Nice Prom 10k – Orla’s French blog

Sat 14 January 2012--admin

Orla Smyth was racing in the Nice Prom 10k last wekeend – and rather successfully! Here’s her blog about her experience….

The Nice Prom 10k Classic must be one of the top 10k races in Europe. It’s flat, fast(supposedly!!) and you have the Mediterranean to run alongside with the snow capped mountains in the distance. With 7000 entrants the place was crazy but among those 7000 were 41 transplanted men and women from throughout Europe competing as guests of the Lions Club Nice Airport. And wow what a generous, friendly, lovely bunch of guys. From being picked up at the airport to being transferred to our beautiful hotel along the Promenade desAnglais and being wined and dined beforehand, we really were treated to French hospitality at it’s very best.

Against my better judgement and with a heavy head cold I had decided to do the race to savour the experience, knowing that having not trained properly for quite some time, it was going to be tough and I wasn’t wrong!

The race started early Sunday morning so we were all up, fed( some eat better pre race than others!) and ready to take on the 10k along the promenade which we had been looking at for the last couple of days. It may have been January but it was like a summers day in Ireland.

The start was the busiest race I’ve ever competed in and made the start of the marathon seem spacious! It took til nearly the 4k mark until I could get in to my stride without dodging in and out of people. It was a flat course 5km out and 5km back along the promenade. There was great support and seeing the eventual winner and leaders group on the home straight when we were approaching the 4km mark was great….even if a little soul destroying! I finished the race in 49.36, the worst time that I have done in a couple of years, feeling like my head was going to explode but really happy to have experienced such an amazing event. The actual race was won in a time of 28.47.

All the transplanted athletes met up again at the Lions tent afterwards where we were treated to more food and drink, with a spinach tart topped with icing sugar being the dish of the day! The first two transplanted men were presented with trophies with the winner coming from Czechoslovakia( 41). The first transplanted woman also received a trophy and that just happened to be me!!! Then came the fun and games of fitting it in “hand luggage only”! A problem I was very happy to struggle with.

If anyone is thinking of a “Nice” way to start the new year, I would definitely recommend this race….there is definitely PB potential, though you would need to make sure you get a good place at the start…that said all those male sub 40 and female sub 43 runners are guaranteed to be up the front behind the elite section and well by 11am its all over and you can sip a drink in the sunshine staring at the Med and in January, that’s hard to beat!

The aim of the event is to showcase to France and beyond the difference a transplant makes to peoples lives…and I can’t think of a better way of doing this than by racing alongside non transplanted runners. We even made the local newspaper so hopefully some will read it and take the step to sign on the Organ Donor Register. That would be the real proof of a really successful weekend!