Yesterday I ran in the 33rd 20 km de Montpellier, the race I've been training for the past 12 weeks. Once again I had the bad luck of having a cold and mild sinus infection on race day and fell short of my goal. I was aiming for under an hour and 40 minutes, which would have been in the top third, but finished in 1:45:19, the 660th of 1320 finishers. The race départ was at the bottom of the Rue de la Loge in Montpellier's center and we ran from there out to my neighborhood in Aiguelonge, to the northwest suburbs, and then back to the arrivé on the Place de la Comédie. It was a hilly course and we hit all the passes in the north and northwest districts of the city: Pioch de Boutonnet, Montmaur, Plan des 4 Seigneurs, Hauts de Massane, and Malbosc. I'm exaggerating a bit when I call these passes, they're all small climbs of less than 70 meters. Except for a small rise near the finish up to the Arc de Triomphe, the last 4 kilometers were downhill and I was pleased to have enough energy to run the final two in 9 minutes. I moved up about 50 places in the last 4 km.
This time of year the weather can be cold and wet, but it was perfectly sunny and mild for this edition of the race. One thing that seems to bedevil the race, from reports on the web in previous years, is traffic control. By the time I was running through the Alco and Cévennes districts on the way to the finish, impatient drivers were forcing their way past the course marshals and one had to be heads up at intersections. Police came to intervene at Avenue de la Gaillarde and Rue de las Sorbes where the situation was particularly bad, but could have been used elsewhere.
After the race, I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the kitchen making and eating our delayed Thanksgiving dinner. I'm super thankful for my family's support this fall, I couldn't have put in all the training time without their backing. Thank you, Ruth, Arabelle, and Beatrice!
It's 16 weeks now to the Montpellier Marathon and I'm trying to figure out either a training plan that will give me a little downtime or a different race for the spring.