Racing againg: Climbing the hills of Versailles

It really feels fantastic, finishing a race. This time it was the Paris-Versailles race (16K), my second (here I wrote about my first), and I finished at 1h30min, which I’m very happy about.

Churchill has once said “I hate to write, but I love to have written”. I do understand what he means, and it is possible to say the same about running. Yesterday, I really enjoyed the race, but damned, those hills up to Versailles were tough! The map will explain why:


And of course, it felt incredible good when I finally could see the famous castle.

I don’t have many races to compare with, only Brussels 20K, but I would argue this was harder than the Brussels race. As I was standing underneath the Eiffeltower, ready to start, it struck me that this was a race with exceptionally many men, and I must admit, it felt good when I could pass quite a few of them:-) And later, when I looked at the statistics, the numbers proved me right. Last year, only 17,7 percent of the participants were women, 82,3 percent of the runners were men. Maybe the Versailles hills scare off the women?

It is doable, ladies!

Preparing for the race, I have of course done quite a lot of running, but also, I’ve read a neat little book by Haruki Murakami, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”. It is kind of like a biography, where he writes about his life as a writer and a runner, and how those two components of his life are intertwined. He’s been running for more than 25 years, and he writes about different races he’s participated in, how he is traning, what he is thinking about when he is running (not much), why he’s running, etc. His tone is humble, and this is absolutely not a book where he brags about his running achievements (which he absolutely could), but he writes in a very personal tone, and for the past few weeks, it felt like I had Haruki Murakami as my personal coach!

I was of course listening to music as I ran (how is it possible to do races without music?), and the song I wished I could listen to as I crossed the finishing line was this (I forgot to download it on my iPod, bummer!), Við spilum endalaust by the magical Icelandic band Sigur Ros, (the quality of the video is not very good, but you get an impression): 

9 thoughts on “Racing againg: Climbing the hills of Versailles

  1. Wow! I would love to try running that route one of these years…
    I enjoyed Murakami’s book too. It was interesting and written in a very laid back style. Quite a relaxing read. 🙂
    Congratulations and happy running!

  2. Congratulations, Bente, on representing our running group at the Paris-Versaille Race on Sunday. You did us all proud! Onwards and upwards, time for a new goal! See you at the running meeting, hopefully, in October. Once again, excellent race!

  3. Way to go Bente! You did us proud, thank you!
    The blog is great and I will order the book from Amazon. I have caught the running bug too and I love to start my day with a run, its the best feeling.
    Well done and looking forward to running with you at the next half marathon in Brussels 🙂

  4. Well done!

    You were at the wrong race though – Berlin for the marathon (inline skates in my case, but running too) is perfectly flat! 🙂

  5. Excellent job, Bente. I am very impressed with your run. And thanks for sharing the music. Music is banned from so many races in the US, now. I am wondering/hoping that will soon change!!!!

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