I got to complete the inaugural Marathon Du Golfe du St Tropez last week. Close to 4,000 runners took part and it was a great success and really well organised.
The start was at 8am on the iconic bridge in Ste Maxime. All the local dignitaries were present.
It was pretty cold for the 8am start but we quickly warmed up as the sun rose and the pace quickened. The course took us from Ste Maxime to Grimaud village to Port Grimaud and then back into St Tropez where we had to run through the village and up past the Chateau.
That was the first 20K and not too bad.. After that we headed into the countryside towards Ramatuelle and thats where it started to get difficult. We had a steep hill to climb at the 30K mark and many struggled with this as the papers next day advised. The finish was in Calvaire and the run alongside the sea to the finish line was really enjoyable.
I was well on the way to a 3.30 finish but the hills got the better of me and I eventually got home in 3.34 which was a personal best for me and probably the end of my marathon running efforts!
It's probably only in France that you would be rewarded with a bottle of local wine (Rose of course!) and a slice of the local cream cake (Tarte Tropezienne) for running a marathon. But they were both very much appreciated as was the occasionally petit verre of Rose along the route.