I do a bit of running and was keen to enter a race in France to see how the experience compares with here in Ireland.
I found an race which was happening while we were there in late October and entered on line.
There were 3 options 8K 11.5K and 20K. I entered the 11.5K which sounded easy enough. The sign didn't mention that most of the race was uphill. The entry fee was a very reasonable €11 with €1 going to a local charity.
The first thing I discovered was that you need a medical cert to say you are fit to run. I later discovered that this is the case for most sports in France including Tennis. I went one of the local doctors (chez le medecin) in the village the day before and after a pretty basic examination and checking that I had run races before he gave me the necessary certificate.
On the Sunday morning of the race I turned up early to get my Number and check in for the race. We were all given a Tee-shirt and a "quart" of Rosé which was a definite difference with races in Ireland!
The rules for the race and the Course map were also available to review. It was immediately obvious that this was more of a hill climb than a conventional race with a 337M Peak to ascend.
We started on time at 09:30. It was pretty tough especially as the sun was shining and it was pretty hot even that early in the morning. I had to walk up some of the bits near the peak and the decent was scarily fast on very rough ground. I finished in 1 hour and 5 mins which wasn't too bad for 11.5Km and I think I came 3rd in the Over 50 Male category.
After the race there was a fantastic spread of food laid on by the running club who organised the event and there was an amazing collection of trophies...
All in all it was a great experience and I will enter more races next time i get a chance. There is a very popular race near St Tropez which I would like to enter and it looks like there will be a new Marathon on the area in March 2018 around the Golfe of St Tropez. This event is in the planing stages and is going to be modelled on the Marathon Du Medoc which lots of wineries to be traversed.