The annual Marathon de Montauban happened to take place when we were in the area, so obviously I signed up. Not for the full marathon though (I am not that cool or crazy….yet!) but there was a nice and comfy option of a 10K run, which was just perfect for me. Even if wasn’t able to keep up with my usual level of running practice over the fall when we were in Thailand, I have managed to catch up quite well since the start of the year. Here in Montauban, I’ve been going on daily long-ish runs (the river banks are great for this) and have been able to put in quite a lot of effective training, so I felt really prepared and excited for the race.
Unfortunately I have also been noticing an ongoing groin/thigh pain, which got really bad the week before the race, to the point where I wasn’t even sure anymore that I would actually run. Not very keen on missing out though, I decided to participate anyway, and just take it reaaaally easy. This meant letting go of all ambitions of setting any new PB’s but so be it. There will be a time for that at some other point!
The race takes place in and around the immediate vicinity of the city. Honestly, I thought the running route could have been better. Not so much for the 10K, but the semi seemed a little boring to me and especially for the full marathon, which was in fact two loops on the semi route! I don’t know how it’s usually laid out at a marathon, but if I was to run the same route twice, at that long a distance, I sort of feel that it wouldn’t exactly help me in terms of mental energy. Anyway. The atmosphere was nice and it didn’t feel too overcrowded. It’s not the biggest event either, apparently this year there were around 4000 participants, but that’s also quite a lot of people in one place. The organization was well handled though, so there was a smooth flow at both race bib pick up on the Saturday and at race start on the Sunday morning. The participant fee for the 10K run was also only 15EUR including t-shirt, so it’s really an affordable event. All in all definitely recommendable from a practical point of view.
Despite wanting to push myself at several occasions, I stuck to my decision of keeping a very relaxed pace and completed the race in just under an hour. Nothing fancy and a slightly dull feeling of having really done an habitual Sunday morning run rather than a race, but hey – at the ripe age of 43, being reasonable (and a bit extra cautious) isn’t a bad idea me thinks.
So I went home with the souvenir medal and a bottle of complementary locally sourced grape juice, as well as the satisfaction of having shown up to run in spite of the circumstances and done not too badly on top – it’s all good in my book!
On the Saturday there was a short kids race that you could sign up for as well, which Mister M and Miss L did. Normally they had to sign up in two different age groups, but we cheated and filled in a later birth year for one of them, so they could run together (sshh, don’t tell anyone). For kids like mine that are used to training, it was an overly easy experience, but still fun. They got to participate in a common warm up session with a dancing bear on stage and go home with a souvenir medal, lollipops and free entrance tickets to the pool. Plus the kids’ run is free, so a great additional activity for them. We also hung out at the race village a bit on the Saturday, enjoying the sunshine and getting some food from one of the vendors. All in all a great experience and definitely recommendable for any passionate runners or active families out there 🙂