The title of today’s post is a quotation often attributed to Audrey Hepburn. I love Audrey: the timeless beauty, the classic style and those famous scenes from some of my favourite movies such as the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s and other irresistible movies that were shot in Paris (Paris when it Sizzles, Funny Face, How to Steal a Million, etc). It is said that Audrey, like me, loved Paris – and who can blame her? As her Sabrina co-star Humphrey Bogart famously said in one of my other favourite movies, Casablanca, “We’ll always have Paris.” Very true and frankly anything Paris-related is sure to make me smile.
What does Audrey Hepburn have to do with The Running Princess? Read on…
Earlier this week, I posted the following on Facebook:
…and discovered that I know some impatient people who were keen to know what I was so excited about – one even requested a cryptic clue, but I had actually already included (a very subtle) one in the post! Today, I shall tell all and hope they’re not too disappointed…
So what would get a Running Princess excited? Obviously something running-related or Paris-related. Running the Paris marathon earlier this month gave me a wonderful chance to combine two of my favourite things into one incredible experience. An experience I was keen to have again.
Almost as soon as we were back in our Paris hotel room, Steve and I began discussing plans for 2015 (yes, even though only a tiny portion of our lunatic challenge for this year has been completed, we’re thinking about next year – forward planning is important!). Both of us would quite like to run the London Marathon again, but that is notoriously difficult to get into and Steve still hopes to run a Good For Age time in another marathon which would guarantee him an entry. I would have to try and get a ballot place, but the result of that is never known until October, by which time many other marathons are filling up. So what about Paris again? Easy to get into, easy to travel to and, for us, not significantly more expensive than a weekend in London. Hmmm…
Correct again Audrey – Paris IS always a good idea!
As we soon discovered, organisers of the Paris marathon made a change to their entry system for next year. For the last couple of years entry has opened up in the autumn via the a.s.o. challenges website and in the first year almost immediately entry opened the site crashed under the sheer volume of traffic. Last year the site automatically put you into a queue, but this still meant hours of waiting for an entry slot. So for next year’s race, they introduced a draw. This time, anyone interested in a place had to pre-register then a draw would be made late in April and places would have to be paid for by early May to secure entry. My theory was that this would streamline the process, but that unlike the London ballot system, I expected everyone who pre-registered to be offered a place
A decision was made and within hours of arriving home, this happened:
And on Wednesday of this week, the emails arrived. Following along in various Facebook groups, it seemed that they were coming out in batches so some people already had an answer while others were still waiting. My stomach was in knots as I waited to find out and just after 11am a message pinged into my inbox – I was in and so was Steve!
We have now paid for our places and, despite the fact that I still have two more marathons to run this year, I am excited. I am excited because next April I not only get to go back to Paris, but I get to run those cobbled streets again with 30,000 others and take in the electric atmosphere. I get to take part in the Breakfast Run and run across the Pont d’Iéna towards the beautiful Eiffel Tower. I get to line up on the Champs Élysées in front of the imposing Arc de Triomphe ready to embark on a running tour of my favourite city. I get to run past some of the most iconic buildings in the world and follow the banks of the Seine while experiencing the noise, the cheers and the shouts of “allez les filles!” and “allez courage!”. I get to run towards the finish line with celebratory music playing to make me feel like a superstar.
I get to run in my beloved Paris again and as I’m sure Audrey would agree, that will ALWAYS be a good idea!
What’s the furthest in advance you’ve ever entered an event?
What would be your dream running destination?