Monday, 5 November 2012

Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Part 2

Decided I should write a bit more about the race itself and something, let's say funny, that happened around 00:15 Sunday morning.

So I set my alarm and went to sleep Saturday around 21:00. Suddenly my alarm goes off. I don't look at the time, but decide I go downstairs in the hotel I am staying in. More about that hotel later. I look around for finding coffee. There are 4 people sitting at a table playing cards, so I walk up to them asking where to get coffee. They look at me like I am totally weird (how can they) and they ask me why I ask them. I thought they were staff playing cards to stay awake, clearly not. So the night porter comes over and I ask him for coffee. Which he sells to me.

Day 1 Saturday - register at the expo. Well organised, pick up the free t-shirt. Graham and I gone through the expo shop part twice just to have a look and buy some stuff.

The start is at Promenade des Anglais, right in front of my hotel. Well to be fair, 200 m or so to the left.

So I go back upstairs and drink my coffee, eat some yogurt ready to dress. Finally I look at the time and see it's 00:15, which clearly is about 5-6 hours before I have to wake up. So actually I can go back to bed. Pretty cool, but why I didn't notice I still don't know.

So back to bed, and finally the real alarm goes. Clearly the previous one wasn't real alarm. So again, go down get coffee. More yogurt an a banana. Had a large 4 cheeses pizza the evening before (well actually half a pizza) at Francis Cresci La Pizza in Nice. Worthwhile going there. Busy place. Groups of 7 or more keep on coming in. Had a lovely starter (but forgot what) and some chocolate stuff. So not very hungry.

Meet up at 07:00 to drop the bag. Large trucks ready so we can hand it all in, no waiting time. Walk to the start area, nicely split form elite down to 04:30+.
Once it starts it flows through very quickly and they have pacers for 03:00-onwards. Drinks and food every 5km. Only thing can say here is, the Coca Cola should be flat. No further comments. Chocolate, fresh fruit, sugar, dried fruit. Water, energy drinks and so Coca Cola.

One long relatively steep hill at km 28. Mentally too many people told me to walk it, so I did. Don't think I needed to.

Arrival in Cannes - lots of people. Great atmosphere. Lot's of people across the course as well. When arrive in Cannes, you queue. Not as organised as in the UK, but much faster. Pick up the medal, the finisher gift, a small backpack. Than a plastic bag so you can stock up on drinks and fruit. To than walk through to the trucks to pick up your drop bag.

Normally you would take the train, where your bib number would be your ticket but SNCF (Societe National Chemin de Fer - French Railways) decided to do work on the track between Nice and Cannes. So busses arranged. Only thing to say there, they could have been a bit closer. 

The course it self is seafront, past famous places like: Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, starting on the boulevard in Nice ending on La Croissette in Cannes.

I am very tempted to sign up again next year.

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