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J158 - Tuesday, March 23: Sighisoara - Iernut

74.11km – 10H21’
Altitude : 274m
This morning there were farewells; Daniel and Laurent are leaving.  Daniel is going home after spending 8 weeks with us.  He was always even tempered and ready to help Serge and the group.  He will be able to rest, eat some fish and start training.  He is not leaving us in the best condition because yesterday during the last refueling of the day he went to get something in the cab of the van and the gust of air from a passing truck blew the door closed on his left index finger.  For a moment the pain was so intense he thought that the finger was severed.  Bertrand opened the door and the finger was intact.  No need to tell you that Daniel had a sleepless night because the blood pulsed with the rhythm of his heart beat.  We hope that everything will be all right and that the pain will subside, because our hyper-active retiree has a full schedule upon his return.
Today the scenery was not as beautiful as it has been.  A gray sky took the place of the past day’s sunshine and there were a few drops of rain during the stage.
At km41, we take a small road which goes around Targu Mures, before picking up the N15 with its truck traffic.  There are fewer and less aggressive dogs in the north and in the country, so for the past few days Serge has been able to run in peace.  Life flows by at the rhythm of a succession of kilometers, typical villages and unexpected meetings.  Yesterday morning at the wheel of his car, Florian saw Serge.  At the end of the day near Sighisoara on his way home he stopped at the van to know what we are doing and about the runner in the orange t-shirt.  René and Bertrand explained who Serge is and what we are doing there.  Florian immediately invited us to his home on our way through Targu Mures.  End of the story?  No, today at the end of the stage Florian, who had found Serge thanks to the GPS beacon, arrived on his mountain bike to say hello and give Serge a small icon, which will be placed on the dashboard of the van for good luck.  Florian made a round trip of 48 km just to see us and take a souvenir photo!  Thanks a lot Florian.
The second surprise was a completely unexpected visit from Serban, who found us; “The blue ball” as our friend “Georges” calls it, struck again, and Serban localized our stopping place and drove around in his car to find us.  We are in a hotel for “truckers” and when we came down for dinner there he was waiting for us!!! Incredible!
We spend an excellent evening with him and have a discussion about people’s lives, the pseudo-models of society, etc., etc.  We learn that Serban’s father is a super athlete who, at the age of 66 participated in and finished the Ultra Trail Mount Blanc in 38 hours in 2005 and who at 71 is training to participate in the Ultra Trail of the Pyrenees, the name of which I can’t remember at this late hour.  Serban often trains with his father.  What a good family story.
Tomorrow Serban will run a bit with Serge.  I thought we would see him again but not so soon, so as we say in French “If it’s happened twice, it’ll happen a third time”.

Town : Iernut

GPS : N 46.26415° E 024.15060°