Race Report by Lisa Jay
When I didn’t get into London, the plan b was a European marathon, Geneva ticked all the boxes as a) cheap flights b) fast course c) 10km event for some friends (future Massey members lol) who have just embarked on their running journey and d) a chance to see a place I have been to for work but never seen much of.
After a Friday pm arrival, fast forward to Saturday morning’s Expo and torrential rain! Hosting 8 different races for 17,400 runners number/T-shirt collection was fast and efficient and luckily under cover – lots of different nations (everyone’s number has their country flag on) all enjoying themselves, lots of freebies and kit to buy but no-one had any love for spending time outside on all the stalls and refreshments.
Saturday evening I was part of the spectating team, watching 4 friends do the 10k – rain had dropped to a drizzle and we took the packed tram to the start in the suburbs about 15 minutes amazing. The organisers did a fab job – very few loo queues,great music at atmosphere and lots of energetic warming up. By the time they started we headed back on the tram to the finish along the lake shore which was buzzing with lights, music and food/beer but unfortunately the rain had turned heavy again! Shouted our friends home as well as about 100 other Brits.
Sunday had a early half marathon start, Carmel, Maggie and I were up early to hit the tram (not busy) for the 9:45 marathon start in the suburbs again. Same seemless organisation, we ended up stood with 3 lads from Warrington Running Club all aiming for 4-4.30 no rain but overcast and cold.
The start happened quickly – I’d already agreed not to tear off with speedy Carmel and Maggie and stick to my plan. The route goes through the suburbs for 3k then heads out to what I can only describe flat, pristine countryside, with a few villages (all the locals shout Allez, Allez, Allez at you) for the next 30k with musicians and cows (with bells) dotted along the route .
I had a terrible start, was sick at 4k resolved to get to 10k and see how I felt, luckily the aid stations were well stocked with fresh fruit and water and I picked up and ran with a lovely lady called Helen for a bit but pushed on a little at my planned paced. At 33k the route goes back into the City – down an underpass with the most motivating DJ playing house music before following the lakeside route. At 38km I felt my calf pop loudly and the struggle home from there was terrible, all I could do was run/walk – the last 3km are annoying as you pass the Finish on the opposite road and do a detour into the old town before the last km directly along the lake to the cheer from the crowds.
I finished in pain at 4:52 which is my slowest marathon to date but there will be other days for PB’s. The joy of celebrating Carmel and Maggie completing their first marathons in amazing times along with the 10k girls made me forget the pain and just enjoy the moment.
Geneva is definitely the destination is you want a well organised series of races, fab bling, flat courses – still not seen that much of the city due to the weather, so maybe I’ll have to go again sometime!
Carmel Capelett: 4:01:32
Lisa Jay: 4:52:08
Post Race Note: Achilles is actually quite damaged, two trips to the hospital, a rather fetching airboot plus a driving / running ban has brought me back down to earth with a thud!