The Juicyju Marathon tale

Hello you lovely people, I am here to tell my tale...of my very first marathon....

Firstly: my background: I am 44 and I started running 2 years ago with C 25k. When I first heard Laura tell me that after 9 weeks I would be able to run for 30 minutes non stop I think I choked ( and swore) .However, 'how do you eat an elephant? One chunk at a time.... 'That's how I achieved C25k and I applied that principle to the rest.

The race:

I just need to describe the process to get to the start line:

1. Print off race details

2. Get a letter from your GP to say you are fit to run

3. Take above AND proof of identity to the running expo located on the far side of Paris

4. Get in a queue at said location and a French person studies above documents and if they are happy stamps something in red in French on the number 1 document

5. Take #1 document to another stand ( which completely confused me) where they rustle through lots of boxes and find an envelope with your number on

6. Take said envelope to another stall and claim a race bag and goodies

After all that I was flipping exhausted.....and broke too as leon found a stall that sold dried fruit ( which he loves) and we bought a bag of dried fruit pick n mix .....36 euros.....hmmmmmmm

So...the run. I can only do this in a true Juicyju list...


1.I felt amazing and strong and so enjoyed running in the most beautiful parts of Paris, very humbling

2.At every 5k there were tables with Vittel, cut up fruit, dried fruit and sugar lumps, and then 1 mile ahead tables with hoses to spray you down and sponging too

3.I met Rosie, another c25 k'er and she was so so lovely

4.I loved being amongst other runners, seeing their determination and also seeing the grit of a runner when it gets tough ( which it did)

5.Getting past 13.1 miles, it's a tough hurdle, and also mentally to think that it's halfway

6.After 15 miles I established a good system where I ran for 2.5 miles then walked fast for half a mile to recover. I could see quickly with extra fitness this will be my route and method to ultras. I felt I could keep going with that method as I really recovered

7. My lad joined me for the last k and joined me in the finishing line :)

8. My best friend texted me at every stop. It made me do it and carry on.

9. At 22 miles they were giving out wine...yes wine. I stopped and had helped so much!!!

10. My stick.


1. it was hard. It was hard. Did I say it was hard?

2. My gremlins were in full force...' It's 11 miles, not even halfway and you are already tired,'......' It's 18 miles, you are knackered and you have 8 miles left...yes 8 miles, you can't possibly do that!' .......

3. The legs hurt from about 12 miles. I just ran through the pain

4. The walkers...there were a lot of people walking from about 15 miles... Including a Nordic walker ( respect) but it put you off a bit

5. In the Bois De Bologne everyone was pissing ( yes pissing), including the women, in full view. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not shy and doing that sort of thing is not something I'd be embarrassed about, but there were portalooos so there was no need. I needed to go so I Queued and this woman in front refused to go in as the seat was wet...some people.... Needless to say I did use it!! It just felt odd seeing people pissing everywhere.

I read up a lot beforehand about marathons and timings. There is a lot of debate out there. I feel utterly privileged to be able to participate in such an event, and however slow us plodders go, we can achieve great personal goals. My time is: 5 hours 31 minutes. I'm so happy with that.

It's made me understand why I love running. Next steps are to run so much more to be stronger and fitter and to achieve my goals, and to run free. I can't wait to get out there for my next run.

Happy Panthering


Pic is me and my kids helping me along, and another runner ( looking sad!!)


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171 Replies

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  • Whoo Hooooooooo!!!!!!!!! Mega super uber well done JJ ! Great post and even greater achievement, to think you were at my stage 2 years ago and now this, inspiring doesn't really cover it. You have every right to be delighted. As for the weeing I am with you, a bit of decorum please everyone! Hope the body is feeling ok, maybe the buzz overrides the pain?

    Enjoy your success :)

  • thankyou...feeling more human now!!!

  • I LOVE the bit about wine at 22 miles! Bloomin hilarious!! Good on you. Well done once again juju you did so amazingly well. And how great Leon ran the last K with you too. A memory to cherish there that's for sure.

    €36 for a bag of dried fruit? BAST***S!!!

