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J290 - Monday, August 2: Assenois - Hamerènne

78.12km  – 10H18’
Altitude : 268 m
This morning the team split in two: Brigitte and Daniel leave for the starting block with Serge, while the rest of the team folds up our camp.  We have a surprise visit from Paulette and Freddy, from Liège, who left a 5:00 a.m. just to say hello.  In the end, they stay with the caravan a good part of the day.
At the first refueling, Serge has a visit from Bruno (who also got up at 5:00 a.m.) from Nancy.  He even delayed his departure on vacation by one day in order to run almost the entire stage (more than 60 km).  Bruno is training for the UTMB.
Serge is not in top form, perhaps because yesterday and today he has increased his pace, no doubt because he is not alone.  I continue to be worried because his Achilles tendon is not in great shape, so we must not push our luck.  To have tendonitis is one thing but to be zealous is another.  Be careful Mr. Boss Runner, slow and steady wins the race.
Thanks to all of you who sent the excellent results of the French team in the European Athletic Championships: Arlette, Thomas (Serge’s son) and Jean-Patrick.
The scenery of rolling hills is magnificent; houses are built of brick or schist.
Everyone is fine and thanks to our reinforced team, I now have the time to do my administrative work.  And the homemade raspberry cakes did not last long at refueling; Serge loves them.  Brigitte is becoming an expert in making soup.
 At the wheel of the four wheel drive, Jean-Yves helps with changes of direction, refueling and this noon with Seb and Florian they made the support crew’s lunch of ham/cheese/pickle sandwiches, better than a “Parisian”.
This evening there will be Champagne to celebrate Daniel’s birthday.  We will stop in Rochefort, where there is a summer camp for children and Serge can’t wait to have the French kids’ equivalent of a spitball fight.  He is worse than a brat but I know that he parents didn’t bring him up like that!
Florian and Jean-Yves were not tired enough and went jogging last night and today at the end of the afternoon, whereas Seb and Daniel finished the stage with Serge.  Everyone is very busy and three cheers for Belgium.

Town : Hamerènne

GPS : N 50.08’69.6° E 005.12’81.9°