Race report: Paris marathon 2014 (part 3)

And once it was done, there was the aftermath.

I was very surprised, to say the least, that no actual tears fell from my eyes until at least two minutes after I crossed the finish line. After being told that I seemed “determined” to make the whole experience as emotional as I possibly could, I sort of expected to spend the whole weekend weeping from one hour to the next. However, it was only once I walked up to the line of people giving out medals that I finally started to cry.

Medal round neck, orange wedges grabbed and bag collected, I plonked myself on the tarmac in the middle of the finishing area. It felt a little bit like being in a marathon warzone, as a medical vehicle drove through in one direction and a man on a stretcher got carried in the other. I changed into my flip flops to reveal what really had been going on in my left sock (just a massive blister, thankfully – and don’t worry, I’ll spare you that photo).

Medal selfie taken and uploaded, I got a text from Steph, letting me know that her, Leah and their respective support crews were waiting just outside the gates of the finisher’s zone. I waddled over and the hugs from both Steph and then Leah really set the tears off properly.

I actually really love these two photos that Steph took of me – I might be crying but I’m also smiling, and I don’t think they could’ve captured how I felt at that point – literally 10 minutes after finishing my first marathon – more perfectly.

After a while, we headed back to our hotels for a shower and nice long sit down. As I was let into the Metro with my medal as a ticket, it felt like a proper marathoner’s moment. I phoned my Mum and just said ‘I DID IT!’ (well, and a few more words that might have contributed to this month’s slightly silly¬†phone bill).

That night, I met up with Shane, Martyn and Leo for a race debrief over dinner, where I bought a ridiculously expensive half bottle of Champagne which I couldn’t even finish, because surprisingly enough, running a marathon makes you pretty tired. Not tired enough to actually sleep that much though, and after only about 6 hours sleep that night, I woke up wide awake before 8am the next day.

The next day was equally as beautiful as the marathon day itself. After talking it up quite a lot, I woke up on the Monday and decided I did actually want to mark the achievement in a more permanent way. Shane and Tika accompanied me to the tattoo shop (I went to Abraxas), where I got something typically Parisian inked on the inside of my right ankle. We then went for a celebratory drink, before meeting Nadia and her boyfriend Matt for a spot of lunch. It was a gorgeous day in Paris and we sat outside soaking up the sun and post marathon relaxed holiday vibes.

Then we headed over to the Eiffel Tower for a bit of a medal glory photoshoot. Honestly, my phone is full of these, but here are the highlights…

The dorkiest person in Paris, maybe even France…

Along with my favourite shot of my new ink. My Eiffel and the Eiffel. What a bloody fantastic weekend.

1 Comment

  1. 29th April 2014 / 12:15 PM

    Your tattoo is just the cutest and such a great reminder of the amazing achievement! Well done, it’s something I could never do and I’ve loved reading your story x

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