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J333 - Tuesday, September 14: Laon - Reims

77.18km  – 10H21’   
Altitude : 91m
Serge has « too much of pain » says Max this morning.  The first five kilometers take him almost 1 hour and René is worried because he doesn’t appear; finally, here he comes.  The terrain is rather hilly; Serge is fatigued and glued to the asphalt.  He doesn’t advance and drags himself along.
There are changes in the team, with the departure of Max this afternoon and the arrival of Bertrand at the end of the morning, who, as Serge says, left us 12,700 km back.  Bertrand didn’t have the time to say Boo before he becomes involved, which didn’t bother him in the least; our “big Dalton” who ran the Medoc marathon last weekend.
We are leaving Picardy to enter the Champagne-Ardenne (without an s) Region.  There is a strong westerly wind which blows first from the side and then at Serge’s back.  There is beautiful sun shining on the “The city of kings”.
Here are a few of the questions we asked our runner at dinner last night:
How did you live your stage?  “Normally, by breathing”.  (What a sense of humor!)
“I’m tired but happy…”
Wheredoyouhurt?
“Since today my knee, the right ankle and the right Achilles tendon, that’s all, which is not bad for today is it?”
Your positive thought today? “Tomorrow +2,000 km past the record distance”
Your negative thought today? “I didn’t have one!”
The part of the stage you preferred. “I didn’t have one; today’s stage was not fun”
What made you advance today?  “Nothing, I was running backwards!”
More seriously, thanks go to Nabil and the Reims chapter of the CJD for their welcome.  We salute the presence of Mrs. Michel, the assistant to the director of sports.
A surprise was waiting for me: my aunt was at the finish.  She brought us goodies which we will enjoy.  I am delighted to see her and she tells me that she is living our adventure on a daily basis, as she is for her grandson, Nicolas, who has been in the Antarctic for the past ten months on a one-year mission.  She confided that when we will have finished our journey and when Nicolas will be back there will be a void.

Town : Reims (Marne)

GPS : N 49.24’70.6° E 004.02’10.4°