  • Paris prices, only place in the world I've seen a can of coke on sale for a fiver!

  • and flipping coffee for a fiver too!!!

  • the wine was so good.... and Leon is my little angel!!

  • Wonderful !! JuicyJu.

    Re the walking bits. I have done a bit of run/walk too ( nothing like a Marathon though) and a problem I have is finding a pair of shoes that are suitable for both running and walking. I do tend to go for ultralight minimalist shoes for running - but these have no heel support so are not the greatest for walking in. Shoes that do have padded heels are not so good for running in.

    Any thoughts along these lines

    Big congrats to you -- was there a particular reason that you chose the Paris Marathon as your first??

  • I didn't get into london and I have always loved for shoes, my Brooks were pretty comfy..... I am no expert on footwear!!!

  • That is certainly an achievement worthy of the strongest panther. Plus dealing with the necessary paperwork and all your endurance during the training program.

    Congratulation to you, Rosie and Leon for crossing the finishing line.

    Wine! Whatever next.

  • Thankyou, and it was so lovely to meet Rosie too, she is delightful :)

  • We never doubted you for a moment! That's a fantastic achievement Ju, really well done. You'll never forget it and we're all very proud of you?

  • Thankyou...still pinching myself that I did it !!!

  • JJ what a tale! You've been absolutely amazing and we are so, so proud of you. It sounded so hard but you did it. You ran a bloody marathon! In Paris! In 5H31! How fab is that? And your lad joined you on the finish? What a lovely memory for you both. (Didn't get the photo though)

    Brilliant, brilliant achievement. xxx

  • Thankyou...and a bit of trouble experienced with the pic!!!!!

  • Just amazing, what an effort! all of here are in awe of you. Well f**king done!

  • Well done Jj. It's really inspiring to read your postings and to hear of your adventures. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. Keep it up. Ultras? Really got the bug, eh?

  • yep...ultra in 2 years, thats the plan. I need to work on my core a lot and get used to running every day :)

  • JJ, just wanted to say well done, fantastic achievement. Definitely one to mark off the bucket list. I don't even know you but you were in my thoughts as well as everyone else on here willing you to complete though we never doubted it. Keep posting tho to keep us mere plodders a dream that one day we could achieve even half of what you have just accomplished. Respect. X

  • Thankyou...I have been so touched by all the support from you all :)

  • Beautiful JJ. Loved hearing about your journey. That's really fantastic.

  • Well done JJ! we knew you'd do it You must be well and truly knackered now. where's the photo?

  • no worky :(

  • Just reading scott jurek's about ultra running. 200 miles a week in training! Flippin eck!

  • So So proud of you - what an achievement - when you are 98 and looking back on your life this will be one of those moments that will bring a very big smile to your face and then of course you will go out for your run :) X

  • love it...I certainly hope so x

  • Brilliant! Have been eagerly following your posts on the journey to this goal and never doubted you'd make it. You are an inspiration.

  • Thankyou :)

  • Well done 😊, it was never going to to be a SHORT post after all. what a great friend! Text every mile? Did she follow you by sat nav? We are all proud of you x

  • the texting really spurred me on, i got one every 5k :)

  • great idea.. although i STILL dont know how they managed to know you had reached each 5 k? ( how many 5 K's in a marathon he idly wonders? 8.5 it turns out... )

    great idea though.. worth remembering ..

  • Really well done JJ.

    Your post (and running story generally) is inspiring.

    Early bird entries for next year's Brighton marathon open today (14th). Just sayin' ;)

  • Got that one lined up too Dunder? ;)

  • After reading of JJs struggles, I fear my mouth might have issued some cheques that my legs can't cash but yes, I am pretty much committed to that one Nick.

  • ah nice one! Might see you on a start line somewhere in 2016 then eh!

    (and if running marathons was easy, it wouldn't be even half the challenge I'd imagine - or half the reward at the end)

  • ha ha!!! Good idea, but I'm not sure yet, I would quite like to do another European city ....

  • I have got my heart set on Berlin 2016. Long way yet mind you!

  • Brilliant, well done you!

