80.2km â€“ 9H45â€™
Another beautiful day but not because of the sunshine because gray is the dayâ€™s color and there is a chill wind. Serge and the team are ready at 7:05 AM.
The day begins with a surprise visit from Thomas BrĂ©gardis, who will be with us soon as photographer and member of the support team.
Sergeâ€™s stride loosens up on highway 149 which, fortunately, the trucks have deserted. We head west toward Maisontiers, a town where several runners are waiting. 11 year old Florian is there, accompanied by his father. Florian suffers from asthma and to overcome his illness he runs. This morning he runs 6km to the magnificent town of GourgĂ© whose 9th and 10th century church of Saint Hilaire looks down upon the Valley of the Thouet, an affluent of the Loire, which goes from Saumur to the south of Parthenay. The runners cross a Gallo-Roman bridge over the Thouet
In front of the church a group of veterans celebrate the anniversary of the 1918 Armistice.
A second surprise visit delights Serge; Jean-Claude Gargasson comes to spend a few hours with him. They met during the Transe-Gaule race in 2003, when they were both vying for a spot in the lead threesome. Even though they are not veterans, they reminisce about that great race.
At 1:40 PM Serge reaches Avron, where he is to meet the CJD team from Poitiers who has gathered a certain number of runners to run the last 20km individually or in relay. He is 20 minutes ahead of time and stops to rest. During such halts the stopwatch runs because every pause or stop during a race counts in the total time of each day. It means that serge has dangerously increased his speed over the past days and his tendons are painful and his stiffness is more tenacious. Tonight we will have to warn him not to overdue with these feats, which are so easy to accomplish when you are swept along by the enthusiasm of a group of runners around you.
After Avron, the support team is guided by a well-oiled and calibrated organization. Ludovic, Eric, Gilles, Thierry, Ludovic, Nathalie and all those in the chapter I may have forgotten, work to ensure that this arrival will be an impressive stage in Poitou. Itâ€™s worth mentioning the presence of the regional president of CJD, Christophe, and Paul, the manager of UFF, with his team.
The finale takes place at the (Regional Center for Popular and Sports Education) CREPS de Boivre, with some 50 children and Eric, a blind runner of the club â€śFondus de Vouneuilâ€ť guided by Serge on the last 5 km and a bit ill at ease for fear of not performing well. They run two laps on the track before crossing the finish line.
The evening continues in the auditorium with drinks and food. The junior members of the local delegation have worked all day to organize the event. Tonight there was total cooperation between young people, businesses, youth looking for employment, athletes and families. Thanks go to all of you, and thank you for following us every day, dear Internauts. See you tomorrow
PS: we have photos of Charolais and geese but today there is no space for local fauna, too bad!
Town : Vouneuil
GPS : N 46.58355Â° - W 000.26664Â°