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J283 - Monday, July 26: Gammersfeld – Bürg

77.54km – 10H40’
Altitude : 456 m
After a cool morning, the afternoon is of the kind « I don’t know how to dress. »  It’s cold, it’s hot then it’s raining.  The farmers are surely not complaining about the rain of the past few days because the earth is really parched.
The route was « stiff » today, with a beautiful downhill and a climb near Buchenbach, at km 25.  Then after Künselzau it became more agreeable for Serge, where we followed the meandering Kocher along “Wüttem Wienstrasse;” overlooking vineyards, as its name suggests.  This second part was less pleasant than the first for the support team because, as is often the case, the route became impractable or at least dangerous, on foot or by bike.  There are cycle paths but most of them cannot be used by vehicles, so it is impossible to send Serge out on them.  So it is a mixture of sidewalk, cycle path and alternate roads which force Serge to run in dangerous circumstances for 9 km.  It was impossible to do otherwise and in the end there was a nice climb and a nice descent in order to avoid the main road.
This shows to what extent Serge depends upon the vehicle which is following him.
 You will say, why not take a bike and follow the whole way on cycle paths?  Well, refueling requires certain logistics such as bottled gas, sauce pans, dishes, thermos bottles, cutlery, etc., etc.  You can’t carry all this material on a bicycle and it would be difficult to stop beforehand to prepare the food of Mr. Serge.  Serge eats everything while he walks and never waits for it to be ready, because he has to make progress and every minute counts in a day of 10, 11 or even 11 and ½ hours, like it was three days ago.  He does not stop or sit down during racing time (99% of the time) and appreciates the 1% which remains, when he stops to eat every 36th day of the month.
Nourishment is of prime necessity, equal to sleep and morale in this challenge:
•    Nourishment = energy
•    Sleep = recuperation
•    Morale = a good itinerary, a good organization,  a good atmosphere
Those are the ingredients that stimulate our runner every day; there is no need to look further!
This is the secret to success every day and which also includes tenacious determination and an iron will as well...
Serge feels that his race time will not suffer if a few kilometers are added, to my great displeasure!!!  He will be the death of me!


Town : Bürg (Baden-Württemberg)

GPS : N 49.14’53.7° E 009.20’83.3°