Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Running Nice 10k



It was a pretty last minute decision, but I went back to Nice last week. Amongst multiple scoops of Fenoccios (the salted caramel ice-cream is so good), sunbathing on the beach and exploring the tiny chateau village of Èze, we also ran the 10k.

I thought I'd share my experience of doing a race in a foreign country for anyone that's interested...

Language

First thing's first, the language. Luckily, with my (very) basic knowledge of French combined with the fact my emails could easily be translated, everything was fine. Getting the Doctor's note was a bit of a faff, but I'll get onto that..

When we went to collect our t-shirts and running packs, the woman we dealt with spoke English and so my fantastic French skills were saved once again. I think if you've run in a race environment before you know what to expect, which was definitely an advantage.

Signing up 

Cost wise, it was very reasonable; 21 euros including the booking fee.

The French are verrry hot on making sure you have a doctor's note, however, which costs £10 to get. You can't run without one, it's French law apparently. My doctor wrote me a note saying I was fit to run, but hadn't included the exact phrase "fit to practise running in competition" in the note and it couldn't be accepted, so I had to go back and change it, even though my doctor had written essentially the same thing.

The Route

The route was weird. As well as thousands of people doing the 10k, they also had the half marathon running the same route at the same time, and it was packed. The majority of the run was around the city, so you're looping corners, turning left right and left again a lot, which slowed things down considerably. The roads were closed for the event, but cars remained parked on these closed roads, making the course even narrower as people tried to navigate around stationary cars and motorbikes.

Running back down from the port along the Promenade was an incredible feeling though - you can see the finish line and can really push yourself; that was definitely my highlight! Plus it's lined with palm trees on one side and the sea on the other, so it's pretty too.

The Event Organisation

The event was really well organised, there were a few water and orange stations dotted around the route. At the finish line, they had orange slices, water... sugar cubes, Coke(!), cake and chocolate, which I'll get onto.

My main bear bug was that it was sponsored by Haribo - not even some faux 'healthy' brand like Lucozade, and the promotional race box we got had nothing in it remotely related to running, health or fitness:

Our favourite gift was the Pataks Tikka Masala curry sauce, with the washing up liquid sachet a close second... Still, it was a nice touch, at least it felt like you were getting your money's worth..(?!)

None of us liked the colour of the t-shirts (see below), which I know is SUCH an important factor when running a race.... but seriously, they could have come up with something a bit more vibrant than a muted grey...

I did it in 55:40, a time I'm quite pleased with. It's not my best (#53:31 y'all), but I think due to the congestion running round the town as I mentioned before, kind of hindered my 'performance'.

Overall, it was an amazing experience, and a really nice thing to do with two of my favourite people!



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