Marathon de la Loire 2018
This year was the 2nd edition of this race but it has already grown to a substantial size, between them the marathon, relay, 10k and the Combine (canoe and run) having nearly 6000 participants. Number pickup and registration was well organized and was open in the modest 'runner's village' from the Friday through to Sunday to avoid any mad rush and to give you an excuse to wander Saumur and the surrounding area at leisure.
We had two guests from Malta accompanying us for the event. Jason came out for support and Ian had originally entered for the marathon but due to injury management had to transfer to the 10k and so he had Liz to keep him company on the start line with Steve from Gites at Civray, whereas I had no excuse but to run the full distance.
Despite the weather being a little wetter than expected at this time of year everyone was in good spirits, the organization was great and so was the support out on course. The 10k was a twisty run taking in the main bridge and the café lined streets of the old town whilst the marathon route took us west along the southern bank of the Loire before heading back along the north side - both flat and fast (providing an unexpected PB for me) . If that wasn't reason enough to return next year, (5th May 2019) the marathon runners received a bottle of bubbly and hoody.