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J104 - Thursday, January 28: Saint-Raphaël - Nice

65.98km – 8H46’
Altitude : 23m

At the start this morning the sky is beautifully blue but there is an icy wind and Serge covers up, he who tends to run lightly dressed.  The Esterel Mountain Mass by way of the corniche is splendid and its red rocks stand out against the sky and the darker blue of the sea.  This is a maritime stage since we will follow the coast all the way to the Bay of Angels.
The impressive number of joggers and cyclists would have us believe it is Sunday rather than a week day.  The wind falls and it gets warm.  Serge takes off his jacket, the wind breaker and his long pants.
Gilles, a runner with an injury, accompanies Serge on his bike from the exit from Saint-Raphaël all the way to where Nice starts.  The whole team thanks him for his help in going through Cannes and more importantly Antibes, where it isn’t easy to know which itinerary is best adapted to Serge and the team.  Eliane gives him a kiss.  Thanks, Gilles, and we hope we will meet you again.  It was a day of many encounters: Emmanuel from Le Canet, Luc from Cannes, Fabrice from Mougins, Joël from Vence, Virginie, the secretary of the Antibes Athletic Club, Jean-Paul on rollers and lastly Pascal. There is also the visit of Olivier Le Creurer, editor for France 3 TV station for the PACA region (Province-Alpes-Côte d’Azur).  He knows Serge for having been editor in Rouen.  It’s nice on this day when France Television is on strike.
While I was doing my secretarial work this morning I had a phone call from Olivier, who heard about Serge’s course on the radio.  He explained that last July 11 he left with his back pack to travel around the 27 countries of the European Union for a period of 3 years.  He has only taken 21 days to rest and has covered 5,400 km, with stages of different lengths.  He decided to leave with only his back pack and little money when he became unemployed.  The hardships of life are often what trigger important decisions and the wealth of encounters on his route will be invaluable.  Olivier is present when Serge arrives at the finish but because Serge is very busy they aren’t able to spend much time sharing experiences.
The arrival is organized by Joël of the Nice section of CJD, with children from the primary school of Baumettes in Nice singing songs, two steps from the Promenade.  Then Serge answers questions from the enthusiastic group of children, who are very spontaneous:  “do you get side aches?” now that’s a good question.  He continues with the questions from 3 science students who are doing a project on “the limits of the human body,” then Serge talks with Jérôme and Jérôme who are working respectively on the development of the GPS beacon and with SportTK that sells it. It is already 6:30 and time to say goodbye.  We say farewell to Olivier, frustrated not to be able to talk longer but as you may have noticed, Serge is feeling the effects of the race and as a matter of fact had a slight hypoglycemic attack at km60.  It’s time for him to take his shower, eat and sleep because tomorrow there is a road to be run to reach Italy.
 Please note the arrival of Arlette and Daniel and the departure tomorrow morning of our dear Eliane.
Tomorrow: Departure from the Promenade in Nice: sailboat beach then the corniche (middle and upper ) – Eze – La Turbie – Roquebrune Cap Martin – Menton – Ventimiglia – Sanremo – San Lorenzo al Mare

Town : Nice (Alpes-Maritimes)

GPS : N43.69519° W007.25261°