    Great plan to give yourself scheduled walks, and it worked :)

  • Massive round of applause and congratulations for a fantastic achievement. The sheer effort required comes across very clearly in you post, I am in awe!

    Glad to see the French are doing nothing to dispel Anglo-Saxon stereotypes (Wine, Bois de Boulogne). Was the event T-Shirt black and white hoops with a beret by any chance?

    Well done indeed.

  • ...and I have a string of onions to hold the medal ;)

  • Absolutely brilliant JJ, well done you, I was thinking of you on my 'little' 10k yesterday (who am I kidding it all takes hard work and determination!) respect lady, and did you mention 'ultras' , lordy missus, you have turbo legs!

    Big hug, rest those tired Panther legs.


  • thankyou...but its all relative isn't it???

  • You're a real star JJ....never doubted for a minute that you couldn't do it. That is a fantastic time and it is such an achievement that you have done it xxxx

  • Thankyou :)

  • Total respect, JJ - you are awesome! πŸ˜„ And a hilarious post too! You have given my gremlins a right kick up the backside too (my gremlins actually think 5K is marathon distance)!! πŸ˜„

  • excellent..thankyou :)

  • I think you're a complete hero! FanbloodytasticπŸ˜€

  • reading this bought tears to my eyes, you have worked so hard to achieve your goal, i am so pleased and happy for you, your family and friends must be so proud of you and what an amazing mum and example to your boy. Well done JuciyJu have a lovely rest now!!!!!!!!

  • thankyou so much, you have all been so supportive and I felt you all cheering me on xxxx

  • Knew you'd do it Juicy! Congratulations. Was thinking of you on Sunday when I was hm training. And did you hear me cheer leading with my pom-poms? How lovely to have your boy with you at the end!


  • i love pom poms...thankyou so much :)

  • Congratulations, such an inspiration to everyone on C25k

  • You really are amazing ! I have loved following your adventures, the ups and the downs along the way, your vlogs, the way you make running seem exotic and exciting (still just hard slog here but I can dream !) I am so pleased you achieved the marathon and can tell it won't stop there. Thank you for sharing it all with us, give your body a good rest from all that pushing and punishing and....happy running...!!!!

  • Thankyou...but I will be showing off my new t shirt on Saturday at Parkrun :)

  • Brilliant, JJ. Just bloody brilliant :)

  • Flippin' awesome JJ. Actually got a lump in my throat reading your post. Very very well done. You've become one of that elite bunch, a marathon runner :) No matter what life throws at you in the future, you can always look back and think about what you achieved on Sunday, and know that you're strong, you're really strong. Congratulations :)

  • Thankyou...and life does certainly throw it all at you...

  • I've been checking in desperately waiting for this. Congratulations on a massive achievement and thank you for enabling us to enjoy it vicariously.

  • Thankyou so much for your support :)

  • That's amazing juicyju, what an experience! Sounds like you're going to be signing up for more?! Glad you had a fantastic time 😊

  • thats the plan...hee hee!!

  • What a truly fantastic achievement. I think I can safely say we are all so proud of you. What a wonderful memory you will have especially crossing the finishing line with Leon. Brilliant x

  • Amazing! And humbling. I also started C25K two years ago and am further now from running a marathon than I was a year ago. Good on you! Not sure if the free wine compensates for the public pissing. You'd get neither in London but it would be so much more boring! Well,well done!

  • Why so???

  • oh just a succession of colds, allergies and general down in the dumps-ness Bazza, None of which are any excuse for not running I know. Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow....

  • Thats so true, but the wine was so worth it!!!

  • Bravo, bravo, bravo!!! I hope you bathed your tired legs in a bath full of Champagne! An amazing achievement!!

  • now that sounds perfect...and a straw :)

  • Mega, mega congratulations! Staggeringly well done - and brilliant post! Go JJ!!!

    What an inspiring example you are,

  • You are amazing - what a star! I never doubted you would make this :) A brilliant achievement, and an inspiration xxx

  • Congratulations JJ lovely post Pat

  • Amazing, amazing, amazing. You've trained so hard and shown true grit and determination and achieved exactly what you committed yourself to. Absolutely fantastic. Love reading your posts you give so much inspiration to others to go out there and achieve their own goals. Congratulations you truly deserve it.

