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We have women from our community all over the world, and I love nothing more than reading about their lives, their ways of fitting running in their lives…and I always think “one day I’d love to go run with them”, none more so than today’s guest blogger Katie Jean-Louis. I mean come on who wouldn’t want to go run in Mauritius?

I just finished my first half marathon.  Not only that, but I got to do it in one of the most beautiful places on earth. 

The Mauritius marathon is an annual event hosted in the south of the island every July.  The event hosts 4k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon distances.  Although it is a relatively small marathon, the organization is quite efficient.  The cut off time for the full marathon is 6 hours with 4 hours for the half.  The route is mostly flat and follows the coastal road through a few small villages.  It provides beautiful views of the sea to keep you company as you go.  The same route is used by all 4 races.  The 10k, half and full marathons all feature a turn around point, which was brilliant because it allowed me to cheer for others runners along the way.  

not bad hey?

If you’re looking for a street lined marathon with loads of cheering and encouragement, this is not for you.  Most of the route is you alone with your thoughts.  Occasionally, as you run through a village, past a bus stop, a local might shout, “Bonne courage”, or some gentle encouragement, but more likely you’ll be listening to the sounds of the sea.  The road remains open during this event, so I was grateful for Aftershokz to be able to hear ambient sound around me as I went.

There are aid stations located every 5k.  During this race, they were manned by Boy Scouts.  On offer were banana halves, raisins, sugar, water, and Coca Cola.  As I mentioned, because the route has a turn around point and uses the same route, I was able to cheer for the people who went on to win the marathon as they passed me.  I enjoyed the experience of watching their form and technique and was amazed at their all out, consistent speed.  For me, having others to encourage along the way, really made the experience joyful.  I could get out of my own head for a while and be excited about what everyone else was accomplishing.

I didn’t complete as much training as I would have liked prior to this race.  I could offer loads of excuses, but at the end of the day it comes down choices I could have made.  Ultimately, my feet ended up paying the price as I had massive blisters at the finish line.  That being said, I don’t regret for a minute following through with the race.  If you are even considering a half, don’t be intimidated by the distance.  It’s really not that overwhelming.  Get out there and start working toward it.  Finishing is one of my greatest accomplishments.  The pride that comes from crossing the finish line is going to stay with me.  It helped me remember that I am stronger than I realize.

If your vacation plans bring you down this way in July, consider joining me.  I’d love to have a partner.

I’d like to say a massive thank you and congratulations to Katie, she is a wonderful member of our online community, and even though she is thousands of miles away she is very much part of my world.

One day I’ll make it out to Mauritius…one day

If you would like to be part of a global community of runners where size, pace, location, and all manner of other factors are not important, where you will be celebrated for all you achieve then check out Too Fat to Run community over on our mobile phone app.

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