Nice to Cannes Marathon

What was meant to be a glorious run in the sun turned out to be a demonising run in the rain. The Nice to Cannes Marathon or the Marathon Des Alpes-Maritimes as the locals call it, is a run from Nice to Cannes along the coast line. The French Riviera is synonymous with fine weather, fine food and plenty of wine. This weekend was more akin to wet weather, pasta and plenty of water. Even though I paint a glum picture it was one amazing race and I loved every minute of it.

We arrived late on Friday night with our friends Fabien and Hels. It was Fabien’s first marathon so there was a lot of talk / banter about times. I was feeling fit and slender, Fabien was feeling nervous and slightly injured. It wasn’t going to stop the competitive fulham boy! The wives were in tow which makes for a nice weekend away in a one of our favourite French spots – Nice.

On the Saturday we registered, wandered the streets and eat plenty. We rested up and hydrated and got ready for the race on the Sunday. When Sunday came along, we were disappointed to see the rain clouds above us.

The race started on the promenade in Nice and headed south along the coast. I was stationed in one of the front groups whilst Fabien set off in one of the groups to the rear. The gun went and the front group set a cracking pace. My coach asked me to do a neg plit race which was going to be tough at the pace I set out at. I eased back and setled into a nice rhythm.


The scenery was stunning. What a place to run a race. The course was not as flat as I would have liked and the second half of the race was certainly tougher than the first half.  It was made harder by the fact I couldn’t find a good pace partner. It was a real shame that I got to the finish and found one of my buddies from the Sahara race finish 2mins behind me. I would have loved to have run the whole way with him.

I plodded on through the rain and felt great the whole way. My new heart rate training was working and I felt fit and strong passing through the 35km mark. A feeling that I’m not used to at that point in the race.  I was holding a 4:15 pace still and new I was on for a good time. Sunnies up, head up, I pushed on to Cannes and the finish line.


Richard Bray under the finishing clock at the Nice to Cannes Marathon


Made it! In record time. What’s more is that I felt great at the end. I could walk and knew I hadn’t thrown everything at the race which meant I could train again straight afterwards. Only 4 months till I hit the desert, training is key at this point.

Fabien finished in a sub 3:30 time. We found the wives and headed back to Nice for a hot tub, dinner and well earned glass of Vino.


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