RACE REPORT: Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris

Event Name: SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC MARATHON DE PARIS

Date Held: 14 April 2019

Distances: 42km

Venue: Arc de Triomphe

Website: www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com

My first time in Paris but hopefully not my last. I’m more a trail runner than road but when the amazing opportunity came to go to Paris for the ASICS FrontRunner international conference I jumped at the chance.

Paris is truly amazing! It is the most beautiful place I’ve been, no-jokes! And it’s absolutely amazing to think that people, normal people live there every day? They get to see that every day?! The amazing characteristic the city has, something to see after every corner, and everything is beautiful and in its own way. Walls are painted out of the ordinary, random street art makes the city colourful with beautiful trees in between the historic buildings.


Underneath the ground lies the metro – connecting the city so efficiently and harmoniously making the entire city yours to see. Apart from getting lost the first day along with having a meltdown in the store when I finally found someone speaking English, I had come to love the metro, noooooo Traffic! I think it’s just because I drive so far to work and back every day that I would love to have something like this in our city, the Gautrain come close though

Last year November I ran Lesotho Ultra –  38km in the Lesotho mountain with  3000m + elevation and some serious altitudes and descents at 8 months Postpartum. The Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris was for me one of my hardest runs. I’m not the best on road and although I have to train on road allot I still prefer running on trail.


There was nothing in particular that went wrong or right or made the run hard for me , it just felt like I really was giving my all and like my grandmother said to be when I told her it was hard –

“My dear, really anything that we do that is meaningful and worth doing is going to be hard “


The race was beautiful, I truly loved running through Paris, cold weather and all! The first 21km I ran with Alesia Ruthven, she ran the most constant pace I’ve ever experienced, we ran between 4:49- 5:37 per kilometre, and at some point I started doubting if I would see 42km if I continued at this pace but I held onto her for as long as I could, and at 25km I finally lost sight of her. But it was ok, I was more than happy with what I had achieved in 21km! I ran my PB on the half marathon 1h 59min! The last time I ran 21km I was 12 weeks pregnant, had to stop to pee a gazillion times and the only person who knew I was pregnant was my running partner Carien , hahaha at 3km to go my hips hurt so much I literally had to walk but I finished 2h 9min  so I’m glad to have shaved of 10min on my 21km.

I look like I’m going sky diving! lol – it was so cold – this South- African girl is definitely not used to cold weather!


A little after 30 kilometres I started to doubt myself and like I knew they would, my hips started to hurt  I tried to ignore it as we ran next to the Seine river, I started to feel home sick and really wished someone I knew was there and then this guy with Long dreadlocks like me started speaking to me. I paused my music and tried to understand him, me – “English?” , him – “No..” then he just grabbed my arm and we ran together for about 1km I think, then I must have gotten to slow, hahaha coz he let me go and ran in front of me. I then saw the 4h15 min buss and tried to stay with them, but after a few kilometres I had to take a break, walk or something, the worst was just for me that I wasn’t tired or didn’t feel unfit, my body just wouldn’t go anymore. The last 6km of Lesotho Ultra I literally sprinted and it was amazing to finish that strong, I kept telling myself that, that was so much harder and that I have to keep going!

I think at about 37km I took my South-African flag out of my hydration pack – and held onto it for dear life as it began to become really hard to run, I started to get cold because I was running too slow, so I had to put my jacket on again but I still felt really cold, But it was quite cold though, about 9 degrees I think, even 5 degrees at some point in the morning.


At this point I was very emotional and kept searching for a familiar face in the crowd, I was about to give up, and just finish no matter what my time was, then this really old skinny guy came running past me in his ASICS Dynaflyte 3’s and tied to his back was a flag, it was pink and said 4h: 30min  I was still in the game then by some miracle I managed to hold on the his pace for the last few kilometres, adamant to finish under 5hours.

Then with 1km to go my watch said I had already done 42,2km but WHY was I not done yet?!? That broke me a little, and made the last kilometre feel like it took forever! But then the board read 500m , then 350m, and then I saw the ASICS photographers and a big green sign that said ‘BRAVO!’ 

It was over, it felt unreal all I wanted was some coke, on the route they just had water and fruits along with some cake and I thought I’ll have a coke at the finish, but apparently the French just have fruit and water at their finishes, haha. But it was ok. 


The walk back to the ASICS tent was long it felt like 2km, it possibly was. There I found coffee but with soya milk, it was fine, I was so tired and cold, I would have anything. It was nice to see everyone there, congratulating me and giving support, haha my legs were done, I couldn’t walk properly. But it was worth it.

On this run I did learn a little more about myself, and I also basically decided what it is that I want to do and concentrate on from now on, I don’t think I will ever do a marathon again and I’m almost entirely sure I will NEVER do comrades , never. Being about 1 year and 3 weeks postpartum I want to concentrate on my trail running, and maybe do things that are a little faster, a little more adrenaline for me now, I want to feel as fast and confident as I felt before I got pregnant. I now know what I can endure and for how long I can endure it. Now I want to see what I can do in the shortest amount of time possible, I Dunno let’s see.

Got really home sick during and after the marathon,I just missed Paul so much! Every time I saw a supporter with board saying “ALEZE MAMA!!” – I just started to cry ,haha, but the race and the remainder of the conference was amazing, so many different cultures so many languages, so many stories.

Paris and traveling alone thought me allot!
I learnt how to explain myself to someone who doesn’t understand me at all, order coffee and food in French , helped a Mexican make it to go see the Notre Dame, before the disaster that burnt it down.

I shared a room with the ladies from the Netherlands , I drank Vodka with Russian runner –
Antosha_Valuykin , and had Beers with the British Team which was allot of fun, I don’t know what hurt more the next morning my head or my legs (lol) and I finally met @annarunsmarathons, who’s beautiful little girl is 7 months old and she ran a 3H : 48min Marathon?! I have to say meeting her felt strange because it felt like we knew each other already From all our Instagram conversations.

The British Front Runners.


I want to thank the entire ASICS FrontRunner team and the French ASICS FrontRunners for hosting such an amazing event! For making me part of something bigger than myself, to be part of this team truly is amazing, and truly inspiring! Proud to be part of this movement!

Thank you to all the awesome photographers during the entire conference! I think you Ran around just as much as us! Follow links below to there amazing profiles!

Photo Credits:

 © Teddy Morellec – La Clef

© NICOLAS JACQUEMIN

© albindurand(@_albin_)

Happy Running!

Jani

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