  • Thankyou :)

  • Amazing achievement well done :))

  • Brilliant!!!

  • What a feat of strength! Thanks for sharing!

  • Fan Bloody Tastic :)

  • Well done JJ, all your hard work and determination paid off. Did you mention 'Ultras'?

  • Thats the plan......

  • Wow - 100K's next? Awesome

  • You were thinking about doing an ultra while in the middle of a marathon ?!!! You really are a panther - absolutely fabulous JJ, congratulations!

  • its that desire to always move on to the next challenge, its very addictive!!!!

  • Great post JJ, it sounds like the admin was a bit of a nightmare and needed patience! I'm glad you succeeded in completing your epic run it must have been a run to remember. You have set goals for all of us to expire too, a big well done and congratulations on your achievement.

  • Wow, well done you. You deserved that wine. 😊

  • A fantastic achievement. You are such an inspiration :-) x

  • Amazeballs! I hope you've got a few days off work after that!!!

  • I wish...back in and full on sadly first thing Monday :(

  • Oh my word - you must have been trashed and mashed!!!

  • Well done jj ultra panther. That is an amazing achievement. You are truly an inspiration to this forum. What a wonderful city to choose for your first marathon :)

    Well done, happy running jj

  • Thanks Zev, it is definitely a good one to choose for a first...very flat!!

  • Persistent






    :-) LOL. Forgot the 'H'

  • PANTER :D ;)

  • Ha ha, ! :-D xxx

  • ;)

  • H is for "Huh"?! ;)

  • Persistent







  • Bien jouΓ© :D

  • Excellent!! :) :) :)

  • love it ;)

  • Wow, what an achievement, JuJu. Wow! It sounds like it was a wonderful experience. Mucho mucho respect and huge congratulations!

  • Amazing. Fabulous post. Just fabulous. So French too. Bril. Can't think of any more superlatives at the moment. Fab - well done.

  • Beyond outstanding. Great recap and fantastic achievement. BRAVO !!

    Thank you for sharing, Juicy Ju, I don't comment often on the site but I have really enjoyed following your training posts. You are a marathon runner now, so cool ☺

  • I feel very privileged that you did...thankyou :)

  • JJ. you ARE C25K.

    Congrats and never, never buy dried fruit pick 'n mix again!

  • I had goosebumps reading that Ju. You are an awesome lady, we were cheering you all the way! A fabulous achievement that has taken loads of commitment and determination. An experience you will never forget. Look after yourself and have a nice rest! X :-)

  • Thank you so so much :)

  • Well done JuJu you must feel so proud! Feeling guilty in las Vages hubby and I decided we would do a half together and climb some mountain with the children too. Hope you are now enjoying your time in France and the lovely wines. I know you haven't mentioned the money you have raised as a pre requisite is another testimony to your character. A big well done and relax now x

  • Thankyou so much...and Las!!!

  • Another great Juicuju story! What an inspiration you are to us!

  • We are so so proud of you , you are amazing !!! Couch to Marathon in 2 years - a magnificent achievement . Well done Ju, if anyone can- this girl can ! :-)

    You can now have lots of lovely no stress , no pressure runs where you can run just for the love of it, but I suspect it wont be long before you have another plan tucked up your sleeve :-)

    Get those paws up Panther ! :-)

    PS : Where are the photos ? xxx

  • Thankyou won't worky ;(

  • Aw thats a shame xxx

  • Well done, you are awesome!! This is such an inspiring post. Wine at 22 miles sounds great too, I may make that part of my training plan :)

  • I think that should definitely be the plan :)

  • That's amazing JJ, I've been looking forward to reading this and you didn't disappoint!

    That is a fantastic achievement and I am soooooo pleased for you.

  • An extraordinary accomplishment! You have such strength and determination. I'm so thrilled for you and the whole of the JJ family! I can't believe the wine at 22miles!!!!! x

  • It was rather nice :)

  • Just wow!

