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J88 - Tuesday, January 12: Castelnau-Durban +2km – Villeneuve-de-Rivière

The beginning of a new day

The turn onto the D21 at Mane

65.81km  9H24’
Altitude 401m

It was not a fun day……

Frost and beautiful weather – rise in temperature, clouds and rain for desert.

One thing did not change today: Serge’s poor physical condition. He continues to evacuate all day and can’t eat anything.  He can’t even drink because as little as 1 ½ cups of water at each feeding gives him severe intestinal pains.  It goes without saying that for the “Dupondt” the task of feeding our runner in such conditions is not pleasant and just moving forward is agony for Serge, who won’t abandon his objective to go on against all odds.  But this evening, he is clear headed when he tells us that for the next 4 days he wants to do only 65km per day, to get his health back before he starts the rounds of city stages, which cause his course time to be longer by at least one hour because of the organized welcomes.  Serge expresses another wish: He does not want other runners to be witness to his problem with diarrhea, so he requests that those who would like to run with him before Toulouse refrain from doing so.  He prefers to live these difficult moments by himself.  However, encouragement at the road side is not prohibited.

Today there were 2 encounters:  one was a policeman from Saint Gaudens, a runner who would have liked to run today, but his work kept him from it.  The second was a motorist who follows the site every day and who came just to tell Serge to persevere in spite of his problems.  Serge was very touched by these signs of support.  And thank you for all the e-mails we receive every day, especially these last two days.  They boost the morale of all of us.  Particular mention goes to Robert and Hélène of the UFF, one of our 3 main sponsors, who called yesterday and today.  This support is always welcome in difficult times.

In the days to come it will be of utmost importance for Serge to eat and drink correctly, because he cannot count on his reserves, which are non existent after three months of race.  For the moment, we must rely on morale, and hold to the objective of progressing each day…. And on this subject, he has run 150 marathons, i.e., 25% of the 600 marathon objective by next October 17.

We have entered the Haute-Garonne Department and the scenery is as magnificent as in the Ariège, even if we are not inclined to admire it, as you can see by the few photos taken.

 Tomorrow: Montrejeau – Saint Laurent de Neste – La Barthe de Neste – Tournay – Direction Tarbes sur la D817.

Town : Villeneuve-de-Rivière (Haute Garonne)

GPS : N43.12185° W000.66568°