Wellsy kicks arse in Marathon de Paris 2008
By Michelle Wells
I ran the 2008 Marathon de Paris in very cool conditions (6 degrees Celsius and overcast) and finished in the top third of the field in 3 hours 43 minutes and 9 seconds (a 4 minute marathon PB). It was a magical day. The start line was just 300 metres from our fabulous apartment, just off the famous Champs Elysee. About 35,000 runners started the race to the tune of Vangelis' Chariots of Fire. Very appropriate. The whole experience was amazing it was just like being in the middle of a carnival for 42.2 km with bands lining the streets all along the route (brass bands, jazz, rock, congo etc). We had our first names printed on our racing bibs in large letters which was fantastic as the crowd called out my name all along the way allez, allez, allez Michelle (go, go, go) this really gave me a boost. All along the course you would look up to see all the beautiful and famous monuments of Paris such as the Louve, Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Place de Bastille, Chateau de Vincennes and of course the Arc de Triomphe right near the start and finish of the race. I felt strong and comfortable the whole way and according to the timing chip (laced in my shoe the whole way) I passed more than 3000 runners in the last 10km to finish in about 9,671th place.
Just before the start of the race a Frenchman took my shoulder and said: 'Courage, bon chance.' Now I have finished this marathon I feel like I can do anything.