    And well done-total respect :))

  • Well done. It sounds such a small thing to say In Light of what you have achieved. You really kicked those gremlins In The butt and told them their place. Your a true proud panther and an inspiration to all of us on here. As always happy panthering.

  • Thanks RFC :)

  • Well done Panther Lady!!

    Another C25k marathon runner proving the power of our favourite running programme. Many congratulations, especially on beating French bureaucracy.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • Juicyju!!! You did it (never doubted it)! Totally brilliant ... well done a zillion times! When i realized it was Paris on Sunday i immediately thought of you (despite missing everyone;s news so far this year) and hoped for a great experience for you! Sounds like it was incredible! Trust you're sleeping through til Thursday now (that's what a big cat would do!) BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!

  • BoPeep where have you beeeeen???!!!

  • Thankyou...tired now as i have been at work since Monday!!!

  • Noooooo!

    Roll on the weekend then ... No running; only chillaxing :-)

  • Very well done to you, an amazing achievement and in the Paris heat too x

  • Brilliant... well done... I did enjoy reading your run report... it is surprising what can be achieved with effort and determination :-)

  • Well done JJ and thanks for sharing the experience with us!

  • Fantastic :). France just knows how to do running well. A friend lives in Toulouse and runs races regularly where the after run drink is wine :). I don't understand the weeing thing, I have issues using public toilets and really struggle at outdoor events but weeing in the street is just way beyond my comfort level.

    Thank you for sharing this. It is so inspiring :):):) . Happy Running :)

  • I agree..there is no need!!!

  • Absolutely inspirational, well done πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  • Well done JJ - our C25k poster girl! What a fantastic achievement.

  • Oh JJ what a wonderful read! Excellently, stupendously well done. What an inspiration you are! I went to watch the Brighton Marathon on Sunday but couldn't help wondering from time to time how you were doing. I hope you're now basking in the well deserved glow of achievement and accomplishment. Enjoy it! Steve xx

  • Thankyou so much :)

  • What else can I say other than Darling, you are the ultimate & original panther. Well done I never once had a single doubt that you would not do this.

    What a fantastic journey we have been on, coming up to just about 2 years and every single run every post you have been so inspirational and enthralling

    You are the story of the success for all of C25k & for the NHS but above all the down right determination & strength you have shown is legendary.

    I am so looking forward to starting the next chapter with you and being there for the whole journey good bad and otherwise.

    Keep on Panthering and keep the stick.

  • I can't wait for the next chapter too, thank you for getting me to the finish line...and for stick

  • Well done JJ! I love the part about the wine. You are a wonderful example of how far one can go with c25k. I am so glad for you!

  • Have you see that Cartier (no less) named a perfume after you? La Panthere!!!!

  • Fantastic achievement - you're a huge inspiration to all us at C25k . Take a well earned rest now!

  • Huge congratulations! I'd been wondering how you got on - really enjoyed reading about your training beforehand and so glad to hear it went well!

  • Congratulations!

  • Well done - That's one heck of an achievement.

    For a future marathon, can I suggest the the Marathon du Medoc - the usual 26.2 miles but with compulsory wine stops at each of the 23 vineyards it passes through (not to mention the fancy dress and the foie gras and oyster stops...). It sounds to me that the Paris marathon with one wine stop is a sort of training run for it.

  • I know about that one and thats on the list most definitely :)

  • Well done! I'm struggling a bit with motivation and new shoe issues but was inspired to go out on Sunday because of you. I thought if you can run a marathon then I can get off my backside and do a little run. was my furthest yet - 6.5km!

    Thank you!

  • I am so so pleased, well done, you star!!! I am so glad you did that, I hope you enjoyed it too :)

  • Fantastic JuicyJu! Well done on your fantastic achievement. You have made all us C25K'ers and graduates very proud and inspired us all. Keep on panthering!

  • The wine at 22 miles made me laugh out loud - BRILLIANT!

