If, like me, you love to be active and keep fit, then you will undoubtedly be excited about the upcoming marathon season. I’m a keen runner, and head out early every morning before work, but am still yet to run a full-length marathon. But whether you’re a regular competitor, more of a casual jogger, or even if running isn’t really your thing, you can’t help but get caught up in marathon fever and show your support for everyone running the race.
Ahead of the London Marathon on 13th April, there is another big city race. On Sunday 6th April, thousands of competitors and their supporters will head to Paris in order to take part in the annual Paris Marathon 2014. One of the most popular marathon events in the international calendar, the Paris Marathon boasts one of the most beautiful routes, being set in the world’s most romantic city. To get in the spirit of things here at Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, we caught up with Melissa Webb, avid runner and author of the blog lissyruns.com, to find out how she feels before the big day!
• When did you first get into running and why did you start?
I’ve been running since the spring of 2010. I can’t really remember why I started – I was never very interested in running up until that point, and then one day I just decided on a whim to sign up for a 10k race. I did all my training on a treadmill and when I got outside and ran on the road during the race the hills were a bit of a shock!
• Have you ever run a marathon before?
I haven’t run a marathon before, this will be my first.
• What was your motivation to sign up for the Paris Marathon?
This is really illogical, but I ran the Copenhagen half marathon in September last year and I had such a horrible race. I was undertrained, and ended up in tears and hobbling the last mile of the race. After finishing, I wanted to prove to myself I could train for a race properly and do myself justice, and the only way to do that seemed to be by training for a marathon.
I chose Paris specifically as I had heard really good things about it and I wanted my first marathon to be an iconic, big city one.
• How much time have you spent preparing for the marathon?
Marathon training has taken over my life. For the last four months, I have done a long run every weekend (switching it up between Saturdays and Sundays) and I have also done at least two runs during the week after work. As well as the actual running, the reading, writing, talking and thinking about it takes up a lot of time too.
• What are your tips for beginners who are interested in running a marathon?
My biggest tip would be to make sure that you really want to run a marathon before starting to train for a marathon. As I have said, marathon training takes over several aspects of your life. You can’t just squeeze it in without some sacrifice. It is an amazing, challenging, enriching experience, but you need to be able to give the hours to it for it to be fully worthwhile.
• Have you ever been to Paris (or France before)? Before, where did you go and how did you like it?
I used to holiday in France every summer when I was a child and I have been to Paris a couple of times with friends for a city break. I have loved all my experiences of France, and I cannot wait to run and see so much of Paris during the race. It is such a magical city and I am hoping to soak up as much of the atmosphere as I can over the weekend.
• Are you planning to stay in Paris after the marathon, to enjoy a city break? If so, what are you planning to see and to do?
I only have one day in Paris after the race this trip, and I am planning to experience as much delicious food and drink as I can in that day in celebration for running the race!
• Do you have any inspirational words for your fellow runners?
My running motto is “you don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.” I am not the fastest or best runner and never will be, but that’s okay. Running has changed my life for the better in so many ways, so whenever I don’t feel like running, I just remember that one mile is always better than no miles at all.
Melissa "Lissy" Webb, Paris Marathon 2014 runner
Getting to Paris for the marathon
If you’re heading to Paris for the marathon, there’s no better way to get there than by car with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. We run up to 4 crossings per hour, 24 hours a day, and it takes just 35-minutes to cross the Channel, making our service the quickest and most convenient. One ticket will cover you and everyone in your car, which makes us incredibly affordable too! And when you travel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, there are no baggage restrictions, which means that you and your kit can get to the starting line hassle-free! The rest is up to you – good luck!