Paca Running Tour

from 10th au 25th September 2011

1184,568 km and 17289m of positive elevation in 15d 5h 43mn

the path here



Friday 09th September

My bag weighs 10kg, and for me it's 68,2 kg

Saturday 10th September (Alpes-Maritimes)

a very nice start this morning with more than 50 people who came to wish me good luck and run a few miles with me.
35 km along the sea with still accompanying: it is really nice especially with 10kg on his back and a significant heat.
Few stops, small supplies and a big surprise with a friend (Christian) who offered me to stay a few days with me by following me in the car, I attack the blow-collar a little lighter without the backpack.
06:30pm: We are currently in Sospel (54 km from the start) for a real meal before attacking at night and finish the Col de Turini.

Sunday 11th September (Alpes-Maritimes)

A little rest at the Col de Turini, and the day of 11 starts with a descent to La Bollène Vésubie where, at 6am, we are greeted by Virginie, a school teacher in the district and whose class is following me on the internet during all around for a good shower and a good breakfast: it's nice to see that people are really friendly .... thank you Virginie.
So here I go again fresh for a new collar to rise, that of  La Colmiane: a hard and hot day where I suffer a little, but finally the descent of the pass was quiet with two friends came to support me, and until Isola.

Monday 12th September (alpes-Maritimes - Alpes de Haute Provence)

4:30am: direction St Etienne de Tinée where I hoped to eat before tackling the Col de la Bonnette, had to wait 3hours the opening of the bakery ..... A rise in quiet with even heat, and a descent to Jausiers and St Paul Ubaye more enjoyable because our hostess this evening held us a  pleasant company by bike .... Thank you for your support Michele!
Shower, small dinner, laundry and sleep before start to the Col de Vars.

Tuesday 13th September (Alpes de Haute Provence - Hautes Alpes)

departure 6:00 am and immediately the rise of the Vars pass that puts far leg. Breakfast at Vars (the second) and a big descent to Guillestre that I do not like, to arrive after 72 hours of effort to 266 km, but it's normal since the passes past ... and it remains one: the Izoard. Very difficult the pass in this direction as irregular, so I take my time to the 14 km climb .... Then it is the happiness and descent to Cervières to meet Francis and Nicole in their cottage, who I known during the Tour de France.
Small diner, shower and start tomorrow at 3 o'clock with 323 km on the clock.

Wednesday 14th September (Hautes Alpes)

Start at 2:45am,  and in the first km it is a marmot in the middle of the road who wish me good luck .....
Downhill stroll of Briançon, then I just turned round to find the road avoiding the national moisture began to fall short, not in my shoes, I was cold, I had to fight until the sunrise to finally find a bar, take a good breakfast and leave on the side of the massif des Ecrins, and growing up again.
After 96h I did 370 km which comfort me with 104 km traveled over the last 24 hours despite the passes of Vars and Izoard.
A good picnic at noon at the bottom of the Massif des Ecrins, followed by an hour's nap and here I am left with a still significant heat .....
The afternoon was spent with a headwind important and beautiful small climbs along the Ecrins to get to Embrun which poses a dinner, a shower and a nap is needed .....

Thursday 15th September (Hautes Alpes)

Departure from Embrun at 3:30 am. I knew this day would be difficult because many climbs to the ski resorts of the Massif des Ecrins, plus the fact that a TV would join me to do a report.
It is from 5:30 the TV team joined me, and frankly it was a real pleasure to have some company during the morning.
I completed my 120th hour with 440 km, which is a little disappointing .... but hey, the scenery is so beautiful that it is worthwhile to stop and enjoy.
The hardest part may have been the rise of the neck towards Moissière to Ancelle with about 10 km between 8 and 10%, but the crossing of the forest was beautiful.
This evening stop at St Bonnet for a few hours and tomorrow we continue visiting the ski resorts ....

