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J97 - Thursday, January 21 : Montpellier - Nîmes

55.19km – 7 H03’
Altitude : 65m
After a very welcome late rising, Serge takes to the road accompanied by Jean-François and Christian, and then the encounters start:  Stéphane, a friend of Michel’s, Michèle of the Cap Melgueil Club and Fabrice of the Sommières Athletics Club.
At Lansargues, Emmanuel Fontaine, a teacher and runner member of the French 24 Hour Team, comes to greet Serge with his students.  It was a stimulating meeting with children who had lots of questions and Serge was happy to take the time.  Anne-Cécile, the wife of Emmanuel is the 2009 World Champion for 24 hours, with 243.644 km:  This gives food for thought!
In the afternoon , two runners from Nimes : David, who came with a chocolate cake and a bottle of Champagne, before taking to the road, and Jose, who follows us every day via the website.
At 4 :30, a little ahead of schedule for the arrival in Milhaud, Serge has a real surprise visit: that of his brother, Jean-Claude, who came all the way from the Ardèche department with his wife, Renée and his daughter, Patricia.  Serge can’t get over it because it was a well-kept secret.  What happiness to see his family at the roadside.  It was a magic moment.
The CJD team from Nimes is active.  Jean-Michel and Pierre are there at 3:15 to put final touches on the finish with the municipal employees.  Everything is ready and it’s a pleasure to see that everything works smoothly.  Then Jean-Michel goes toward Milhaud with Sylvain, another young director who will run the last 7 km.  The procession of some ten runners has an escort of three motorcycle police to ensure safety.
Special thanks go to Jean-Michel of UFF, who has been following Serge for 3 days with his teams.  In addition to running the end of the stage yesterday, he was part of the success of the past two days.
Jean-François, who ran the entire stages yesterday and today, will join us on Sunday between Aix and Marseille.
It’s a tale of runners, you will say, where there is only question of the race and runners, in the south with a beautiful blue sky, pleasant temperatures and sunshine all day long.  It’s a magnificent site for a beautiful finish: the amphitheater of Nîmes, which dates back to the 1st century and was transformed into an arena in the XIX century.  This edifice is a classed historic monument but it is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Tomorrow: Departure at 8H30’ from the Arena -Beaucaire – Saint Rémy de Provence – Cavaillon and why not a short detour by the Baux de Provence

Town : Nîmes (Gard)

GPS : N43.83482° W004.36146°