My 31st Marathon, but my 1st one without you

Losing my mother just six weeks before the Paris Marathon made the decision to go and run the race, as well as manage the Adventure Time Travel Team, an extremely difficult one. My grief was still raw, and I felt vulnerable knowing that I wouldn’t have the support of my family or close friends with me. Managing the team of runners, who had their own anxieties and obstacles to overcome, and running the marathon itself, knowing that the last time it in Paris my mum was cheering me on from the sidelines, added to the emotional turmoil.

Despite these uncertainties, I decided to go ahead with the marathon. On the plane and through the streets of Paris, I sobbed and cried many tears. I was scared and nervous, but I knew that my mum Mum was by my side, cheering me on, encouraging me just as she has always done. And so, I found myself at the starting line of the Paris Marathon, dedicating the entire 42.2 kilometres to my mother.

Wearing my mums date of birth tattooed on my arm, I felt comforted and surrounded by her presence throughout the race. Although I didn’t have the training that I would have liked, I drew on my years of endurance running and my mum’s strength to help me through. The marathon is not just a physical challenge; it’s also a mental one. You have to believe in yourself, and I knew my mum had always believed in me – so I could and I did! This run turned out to be one of the best marathons I had run, not by time but defiantly by comfort, I felt good the entire way. I definitely had some wings guiding me gently and kindly to the finishing line.

The Paris Marathon is one of Europe’s most popular marathons, attracting thousands of runners from around the world every year. The 2023 edition of the marathon took place on April 2 and was a special one for me and the Adventure Time Travel Team. Starting at the Champs-Élysées, one of the most famous avenues in the world, the course took us through the heart of Paris, past iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum. The relatively flat course made it a popular choice for runners looking to set a personal best time, with the finish line at Avenue Foch, near the Arc de Triomphe. Paris is undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it was an honour to be able to run through its streets.

The weather on race day was ideal for running, with temperatures hovering around 10-12 degrees Celsius (50-54 degrees Fahrenheit), with intermittent rain. But more than the weather or the course, what made this marathon truly special were the memories of my mum that I carried with me throughout the race.

As I ran through the streets of Paris, I thought about my beautiful and wonderful relationship with my mother. She was my best friend, my mentor, my everything. From her holding me as a baby to me holding her during her last moments, we shared a bond that could never be broken. And as I ran, I felt like I was reliving all those moments with her.

The kilometre markers throughout the marathon course were very helpful, and I used them to keep track of my pace and distance covered. There were refreshments available every 5kms and toilets every 2.5kms.  Our group, Adventure Time Travel, had undertaken a tour of the course, which was helpful as I knew where I was at all times and the history behind each part of the course.

The support from the French people was another memorable aspect of the Paris Marathon. Thousands of people came out to cheer us on, shouting “Allez, allez!” which means “let’s go” in French. Their encouragement and energy were contagious, giving me a boost of motivation each time I heard it.

Despite the emotional challenges, running the Paris Marathon was an unforgettable experience, and the memories from this race will always hold a special place in my heart. The course was demanding, but I persevered with the support of the amazing French people and the strength I drew from my mother’s memory – I couldn’t have done it without her by my side every step of the way.

The Paris Marathon is not just a race; it is a journey that challenges you both physically and emotionally. It is an experience that stays with you forever, and running in memory of my mum made it all the more significant. I am grateful for the opportunity to have run this race and hope to do it again in the future, creating even more memories.

If you’re interested in participating in the Paris Marathon 2024 with Adventure Time Travel, please follow this link. Trust me, you won’t regret it!