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J193 - Tuesday, April 27: Raszyn- Pulstuk

73.48km – 10H47’
Altitude: 86m

Warsaw in the rain and an extraordinary procession!

Departure took place 10km from Warsaw; the “Era Running Team” started with Tomasz, Jacek and Serge and there were a total of 10 runners.  Era is one of the partners of the “Biegiem Przez Polske” that will contribute 10 zlotys per kilometer run.  Michel, one of the runners from this company ran 54 km to Serock.  
Thomas is leaving us this morning to return to Le Havre after being with us for one month.  Serge was delighted to have spent these weeks with his big boy; as for Ludo, he no longer has someone to tease and he seems dejected.  Our rhythm was a bit out of phase for him, whom we called “the young man,” so we are glad he will be able to sleep late now.
We are truly sorry that Tomasz has decided not to continue the race.  Jacek will be alone to finish the run across Poland, accompanied by his wife Paulia.  Serge is happy to have shared all these kilometers with his two Polish friends.  Even if they don’t speak the same languages and can’t have a true verbal exchange, the language of the long distance race speaks for itself.  Serge tells Jacek, via Paulina’s translation, “we are living the same adventure: at the end of the day our feet drag, every step is heavier and noisier, we are tired in the same way, but we have the same passion to spur us on”.  In short, Serge, who is a solitary runner, is happy to have running companions and to share the same sensations.
We are damp, even soaking wet, as we cross Warsaw.  There is a stop at the Palace of Culture, the runners then pass the Charles de Gaulle intersection and on a street reserved for busses and taxis cross the heart of the old city all the way to the Royal Palace.  Warsaw was destroyed during World War II and has been completely rebuilt.  This makes it a “new” city, where some examples of communist architecture remain and find themselves next to the newest “Plexiglass” towers, as I call them, with their modern, streamlined look.
Thanks go to Ludo and Marie (the photographer of the French group) for today’s photos.  We cross the Vistua River before leaving Warsaw on an avenue with heavy traffic, the 631, before taking the national 61, which is just as unpleasant.  Where are our bicycle paths?

At 4:00pm the bus arrives with the group of students from the Jean-Renoir school.  Excitement is at fever pitch and we have to calm the high spirits because Serge, our team and the 6 adults accompanying the group are uneasy.  The weather and the road conditions are against us and there is real danger!  We can reassure you that everything went well in the best of worlds.
Junior, Clérant, Alexandre, Baptiste, Gauthier, Leo,  Benjamin and Jordan, accompanied by their PE teacher, Alain, run 13km with Serge.  There are 34 pupils who join the group as the day progresses and Diane is the only girl to run 8km.
This extraordinary procession is escorted by the Pultusk Police Force, who at a moment’s notice, because it was given only 2 hours warning, made itself available to the group, thanks to the « dream collaboration » with the « Polske Team »: Paulina and Ewelina.  We owe them our thanks for having made a complete success of what in advance looked like an impossible encounter on this very busy road.  It enabled 42 young people to run with Jacek and Serge and everyone is delighted that his meeting is a triumph.  This date of April 27 was planned more than 6 months ago and Serge arrived on time and almost without trying!

There was a great atmosphere at the finish and this evening Alain Payen, spoke in the name of Jean Renoir School in Bourges as Clérant and Diane presented Serge with a trophy.  Good night and hush! Serge is sleeping.
The dream team of French adults gathered at the bar to finish the evening over a glass of Polish Vodka.

Town : Pultusk

GPS : N 52.41’49.8° E 021.05’00.8°