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J344 - Saturday, September 25: Franey -Dijon

75.54km – 9H20’
Altitude : 246m

The stage for October 16: Montargis - Fontainebleau (the itinerary will be posted online later)
Finish October 17 at l’INSEP – Avenue de Tremblay, 75012 Paris
There will be no stage between cities

Serge will enter l’INSEP around 9:00 a.m. and will run on the track in the INSEP until 11:06 a.m. He will be accompanied by everyone who wishes to run these last two hours of the Around the European Union Footrace, and celebrate the 365 days of the race

The itineraries are posted at the end of the French version of the log as we go along and are subject to change.

We made a big hop this morning at 6:00 to reach the Besançon suburbs (transfer days do not rhyme with days of rest)... At 7:15, we reach Franey, near where Serge H lives. He has been waiting for us since 7:00 a.m. at the exit from the toll road. He has brought some local goodies for us.

Serge gets up because he has spent the trip on the bunk of the RV: there is the ritual of preparing his feet and a quick breakfast for the whole crew. It is 7:41 a.m. when the two Serge take to the roads of the Doubs.

5 km further, a car stops and Jesus, a Spaniard who lives in Valence, gets out. He contacted us by e-main to say that he would come run a stage. We didn’t think he would make the trip but here his is with his family: his wife Manoli, his daughter Paula and his son in law, Baptiste. They are based in Digne-les-Bains during their stay in France and left yesterday just to spend a day with Serge. I find this incredible!

Unfortunately, our Serge is not at all talkative and doesn’t come forth with many syllables. He is isolated in his bubble, his gluteal muscles hurt and he lists slightly as he runs. There are days like this but all long distance runners are aware of it.
We arrive ahead of schedule at Arcelot, our meeting point. Serge makes a brief stop. It is not always easy to have firm schedules and we calculate as best we can. We prefer being early than late.
There is no rain in the three departments we touch today: Doubs, Haute-Saône and Cote d’Or but there is an icy wind that chills the blood. The small country roads are most pleasant and the stone homes we see in the villages replace the imposing and colourful homes we saw in Alsace.
Today’s runners: Serge H, who ran the entire stage and Jesus who ran 5 km less, the distance it took him to find us this morning.
As Baptist notices, Serge seems better at the end of the stage; his face is less tense. Our crew now knows that our runner is a “finisher” who normally ends his stages by increasing the pace. Another of Serge’s characteristics, which strikes many runners who join him, is that he maintains the same pace regardless of whether the terrain is flat or hilly. He is a veritable metronome.
This evening we are met by the UFF, Jean-Michel and his team organized this finish and Hélène, the Director of Communications of the UFF came from Paris to be with us. We are happy to see her again after September 6, when a team from UFF came to see us in Calais. We thank them for their warm welcome.

Thanks go to Dany and Anthony, who joined us at km 47. They thought about the morale of the troops, who appeared very tired. We thank them for their gifts!

Town : Dijon (CĂ´te d'Or)

GPS : N 47.33’26.3° E 005.05’60.3°