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J198 - Sunday, May 2: Seirijai - Grendavé

74.10km – 10H24’
Altitude : 153m
Yesterday evening Paulina announces that they will leave us tomorrow at the end of the stage, so it is our last evening together.  Serge receives a visitor’s book with photos autographed by all the people we have met in Poland.  It’s an incredible surprise and we are all moved by this thought and this unique memento, which we will take with us.
This morning, the drabness and the rain set the tone for our two tired runners.  Serge trots, almost marking time and Jacek swings his arms as if to propel his body forward.  His right thigh is painful again and he decides to stop the stage at 26.41 km, and reach his goal of 1,000km in 14 days and a bit. Except for the first day, of 66.63km and the 4th day of 26 km, Jacek did no other stage in less than 70 km.  As the days passed, we noticed how his stride changed and became more economic.  Jacek is normally a “fast” runner, clocking 3H02’ for the marathon and 8H57’ for 100km.  For this third edition of the “Biegiem Przez Polske” for the first time, Jacek ran 1,000km during the course.  We wish him lots of beautiful races in the future and no worries with his projects; his head is full of them.
Tomasz, who ran from Prague to Warsaw between April 18th and 27th, clocked 683.62 km, with 21km the last day.  We wish him a speedy recovery, from the inflammation of the right abductor muscle, which is well known by long distance runners and is extremely painful.  
Thanks to all the people who have accompanied us for a bit of the course, to all the pupils and young people we have met.  And a last word of thanks to Paulina, who orchestrated this entire organization like a true pro.  Today she is happy to go home and fatigue is visible on her face.
We say goodbye to Alytus with a certain amount of emotion.  We will probably look for Paulina’s car on the road.  Ludo and René are losing a traveling companion and I see a tear in their eyes.  It was a real pleasure to share our route with them and we reserve a place for them in our hearts.
An orphan now, Serge continues on his course.  The pain in his knee is back; it’s a love-hate relationship because one day it hurts, one day it doesn’t, etc., etc.  I know it worries Serge, who talks about stiffness in his knee when he extends his leg.  To end the day, the rain stopped and a ray of sunshine came to warm our noses.  There is wood everywhere; in the forests, in the homes and in sculptures.  The day after tomorrow we should discover Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

GPS : N 54.29’49.9° E 024.39’19.6°