Last weekend allybea, Phil T, Liz T and I were in the south of France for the first ever Nice to Cannes marathon, staying with my brother in Antibes. What a contrast to the depressing weather here: the daytime temperature was a very pleasant 20 degrees or so, warm enough to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt, but not too hot for running. I could certainly get used to that.
The marathon was a great event, well organised and passing through some beautiful parts of the Cote D'Azur, although I'm sorry to report that I didn't have a very good run. My back had been bothering me a bit in the week prior to the race and after about 7 km it started to hurt quite a lot. I decided to go into 'just finish' mode, and spent the next 35 km shuffling along and feeling generally uncomfortable. The section up to the half way point was a real drag, with loads of runners passing me, but things improved a bit after that and I managed to keep going at more or less the same pace until the finish in Cannes. My time was 3.36 - definitely not one of my better marathons - but at least I managed to scrape into the top 2,000 of the 8,300 finishers. Phil T finished in 3.21, having found the last 10 km a real struggle.
Despite my poor run it was a first class weekend. We spent most of Saturday in Nice, which is a fantastic place, then spent a bit of time in Cannes after the race, enjoying a few leisurely hours in a pavement cafe having a beer and some lunch - a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It was also great to spend a bit of time with my brother.
Since arriving back I haven't done much running at all, due to a combination of a heavy cold, a busy week at work, a sore back and a general lack of motivation. Running wise I've had quite a busy year: I've completed 2 ultras (the 24 hour race and the Highland Fling, as well as my unsuccessful WHW attempt), 4 marathons and 6 half marathons, so I suppose my body is ready for a bit of a break. There is not much coming up in the way of races, although the WHW training runs are due to start at the end of November, so this seems like as good a time as any to take it a bit easier.