Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Part One: Pre-Event

The trip to Paris was relatively uneventful; bar a 'heavy' landing at CDG and a mix up with pick ups from the train station south of Paris; and the hostel proved fairly simple to find.

The hostel itself was fine overall. The room was a little on the small side and with only French tv stations to watch a couple of hours alone in there had me feeling not unlike Martin Sheen in the opening scenes of Apocalypse Now. So, after doing a bit of Tai Chi in my US Army issue Y-fronts (while listening to The Doors) I dressed and went for a brief stroll around the neighbourhood.

I later found that the area wasn't too bad but in the direction I walked it was fairly ropey - not unlike the West Baltimore of The Wire, complete with drug gangs and even a settee in the street (not unlike D'Angelo's). I wasn't out long.

My room also contained it's en suite bathroom - a beige plastic box with shower, toilet and basin. It was not unlike an anti-TARDIS. For those unfamiliar with Dr Who, his police box spaceship famously appears small on the outside but is huge on the inside. My bathroom, on the other hand, looked small from the outside but seemed even smaller when inside. If I sat normally on the toilet my feet were in the shower and when I used the latter the whole floor of the en suite flooded. The water was warm though and the shower powerful.

Food in the hostel was OK. Not unlike a French motorway services.

On Saturday I went to the expo, registered, and met a few runners from Runners World, then from 1pm onwards tried to relax as best I could but I was a bundle of nerves and felt queasy and bloated from all the carbs.

I got to sleep for just after 9 and the alarm woke me at 5.15 Sunday morning. At 6.30, just as I was leaving, I met another couple of Runners World forumites but decided not to have breakfast with them. Partly this was because I couldn't face food, but mainly as I was nervy to the point of hysteria. Sarf, one of the runners, described me as 'really in the zone' which, I think, was a kind way of saying I really was sh*tting bricks!

Got to the start early enough but had to walk about 4km all told as the hostel Metro was some way away and the bag store was a very long walk from the start. Met a few forumites again and headed into the pens, with nerves now slightly more steady.


Alison said...

The anti-TARDIS got a good laugh out of me. I've stayed in French hotel rooms like that. It's more awkward when you're on a romantic break!

Running Rob said...

Does that make you a Doctor Who fan then Alison?

Not that I am. Obviously. I mean, its for nerds and geeks. Kids too. Not me though. I'm way too cool.

Do cool people say cool any more?