the pace drops, my legs are heavy. This is where the mind is put to a severe test. This is also where Maude decides to pacer me. She enters the post-marathon course in Milan with already fresh legs. Inwardly I am cursed to hear him say to me “Go it’s over, you’re going to the end.” But strangely my legs them, see appreciating the encouragement. Without understanding why, nor comment, my legs, sorry, my posts, take the pace.
And all the rest of the race.
The rest is magic. Because I was hurting, but I’m still accelerating. The encouragement of Maude me omen and as on every course that I could do, the best moment remains the last kilometers. The adrenaline rises, there is more screaming public. The last 2 kilometers are sloping. Yet it passes. Maude must leave me on the final sprint. I “roll” my legs as I can, I see this arch that awaits me, this first RP on Marathon that reaches out to me. I pass the line, Maude jumps the security barrier to come support me because I’m not very lucid.
1 month after this second marathon, I still do not realize this RP. I am far from being a reliable person. Yet time proves this success: 3h44min09s
It is therefore true, the preparation pays (and well), and especially the support of his relatives pays (and better).
It remains for me to continue to forge this little mind, to be able to continue to drop the minutes!