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Running a Marathon While Studying Abroad in France

April 29, 2008
by CEA MOJO
A post from a student in one of our study abroad programs in France.

On Sunday, April 20th, 2008, when most of my group mates were just getting ready to go to bed, I was waking up before the sun to start stretching. When I arrived in Antibes to study at CERAM-EAI in the French Riviera with CEA, I never thought that at any point I would be running a half marathon, but when Kristin, our director, said that there was a race in Nice, I figured it would be a great idea to get into shape since I wasn't doing any other physical activity. I signed up to do the 10k race, and began to train for it. I'll admit I was setting my sights a little high for it being my first race, but I figured I could do it. After about a month of on-again off-again training, it was finally one week until the race, and my knees were bugging me. I decided to rest that week for the big race, and hope that it was all for the better.   Kristin and Gerry picked Noah and I up, and we headed off to the race. We ran in a group and were talking about the possibility of Noah and I continuing after the 10k for the whole half marathon, or 21k, to see if we could do it. I decided by the 4th kilometer that I was going to go the distance, but I did have to finish the 10k first before I could do the whole race. I went through the 10k finish, got back onto the race path, and continued to run. I had to play catch-up with the group because when I finished the 10k, they continued on the path, but I did end up catching up with Noah and almost Kristin, to finish the Marathon in 2:08:42. I was extremely pleased with finishing that quickly, for it being my first race ever and only training for the 10k! The program here has been excellent, especially since I live 50 meters from the Mediterranean sea, but I also think I found a new hobby that I can really appreciate, thanks to the experiences offered by my program. This semester will definitely be one to remember.

Joshua Kearns

CEA French Riviera Sophia Antipolis, Spring 2008
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