16k From Paris to Versailles

It looks like I have finally taken running seriously, because after my Bristol 10k run, I decided to go an extra mile and joined the 16k race from Paris to Versailles in September. But honestly, I won't be probably doing this crazy thing if not for my son who never fails to inspire me. I am doing all this because I want him to be proud of me even if he now lives in heaven. I know he's up there watching over me.

It also just happened that a baby named Jacob from our town is in dire need of help. So I took this opportunity to raise funds for Jacob. We managed to raise 100 pounds for him.

So, on the day of the run we had to get up early to make it to the assembly area which was just at the foot of the Eiffel tower. But since we didn't have our bib yet, we had to go and get them first before we could do anything else. I was so nervous because we were meant to pick up those bibs the day before and I was not sure if we were able to collect them on the same day. I had skip beats throughout the night thinking about it because after all, I was in Paris to run. I would have been really devastated if I was not able to do the 16k. But luckily, we were given our bibs on the day and we were good to run.

I have actually been to Paris four times but never seen the Eiffel tower early in the morning. The whole surrounding felt so calm and quiet as there were not a lot of people around. I was able to appreciate the beauty of Paris more this time than ever before. 

As usual I was wearing a blue t-shirt because it's my son's favourite colour. And since I started running, I have been putting his name and his motto on my shirt. After all, Keith is the main reason why I am doing all this. And of course, my run will never be complete without Keith's favourite toy, Meowmeow.

There were more than 25 thousand runners for the 16k race from Paris to Versailles this year. This was our first international run and the ambiance was entirely different, a bit quieter than the Bristol 10k. It was kind of surreal for me because I never thought that I could ever run a long distance, let alone run in Paris. Never in my wildest dream. But there I was amidst the crowd, waiting for my turn to go. 

As far as I can remember, it was first come, first run. Unlike in Bristol where you run by the colour of your bib. The run officially started at 10am and only 350 participants could run every minute.

I was so excited at the beginning of the run because I knew I was making another history in my life. However, the Paris to Versailles run was not easy. Although someone already warned me beforehand that I should take it easy on the first few kilometers because there would be at least 2k of hills, I didn't expect it to be that bad. But oh my God, it was not just 2k of hills, it was majority of the run I think, or at least it felt like it. We ran through some tunnels and beautiful villages and yes, the forest! That was really unexpected but it was the coolest experience ever. I never really imagined myself running in the woods, but there you go. I have done it with 25,000 others.

I successfully finish the 16k from Paris to Versailles in 1 hour 44 minutes 09 seconds.

Oh well, that was another achievement for me. I am still considering running a half marathon next year. I hope I will be able to do it.

tintin x


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