I participated in the Albi Marathon in Albi, as a Championnat de France qualifier. My 2017 Paris Marathon time qualified me for the annual national race, competing with the crème de la crème. The race course was easier than the Paris Marathon one, yet I was more than a minute slower this time round.
As part of the ‘elite’ team, I was allowed to start slightly earlier with the other ‘elite’ runners (the race is also open to the public). However, the adrenaline rush from the race coupled with presence of the bona fide elite runners (as compared to me: I felt like a fraud who had accidentally stepped into the realm of fast runners), resulted in a faster start than I intended. Predictably, I could not maintain that pace, and lost steam by the 10th km.
Anyway, my slower time of 3h 43min still qualifies me for the 2019 event. If nothing goes wrong…like stupidly breaking one’s metatarsal before the start of a new running season.