The longest day! As you may have noticed, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to these two days, but this morning, I had already completed one. Just one more left. Well, 80km that is. The next day is nor exactly short at 73km but that is a whole 10km shorter! I had slept pretty average and felt fairly rested after yesterdays effort. The morning was completely unfoggy like the previous morning, but I couldn’t see any stars meaning it was cloudy.
I loaded my bag up onto the truck and waited outside for my GPS to find some satellites. I was chatting to Eiolf when he commented that it looked like it had started as people were walking away. We had missed the start. Not really an issue as the starts are very leisurely affairs at this start of the race, as most people warm things up very slowly. Soon the usual pattern was playing out. I was fairly close to Eiolf and Ria. Eiolf usually gets faster after around 10-20km and I won’#t see him till the end. Ria, I am usually no more than 20 minutes away from. I generally run alone though.
We were being treated to some more beautiful French countryside again. This helps the time pass, and soon I was passing 10km then 20km. I was feeling quite tired today and was hoping to get some good sleep when I finished the day. It all depends on the accommodation of course. Always a surprise. The best is usually a large sports hall so that everyone can spread out plenty. The main issue with the smaller halls is not really the lack of space, but more the fact that you can’t escape everyones snoring and moving around. There are some incredible snorers here!
The first cp only has drinks, so that means you have to run 20km before you get a cp with food. This normally wouldn’t bother me, but the last week or two I am hungry before I get there. I need to eat more, but it is difficult. I now carry a small snack in my bag to get me through the first 20km.
The overcast weather continued for a few hours but when the clouds parted it was very warm. There was a slight breeze though which helped. With 30km to go, Ria accelerated and I had no answer so let her go. Frederic the French chap who starts slow and gets stronger as the day continues, caught me and we stayed together till the end. I was knackered, but very happy to have got through the last two days without my knee being silly.
Tomorrow will be tough, but not as tough as the last few days and hopefully means getting back earlier and getting more rest. Tonight the gym is large and we sleep on thick gym mats. Luxury!