Friday 16th September (Hautes Alpes)

Last night it was limited to find a place to sleep a few hours, so today I decided to stop comfort in a hotel ....
Why? Well, today was a particularly difficult day. After the departure 2:30 am, I got a nice little neck du Noyer where the percentage of the last km reached 10.5%, but above where I started sleeping on the run. That said, I took a rest, then continued, but I felt that the body was struggling to answer ....
I forced a lot during the morning which resulted in more frequent stops .... At noon a lunch consisting of meat and pasta back me on track but not for long .....
Finally I pulled up to Aspes Buech to decide on some sort of reset the body with a longer rest.
Now that the maximum altitude increased (outside the Ventoux), and I am half the time I gave myself to finish this tour, it is good to come away with rest of the body more important .... The start will be tomorrow when the body wakes up by itself ....

Saturday 17th September (Hautes Alpes - Alpes de Haute Provence)

Small quiet start this morning at around 4:45am for a day without any real problems with a landscape of plains north of Sisteron makes me cross the country from which the apple harvest is now.
I try an energy drink just to see, but took me badly because I found myself all morning with heartburn and difficulty in advancing: energy thank you ....
Somehow I get after a nice picnic lunch under the apple trees, and leaves the fighting spirit to make up for lost time.
Arrival at Sisteron, I take a small storm to stop and do my laundry..
Upon leaving, the rain had stopped and I was in great shape ....
10, 20, 30 km, before the night falls a dinner picnic is improvised on the village square, then start again .... for, a shame, just a few miles because the rain had returned.

Sunday 18th September (Alpes de Haute Provence - Vaucluse)

A hellish night spent in the storm and still stuck by it. Repatriation in a bar, warm, waiting for a lull ...
New start to 9:30am, the day was gray and rainy morning with improvement in the afternoon.
Here I am a Salut thestart of the Ventoux: a sandwich and let's go for 26 km of climb.
The night was clear, starry, it's wonderful. Okay, a little windy but not too much trouble.
I was warned to be careful, etc, etc, etc ... I do not know the Ventoux, but then I realized why: in fact the first 20 km are still in the forest to 4.5% of elevetion, but the last 6 were a hell, especially at night!
Vegetation disappears and the wind becomes violent and cold, I start to really freeze, after 3 km it is the fog that appears, I do not see at a meter in front of me, it's cold ... it's a kind of hell with little wind that you fold in half.
Last appearance of the neck of Tempêtes, even a little effort and you're done.
First thing: to warm up faster, I was almost hypothermic ......

Monday 19th September (Vaucluse)

After the exhaustion that night, three hours of sleep at the top of Mont Ventoux and the descent to Malaucène today should be a quiet day. Decision was made to cross the vineyards of appellations Beaumes de Venise, Gigondas and Vacqueyras, within the beautiful landscape of the laces of Montmirail!
A quiet day with more than 80 km traveled on back roads that only our region PACA and French can reveal ....

Tuesday 20th September (Vaucluse - Bouches du Rhône)

This is the final straight: last night was full and relaxing (5 hours) to recover well for the last 5 days that will be very long kilometers.
Today I cross the mythical cities like Avignon and Arles, but it's always difficult to find small roads in the maze of interchanges and shopping centers. Some loss of time, but still traveled 80 km to dinner time (special time of rest), and tonight I will attack the Camargue in order to get as close as possible to Marseille to be there early in the morning.

Wednesday 21st September (Bouches du Rhône)

here it is: Camargue done crossing between rice crops with over the last 24 hours, 105 km done. Breakfast at Sambuc before taking the ferry, I proceeded toward Martigues and Fos ....
A day galley, as I expected, to want to avoid these famous highways in the port of Fos where trucks traveling at high speed .... I shot a long time to find these small paths and, with fatigue, lost all the same time.
This evening dinner at Martigues and continue the road ....

