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Paris Sport Athletics Marathon Reports

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Runners push past pain to cross Paris marathon finish [Images]

Athletics - Paris Marathon - Paris, France - April 14, 2019 General view during the marathon REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Thousands of runners took part in the 43rdParis marathon on Sunday, which saw Ethiopia scoop a men's and women's double with wins by Abrha Milaw and Gelete Burka. The elites were not the only ones giving it their all, many amateur runners as well.

Huge crowds lined the 62-mile route on Sunday to cheer on family and friends, with young bystanders waving signs reading 'go mummy' or 'go daddy.'

Eleven-year old Aurélien Dujardin said he came to support his mother Caroline on her first marathon.

"I'm very proud of her," he told RFI, accompanied by his father Laurent. Both men watched anxiously for a glimpse of Caroline among the thousands of runners near the Eiffel Tower, ready to cheer in unison.

Such support was priceless for participants such as Tom Fraser from London.

"The crowds are just fantastic, the whole way through," he told RFI.

"Especially in that last hour when you’re really backed against the wall. It’s really tough, but the crowd pull you through."

Fraser took off at 8:30 am on Sunday, shortly after the wheelchair athletes and elite runners, securing a personal best time of 3 hours and 27 minutes.

"I’m absolutely over the moon with that," said the two-time marathon runner, who celebrates his 30th birthday next month. 

After six months of training, "it's nice to have it done," he commented.

Although he enjoys the peace and alone time from running, he equally appreciates the sense of community. "Everyone’s working all together today. So that’s nice when everyone all comes together and works together, it’s nice.”

The day was blessed with fine weather – bright sunshine but with a nip in the air. Perfect weather for Spanish runner Paula Mas.