Thursday, April 18, 2013

A special day

Marathon 01
It's Keith's 40th birthday today! He decided to mark this milestone in more energetic style than I did mine by spending the last year training for the Paris Marathon. To prepare for his first ever marathon, he's been out running in rain, sunshine and snow all over the world; Paris, Edinburgh, Singapore, Sydney, wherever his business travels have taken him. Miraculously he managed to avoid a nasty stomach bug that had the rest of the family in bed for a week and the day of the marathon, April 7th, dawned bright and sunny although still freezing cold.

Of course, the girls and I wanted to go and support him. We followed his progress at home for the first hour (there's and app for that!) and then set out on our own marathon journey to the Trocadero where we hoped we'd get a good view. Knowing there would be nowhere to park, we made our way into Paris by train and metro; the first time I've attempted to take Florence on the stroller un-friendly metro since we moved to France.

She was so excited to be on a train for the first time that she behaved impeccably and we made it safely through the crowds (and a few fast finishers who were already on their way home!) and made it to the Eiffel Tower just in time to see Keith run past.

Marathon 02

Marathon 03

Marathon 04

Marathon 06

Marathon 07

Marathon 08

Marathon 09
Quick family photo mid-race.

Marathon 10

Marathon crepes
Whilst Keith carried on running through the Bois de Boulogne, we refueled with crêpes and candy floss before hiking across the 16th to wait at the finish line on Avenue Foch.

Marathon 12
We were in the perfect position to see him cross the line 5 hours and 27 minutes after his start and we were all so proud and excited to see him finish his first marathon.

Marathon 13
Receiving a hard earned finishers medal.

Happy Birthday Keith!
We love you!

I had this post all ready to go before the horrific events in Boston made the finish line of a Marathon somewhere you would not want to take your kids. Our experience of watching the Paris Marathon was such a happy family occasion, it is heartbreaking to know how tragically it ended for the people watching the finish of the Boston Marathon on Monday. Our deepest sympathies are with all those affected and best wishes for a safe and successful race to everyone running in the London Marathon this Sunday.


  1. Well done Keith! What an amazing achievement! I bet he enjoyed that first beer afterwards.
    Do they still put out the pre-race checklist that tells runners to bring bandaids for their 'tits' (bad translation of nipples)? That had us in stitches when Matt ran a few years back.
    I hope he's wearing his finishers medal around the house all week.

  2. What a great way to mark the birthday!

  3. Beautiful!! What a great way to commemorate the special day. Congrats to your husband!! So true, that it's a such a special family experience and with the tragedy of Boston, these events will take on a different spirit. My sister in law participated in a unity building run yesterday where she ran locally & than posted the miles and indicated #runforboston. It's alway nice to see people coming together again in support and continue living. I'm glad you wrote this post, as it reminds us all, of the beauty, accomplishment & true value of this experience and not to be scared by events like Monday. Thank you and again Congrats to Keith - that is quite an accomplishment!

  4. I love that Keith stopped so you all could have a family photo. What a sweet moment. He looks like he was so happy, smiling the whole way. xoKaren

  5. Heureux anniversaire, Keith, et félicitations!

    So happy your family's marathon was such a joyous event. It was nice of you to include a note about the horrific Boston events, Nicola. They have identified the cowards who hurt so many people as I type this, and a manhunt is underway. I guess you don't mess with Boston!

    To end on a more cheerful note, I think I would have "done" the Paris marathon the way you and your girls did: On the sidelines, cheering on, a Nutella crêpe in hand :-)

    Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  6. A lot of hard work - congratulations! I look at the mid photos and just think 'all of that hair!'


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A bientôt! Nicola

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