Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Half-Marathon and French Claire Corner: The Millau Viaduct

So, I have accidentally entered into a half-marathon...

Last summer, a bunch of us went to the south of France for a ten-day holiday. During that time we visited the town of Millau, and the colossal Wonder on its doorstep, the Millau Viaduct. It just so happened that very near Millau was a small airfield, which did gyrocopter trips. Myself, Danielle, and French Claire took the opportunity, being flown over the landscape and the bridge in a combination of terror and excitement. The pictures to follow speak for themselves so I don't need to use long words of description, but needless to say it was all pretty amazing.

The Millau Viaduct is currently flying high in my Wonder ratings, pretty much neck-and-neck with the Eiffel Tower, and it was a fantastic landmark to gaze upon and to drive across. The one disappointment about it was that it was a motorway bridge, and therefore closed to foot traffic. I would have loved to have walked across it, soaking in the views of the scenery and the bridge itself - and now I can. Once every two years, the Millau Viaduct is closed for a footrace, and so upon hearing this, in great excitement, I entered both myself and Danielle into. French Claire quickly joined us. How hard could the race be, I thought. The Millau Viaduct is around 2.5km each way - I may be grossly unfit, but I can manage a 5km run, maybe even a little more.

Alas, it turns out that I misjudged things a little. The Millau Viaduct is just a small part of an overall 24km run, or almost 15 miles. That's over half a marathon. And the first half is uphill. I should really have read the website a bit closer (it's in French, but translators are easily available online). Or just have looked at the picture...

Oh well. The good news is that I'm going to be allowed to run/walk across the Millau Viaduct. The bad news is that I'm going to have to work to get there.

And it will be worth it. Even if it kills me.The following are from French Claire's Flickr page, taken from last year's trip.


  1. Hi ,, well done even for thinking about running 5 miles ,,, but oh dear ,, a long long race,, but just think as your walk across that fantastic bridge ,, well done to you , hope it goes well :-)

    1. Thanks Anne. There is apparently a four hour time limit, so I've worked out that if I jog the first few miles, I can probably walk the rest. Some early training suggests this is pretty possible.

  2. Hello!

    My name is Khai, from Malaysia. I'm interested to join the run next year. I came across your blog while finding out more about the run. You have a wonderful blog here. Can't wait to go through your travel entries :)

    I have a question regarding the run and wonder if you could help out if you don't mind. This run requires a medical certificate to say we are fit to run. Have you submit this certificate yet? I have been calling numerous hospitals and medical clinics in my country and they do not know how to do the check up for me. I wonder where did you get the cert and what kind of tests the doctors did on you? I run full marathons, and I think I'm fit enough for this run...

    Regarding training for 15 miles, you can do it! :) long distance running is more mental than physical. I also walked at the end of my first half marathon hehehe. All the best in your training,

    Hope to get a reply from you soon... Have a great weekend ahead! Thanks in advance :)

    1. Thanks. It's a good question about the medical - I've not done mine yet. I work offshore, so will try my standard offshore medical certificate. If that doesn't work, I'll just go to my doctor, explain that I need a certificate saying I'm fit to run, and hopefully he can provide that.

      It's a French run, so my guess is that the organisers aren't going to thoroughly check every medical from every country. They just want documentary evidence that you are fit to run. I say, just contact your doctor and explain you want something in writing that says you are fit and healthy for long distance running.

      I may have a better idea in a couple of weeks when I've done this myself.

    2. Thanks so much for your reply. You make a good point! Will do as advised :) khai


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