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J332 - Monday, September 13: Compiègne - Laon

80.04km  – 10H38’   
Altitude : 69m
This morning at 7 :30 a delegation from the Sports Council of the city of Compiègne: Mr. Grand, President; Mr. Bourson, Vice President, Messrs Caux, Dyle and Mrs. Bonetti, as well as Mr. Tellier municipal councilor for sports, were present at the start.  We expressed our sincere thanks for their welcome and Serge started another day on the roads of Picardy.
Serge runs alone for the first time in 6 days.  We are accompanied by Sylvie, who extends her weekend and from Senlis meets us on the road at the end of the morning, thanks to Zette and the GPRS beacon.  And another surprise!  Sylvie finishes the stage and helps with Serge’s refueling.  She even asks René if the “support crew” had ever thought about going on strike.  Serge arrives at that point and says there is the right to strike but with 36 day’s notice!!  This sulfurous idea and Serge’s sense of repartee gave us a good laugh.  The end of the stage is more difficult and Serge is tired; his cheeks are sunken and he is hollow eyed.  “I’m dragging and time passes so slowly…” But he still refuses to shorten his stage, even though nothing is forcing him to continue.  If only these kilometers, which I consider “a bonus” once the 77 km are clocked, could be used as extras in order to do fewer the next day; but it is not the case, at least not for the moment, because he has a new goal he would like to reach: clock 600 marathons on September 24, as a birthday gift to his mother!
The mood is somber at the end of the stage because Serge is grumbling, but as long as he can grumble it means he still has energy.  He is not happy with his performance and says to me “since km 55 I feel like I have taken a sleeping pill”.  His bad mood increases when he tells me that he has cancelled all the history on the Garmin watch because the memory was full and when I say “oh no, you didn’t do that?”  Because yesterday, the Garmin Connect site was down for maintenance and I could not download the watch….So, yesterday’s stage has to be entered manually!!! Serge is upset, really irritated, he huffs and puffs, heaves huge sighs and conversation is out of the question.  We decompress during dinner, with humor which is sick, then gray, then white.  Humor cheers us up, what a relief!  We talk about the finish in Paris, a hot subject right now and just over a month away.

Town : Laon (Aisne)

GPS : N 49.32’99.9° E 003.37’18.4°