Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
A Chance Of Olympic Glory
by Russell Turner - 17:46 on 03 August 2023
The Running Gods continue to tease me. The day after I would have become a pensioner, if the government hadn’t changed the rules (I’ll have to wait another year), I received an email from Marathon Pour Tous which informed me that my regular entry in its running challenges had finally paid off: I have a place in the Olympic Marathon next year, should I wish to take it.
This, it has to be said, is not a given. Only a day earlier I’d told Matchgirl that, should I earn a place, I’d sell it or give it away because the cost of Parisien accommodation during Olympic fortnight would be outrageous. Less than 24 hours later we were looking at hotels and finding that those still with space available expected more than £1,000 for two nights. Without breakfast. The spivs.
As the T&Cs state clearly that transferring a place is not allowed, that’s one option gone. However, now I have the opportunity to become an Olympian it seems a waste to not try to make the most of it. Within financial reason.
So for the next few months I’ll be keeping an eye on hotels that appear to not yet be taking bookings for 2024, or checking back on Airbnb. There was one place that might have been suitable, both in cost and location, but as smoking IS allowed I suspect it might not meet our standards. The aroma of Gauloises might be too much to bear. Going there and back by Eurostar, without actually staying in Paris, was also pondered but could throw up too many admin problems.
As for the race, it follows the same route as the men’s and women’s marathons, on August 10 and 11, and starts at 9pm on the 10th, presumably so the 20,024 everyday runners don’t get in the way of proper competitors. The course also includes a big hill and a medium-sized one, just to keep things interesting. No cut-off time has been mentioned, or whether the more rural section will be illuminated.
Taking part would also mean getting a new passport, as mine lapses in December, and sorting out the medical certificate of fitness demanded by the bureaucratic French.
Of more immediate concern is the York 10k on Sunday. Today should have seen me out on an easy run but drained by a sleepless night I chose to stay in. I don’t think I’m coming down with anything. I’ve also written off this week as a false start to the ambitious 10-week sub-2hr training plan I was to follow. Instead, next week I’ll begin the nine-week one I’ve followed in the past, with extended long runs to prepare me for the last-minute Yorkshire Marathon I couldn’t resist.
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