    Really well done - you are such an inspiration to us all! xx

  • Omfg 5 hours thats amazing! Sh#t you must be soooooo proud of yourself, i bet you are buzzing!! Xx

  • Many congratulations JJ, what a fab achievement ! So lovely that your lad ran with you for the last km. Love the idea of a wine station !! We are all so proud of you ! xx

  • Oh my god Juicy well done Mrs! Wine! Wooo hooo! Hope youre legs are ok and your boy is lovely i just wanna hug him! Well done juicy!

  • he is gorgeous...thankyou!!

  • Fantastic, just fantastic! Well done you :) :)

    If you catch up with posts from over the weekend you'll see we've all been behind you and waiting for your report.

    I really hope to meet you in a few weeks at the Bristol 10k.

    Just been telling Mr Pink about the wine at 22 miles - that got his interest going.. but sadly not enough to join the running thing!

    :) xx

  • brilliant, best way to lure him in!!!

  • JJ I bet if you had tried really hard you could have done it in 5hrs and 30 mins. :) only joking I new you would do it, I had total faith in you and you have gone and made me really proud to say I know you. That time is brilliant, I bet two years ago when you were thinking "run for 30 minutes, I'll never do that !" That you would be here post marathon runner and top class Panther. As all the others have said you are an inspiration to us all. It just goes to show what determination, sweat, pain and I dare say a bit of swearing can do. Well done again JJ. Now go get that well earned rest. By the way did you find the shrimp? :) whoop whoop you smashed it girl πŸ‘ 🐘 πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ ;) J and 100 replies 😎

  • Thank you so shrimp!!!!! I know, I am so touched by all these people supporting me...very humbling......

  • Well done and congratulations on beating my 29 year old niece by 8 minutes!

  • say a HUGE well done from me :)

  • Just awesome!!!!!!!!! I'm in awe. Very well done on the most amazing achievement.

  • Congratulations on your Marathon achievement.

  • Congratulations must be on cloud nine incredible achievement !

    So brill to complete a marathon with the aid of a little wine :) and completely

    wonderful that Leon joined you for the final km and the amazing finish.

    Due to some difficult circumstances I've been off this site and totally out of the loop for weeks .....I didn't even realise it was Paris last I'm really happy to get on here today and read your amazing post.

    Well done Panther Girl xx

    PS ...the French do love to pee in public :)....your tale of the Bois de Boulogne had me in fits !

  • Thankyou...and I hope you are ok....sending a hug xx

  • Fantastic JJ. What a wonderful achievement in a wonderful place. Great to read your write up. :) xx

  • Can't remember when I last signed in on here, but I saw 'the juicyju marathon tale' and had to come and read it. Brilliant - especially the wine and the peeing. So in awe of your running. The panther rocks. Thanks for sharing this with us all,...

  • Big massive hugs from me. Brought a lump to my throat reading your post. We are so proud of you jj. I agree re the pissing....bit weird!! Does that happen at every marathon?! Enjoy the post race high you deserve all these glorious posts.

  • Cant believe I missed this 2 days ago - I know I left a little message on FB but it was HU where we all met up and where your journey is always best described. Inspirational and now onwards perhaps a few marathons before the Ultras.

  • Tres bien Madame JJ- that's a fantastic post; so thrilled for you!!

    I'm going to campaign for vino at my local ParkRun πŸ‘πŸ‘β€οΈπŸ‘πŸ‘

  • Congratulations on a job well done, Panthering done in great style, you are amazing JuJu xx

  • You are amazing - and inspiring - and a Supergraduate. There ought to be a new badge just for you, presented by Laura in person. Well done.

  • Respect lady- doff of the hat from me to you :-)

  • I love your lists of good and bad features. I read your post thinking I could possibly do that, then thought maybe not. You are an inspiration to me - someone the same age as me, running for about the same time as me. You have achieved so much....

  • It's all been said HUGE CONGRATS I am so jealous you have spurred me on to enter next year, DH did it in 2013 one of the reasons being there is none of this ballot nonsense if you are early you are in unlike London........ And there is no wine in...

  • I've just logged back in after a few weeks away and was soo pleased to see you did it Ju. I knew you would be proud of yourself it's a wonderful achievement.

    If they all gave us wine I'd enter every race!! ;) *)

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