Marathon season is now underway with ladies captain Dawn Teed starting the ball rolling in the Falklands and clearly inspiring Lisa Hatchard to go out hard and nail a marathon PB in Paris.
Lisa headed to Paris with friend and fellow Harrier, Alison Milborrow, but unfortunately Alison was forced to withdraw beforehand due to an injury hampering her preparation. The ladies still went over together though for a girlie weekend in Paris and what better way to take in all the sites than to run past them all on foot for 26.2 miles?! The Paris Marathon course is one of the most awe-inspiring in the world in terms of the architecture it passes by. Long boulevards as straight as a dye, iconic structures such as the Eiffel Tower, Le Grand Palais and Les Invalides, and the two forest parks on the outskirts of Paris, known as the 'lungs' of Paris: the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes.
The race starts at the foot of the majestic Arc de Triomphe and offers runners a fast downhill start as they swoop down the full length of the Champs Elysées. From there the route twists and turns around the streets on either side of the Seine before finishing on Avenue Foch, not too far from the starting point at the Place Charles de Gaulle roundabout.
Lisa had had a brilliant few months of hard preparation and her training had gone well. A new sub 1:40 half-marathon PB at Bideford confirmed this. However, marathons are unpredictable beasts and things can be going superbly well and then, usually at around the 19/20 mile mark, the wheels can fall off, sometimes quite spectacularly. Luckily for Lisa, this didn't happen, and with her quality training to fall back on, she remained strong to the end, crossing the line in a time of 3:47:13 - a sub 4h marathon to add to her growing collection of impressive times. This placed her 10803 overall and 277th in her FV35 category. There were around 40'000 entered into the race, so Lisa did fantastically to be just outside the top 25% of them. Well done Lisa, ou, comme disent les Français, bravo!