A huge thank you to everyone who helped me raise €1114 for Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), to the MSF volunteers who let me check my bag at their welcome tent instead of standing in the long lines, and to the weather gods who – although every single website forecast rain – made sure it was sunny, if freezing cold. I managed to finish the Paris Half-Marathon a few seconds over two hours and celebrated afterwards with my (younger and faster) friends over pizza. Want to know where your money goes? You can read about one of the many temporary refugee shelters built by MSF in France here.
Running in Paris
On Monday, about 100 runners participated in #BostonStrongarParis, part of a worldwide event to show our solidarity a week after the Boston Marathon bombings. There were Americans living in Paris, French people who have run the Boston Marathon, visitors from Boston who heard about the event, a French charity group Jogg.in that works with runners, serious runners, casual runners, and even non-runners who joined in the casual 5k along the Seine from Bastille to the Tuileries Gardens to show their support.
When Bryan found out about the international event, he emailed me to ask if I thought anyone would show up, especially on a Monday. We both figured we'd get a dozen if we were lucky, and he planned a route that wouldn't interefere too much with pedestrians or cross too many intersections. When dozens, then over 100 people RSVP'd, we were all surprized and thrilled.
As people arrived on Monday evening, meeting each other and swapping stories, Bryan handed out blue and yellow ribbons to pin to our shirts or tie to our running shoes. Some people made their own signs. I wore my cowboy hat with the American flag (which was part of my cowgirl costume for my first marathon). We were a little nervous the cops would shut us down for not having a permit to assemble such a large group, but we had no problems in the end.
The weather gods were smiling on us (for once!) and we had a lovely run along the Seine, with a lot of cheering and even a few runners who joined in along the way. We had a photo stop at the Pont des Arts, then gathered by the Orangerie in the Tuileries for a moment of silence. After more group photos, we all got to enjoy fresh juice donated kindly by Bob's Juice Bar.
It was such a great event, and brought together a wonderful group of people, old friends and new. Lindsey Kent came along to photograph the event (all of these pics are hers), but many, many more pics are on the FB event page, and Pavement Runner will soon have a compilation of all the #BostonStrong runs on his website. You can also watch the Jogg.in video below with me in my silly hat:
I was not a runner before February 2012. Yes, I had been a regular Hasher from 2002 through 2005, but you don't need to be a runner to be a Hasher, just a little crazy (and thirsty).
So I took my inspiration to start (and continue) running from other "non-athletes" like myself. Because there's nothing to get you off the sofa like the thought "Well if they can do it, why can't I?"
Eddie Izzard "Eddie Iz Running": He was already my favorite comedian, but when he ran 43 marathons in 51 days across the UK to raise money for Sport Relief -- after only training for 5 weeks! -- he became one of my favorite role models. Go Eddie!
Richard Branson "Work Out": I was reading this post on Scott Dinsmore's site Live Your Legend about Richard's secret to starting over 400 companies and discovering the ultimate source of confidence & productivity. I don't know if I'm any more productive than before (running, stretching and mixing up protein smoothies are great excuses to procrastinate), but this is certainly one of the reasons I decided to get off my butt and do something.
Ethan Newberry "Ginger Runner": I love Ethan's motto: "Train hard, race harder, party hardest." Or, for the t-shirt: Train. Race. Beer. Ethan's actually a professional actor/comedian, too. Funny (and irreverent) people are always the most inspirational for me, because if running isn't fun, what's the point? And his reviews of running shoes and equipment are hilarious.
Matt "Angry Jogger": If you can't stand the "holier than thou" vibe you get from most running blogs, you'll love Matt, a runner in Belfast, Ireland. He eats junk food, drinks like a fish, and yet still runs because he likes it. If you think you're too fat to start running, read Matt's blog. If you think you have to eat rabbit food to enjoy running, read Matt's blog. If you just want a good laugh and don't give a shite about running, read Matt's blog.
Matt Frazier "No Meat Athlete": I'm not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I used Matt's Marathon Roadmap to get me through my first marathon (and totally disregarded his advice about not walking around in a theme park the three days leading up to the marathon for my second one, d'oh!). There are tons of great articles for beginners. And it never hurts to add a bit of green to the diet. ;-)
Finally, all of my fabulous friends who have been running for years (Vee, Steph, Jeff, Bryan), and the ones who have just started (Leslie, Jane, Michelle, Olive)...it's always great to compare running boo boos, egg each other on to run in some crazy race, and swap post-run smoothie recipes. Rock on!
LAST UPDATED: March 2016
Heather runs around the Jardin des Plantes, Parc de Bercy, Bibliothèque Mitterrand, Parc Montsouris and Luxembourg Gardens. She also runs with Jogg.In
Bryan runs around the Canal St-Martin, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, and Parc de la Villette.
We like to have company when we run (and we also do running tours), so if you're a regular runner in our 'hood let us know!
Otherwise, join us in these races as participants (everyone who finishes gets a shiny medal) or cheerleaders (the post-race party crew)!
Heather's 2016 Race Schedule
September 25: Disneyland Paris Half-Marathon Woo hoo!
Heather's 2015 Race Schedule
March 8: Semi-de-Paris (aborted, still injured!)
September 13: Vertigo Maison de la Radio (vertical race up 22 flights of stairs for PL4Y International Children's Charity).
August 2: Rock & Roll Dublin Half Marathon with Amy
Heather's 2014 Races
February 2 Les Foulées de Vaux-le-Vicomte (out because of a foot injury, boo!)
March 2 Semi-Marathon de Paris
March 13: NYC Half Marathon (I borrowed someone else's bibb, PB!)
March 29-30 Eco-Trail de Paris
April 6 Marathon de Paris (just Bryan, Heather's cheering)
April 13 The Color Run
August 23-24 Triathlon de Chantilly (Heather's volunteering, not participating)
September 13 Marathon du Médoc (PB!)
Heather & Bryan's 2013 Races
March 17 Eco-Trail 18km Twin Santé Run (Heather & Bryan)
April 7 Marathon de Paris (Bryan, with Heather leading the Cheer Squad)
April 14 Rock & Roll Edinburgh Half-Marathon (Heather goes solo!)
June 9 La Course du Château de Vincennes 10k (Heather & Bryan)
October 5 Leavenworth Oktoberfest Half Marathon (Heather & Leslie)
October 27 Semi-Marathon du Bois de Vincennes (Heather & Bryan)