Thursday 22nd September (Bouches du Rhône)

The night passed in small steps until L'Estaque (entrance to Marseille). Breakfast on the port and then I attack my approach in Marseille at the time of hiring: 4 lanes road, it's hell to find a practicable road side all along the harbor, and finally I reach the city that I go through in a straight line to the foot of the Gineste ...... 3 hours15 crossing and I join my coach who tells me that he should leave me.
Blow: I stay at least 2 hours to digest, then takes my bag and attack the rise of Gineste.
Meanwhile a group of friends organized to take turns and take over my bag, until the arrival. Thank you to them that I did not know and that I found at the entrance of Cassis in the person of Michele who had hosted me 10 days ago at St Paul Ubaye.
Small diner hamburgers and small laundry in La Ciotat after a beautiful ridge road  with 2 km at 15%, and the night begins ....

Friday 23rd September (Bouche du Rhône - Var)

The night was difficult with big shots and very few bars forward, since in the morning, and I am only at Bandol.
My bag is sent directly to Carqueiranne while I continue alone. Crossing of Toulon very easy with a beautiful bike path, and I found Roland, who get my bag, and go to his house, find his wife Annie and offered me a shower and a good snack.
After calculation, I have about 175 km to go in 24 hours: good, well we'll tackle it and hope to arrive tomorrow at 18h Nice ......
Restarting Carqueiranne goes well, I found Michele in La Londe and we start the night.

Saturday 24th September 2011 (Var - Alpes-Maritimes)

The night was hard: a lot of accumulation of fatigue, recovery difficult, I did not blow too far ....
I am joined by Claude (President of Courir in St Tropez) at Canadel sur Mer, we take a breakfast at Cavalaire, and its presence gives me a boost to Port Grimaud.
In Port-Grimaud, Ali joined me (he came from Frejus by running) and get my first massage of this tour, then we go quietly together all day ....
At this point there is no question of arriving the same day: the decision is made to arrive the next day in the afternoon so that everyone benefits from that time.
At St Raphael Guy join us for a few kms in the early evening, then, finally, Anne-Marie (my wife) arrives at Agay to start the night.
Anne-Marie made ​​the connection with Facebook for 15 days and it gives me great breath of fresh air to find her.
The night will be spent on the edge of the Esterel in the company of Anthony and Agnes who give me a little rest with a good beer to stop at Theoule sur mer at 2am and enjoy a good shower and a rest at "home."

Sunday 25th September 2011 (Alpes-Maritimes)

Last day for the last 51 km.
Say hello to the organizers of the Free Ride in Mandelieu with a coffee, and I found Pierre, Yann and Liberto in front of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.
I go to a good pace, I feel the end, in Golfe-Juan it's Sylvie and Gerard to join me until Juan les Pins
Passage of Antibes and it's finally Olivier who join me for the last 15 km while his wife, Christiane, and Anne-Marie follow us in the car taking pictures.
At the entrance of Nice, Jean-Pierre and Irene, our deans of the running, open to me the road on the Prom's on a Harley for the last 5 km .... it's happiness, the end ... arrival is there, friends also ... one last shot kidney, and now it's finish ....
An end, yes of course, but also the beginning of the next adventure soon.
Thank you all for your support, your messages both by telephone and by mail or on Facebook. I hope I make you discover the beauty of the landscape in the PACA region ... Anyway I also found myself a nice human warmth!


Monday 10th October 2011 (La Bollène Vésubie / Alpes-Maritimes)

Often people ask me why I run, and I answer for the pleasure of seeing new landscapes, meeting with people and share all of this via the website ....
Well today I had a meeting with the primary school in La Bollène Vésubie that followed me throughout my Tour, and this day was a kind of culmination of this Tour for answering all questions being posed by these children and talking about the region in which they live, the various vegetation, crops .....
This tour allows the teacher to teach both the geography, the vocabulary or the natural sciences .... or even a small sports training ....
Here are the drawings provided by children who speak more than photos of this wonderful meeting!

first part


second part


third part