Dead Runners society race report
Vingt kilometres de Montpellier - Dimanche
le 28éme novembre 1999.
One week after a marathon I wouldn't normally be considering another race but as I didn't run that fast in Monaco I recovered reasonably fast. So I decided to have another "training run" race in the city where I had been living since June just before my return home.
Salut toute le monde, Tony ici a Montpellier again with another race report from the south of France.
Last sunday I ran the Monaco marathon and since then I have been going through the usual stiff legs and going down stairs backwards behaviour that usually happens after a marathon. I knew that a week after the marathon there was going to be a 20km race here in Montpellier and I was tempted to have a run round, I knew it all depended on how my post-race recovery went but by yesterday I didn't feel too bad on the run. I will be leaving Montpellier to return home in 17 days (hooray!) and that this would be my only chance to actually race in the city where I have been living since June so yesterday I went into the city centre to Montpellier's runners shop and entered the race. They gave me number 1066 which made me smile, an "interesting" number for an Englishman to have in France! So this morning I put on my racing gear and got the bus into the city centre. I got off at the railway station and jogged the 3/4 mile or so to the "Antigone" shopping and housing development. A bit cold hanging around before the start but it wasn't for very long. Lined up right at the back and bang, off we went.
Set off slowly and started to work my way through, 1st km 5.37, didn't see 2km but 3km reached in 15.43. By now the field was starting to thin out and I was gradually speeding up, legs were a bit sore but otherwise moving quite well. 4km in 20.35 and 5km in 25.14. By now we had left Montpellier behind and were running along some gently undulating country lanes and I was gradually picking off runners one at a time, 6km 29.49 7km 34.35 8km 39.23 9km 44.06. By now we were in Lattes, a little town just south of Montpellier, ran along a bike path past a shopping centre to 10km which was reached in 48.44, 23.30 for the last 5km. Feeling pretty tired by now but still working my way through, 11km in 53.26 and 12km 58.08. We were running along a busy road with lots of traffic on the way out of Lattes, they had coned off a bit of road for us runners but you had to pick your moment to overtake. 13km in 1h02.54 and we were on the road back to Montpellier, 14km 1h07.34 and 15km in 1h11.57, 23.13 for the last 5km. By now my legs were reminding me what I had done last sunday and that maybe a 20km race today wasn't such a good idea after all. 16km in 1h16.39, still moving along at a reasonable speed and passing a few runners but a few were passing me by now. 17km 1h21.19, 18km 1h25.58 and where was that finish! We were running along side the river Lez in the city centre but no sign of Antigone yet, on a slight downslope at 19km 1h30.31 I could feel my left leg start to cramp up, oh no! I kept going the best I could although quite a few were passing me now. Just after 19km the course went slightly uphill and my leg eased off a bit, into Antigone and there was a loooong finish straight ahead. The race was advertised as a 20km but some race info I had seen the day before said the course was 20.5km long so I wasn't quite sure how far there was to go. Didn't try and run in any harder, crossed the line in 1h35.04 (my watch, there was no finish clock). From 19km to the finish took 4.33 and I didn't see an intermediate 20km marker so I must conclude that the course really was 20km after all.
Pretty tired on finishing, got my finishers t-shirt and joined the queue at the "goomie" table for some tea, water and fruit. I met one of my colleagues from the lab at the finish who had been helping out at the race and had a brief chat with him, he didn't know I was running today. In my post-race tiredness my French was even worse than usual. My legs weren't too keen on running after all that so I walked back to the railway station and got the bus back home. Not a bad run, a lot better than I thought I would do after a marathon, quite encouraging for my planned 50km in California next month. Providing my legs don't complain too much next week I think I will enter the Sacramento Y2K50K (directed by a well known dead runner living in Sacramento). au revoir
Dr Tony Bell, LAMMI, Université Montpellier II,
Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.
phone (33) 4 67 14 33 30, fax (33) 4 67 14 33 04
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