After a breakfast of mainly cheese and ham sandwiches we set off from the hall to the Roscoff Lighthouse at 7:30am to be met by the Mayor and have coffee and cake in a marquee on the side of the Harbour. It was chilly – about 10 degrees and we were all itching to get going. After a presentation of the runners (yes the second – following the night before) we finally got going about 8:30am and jogged in a big group to St Pol de Leon, the organiser Jean Benoit’s home town. This was a kind of warm up – and to have the race visit the Atlantic and make it coast to coast.
At 9:15am we set off from St Pol de Leon on the actual race to Plounevezel 62.5km away. It was a mixture of quiet country roads passed farms and the D769 which in places can be a little busy, though in the middle of a Tuesday didn’t seem to bad.
The front group went off at a quick pace and I was conscious not to go off too quickly – with 18 more days of ultra-racing to go. So I settled in behind them and ran much of the day on my own. The aid stations are at 15, 30, 40,50 and 60km on most of the days and this worked perfectly for me – just carrying a little handheld bottle I filled up to drink in between. It was warm but cloudy so didn’t feel too hot.
At various points I saw people ahead of me briefly – as the road curved through little villages – and occasionally at aid stations. I passed Eric, at 50k, who had started to struggle and it felt good to have paced it reasonably well. As I came into the finish I had no idea that the first woman, Carmen Hildebrand, was 2 minutes ahead of me and I was very happy with 9th overall in 6:04.
Here’s the Yanoo.net write up and picture.
It was great to see my Aunt and Uncle again at the finish and they whisked me off for a spag bol dinner, with apple pie desert and a proper bed for the last time in a while! Their house is in a truly idyllic spot, just by the Brest- Nantes canal and it was very relaxing to spend the last of the day’s sun in their garden. Plus I even had my washing done which means one less set of sweaty, smelly running gear to cart round!