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J167 - Thursday, April 1: Polgardi - Fonyod

72.39km – 10H15’
Altitude : 125m

12,000 km in 166 days 00 hours and 48 minutes
Sunrise is early in Central Europe, but that’s not what motivated Serge, whose plans include breakfast at 6:00 AM, but rather the 12,000 km mark, which he wants to clock as soon as possible.  Back from breakfast, which takes place in Thomas’s and René’s room, Serge tells me that René isn’t well and that he threw up twice.  So I decide to leave in his place… until Serge says April Fools!!!  We’re off to a good start!
In spite of a weather forecast that is iffy, the sun is with us, so is the chill but it doesn’t keep Serge from leaving in shorts.  He will be cold.

Il va également faire croire à René et Thomas qu’une équipe de foot ne jouera pas la coupe du monde et qu’elle sera remplacée par une autre, la blague fonctionne bien jusqu’à ce que Serge leur dise que c’est un poisson d’avril. Très en verve, notre coureur ce matin.
He also has René and Thomas believing that a soccer team will not play the world cup and will be replaced by another. The joke works until Serge tells them April fools!  This morning our runner is in top form.
At km24, we leave the highway to take the road near Lake Balaton and use the bike paths and narrow lanes, where we are alone in the world, or almost.  Most of the homes have their shutters closed, the camp sites, hotels, restaurants and bars are closed.  It’s the off season, which is great for us because we like the quiet.  In the sun it becomes quite warm.  It is said of Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Europe, even larger than Lac Geneva,  that its water temperature is 24°C most of the year and even warmer in the summer.  It appears to me to be colder than that and only Ludovic feels like going for a swim!  And yet, we celebrate 12,000 km in a place that is inviting.  At the edge of the lake, whose water is emerald green, Serge shows off his handsome sign, which glitters in the sunshine.  We break out the sausage and cheese that Ludo brought us and have a quick picnic: they are a gift from Séverine, who was a support team member in 1997 when we crossed the USA.  Thanks for thinking about our figures, Séverine.
After searching for a prank we can play on Serge, Marc has the idea of telling him that the interview made near the lake failed and that it has to be redone.  We are 5km further on and Serge doesn’t laugh at the news, even if he does have some doubts, but the whole team confirms it. Putting on a mean expression, he takes the sign and unfolds it: there is a pretty “April fish” on it drawn by René: Serge laughs, then speeds off.  We are in the tracks of the great ultra endurance race: “Ultrabalaton,” which will take place next June for its 3rd edition.  The race covers 212 km nonstop around the lake for individuals or relays.  The race must be terrible but the scenery is splendid; runners take note!
This evening Serge says he is disappointed he ran only 72km, compared to the past days.  “It’s a bit disappointing,” are the words he uses but he admits he was rather tired today, even though it was flat and a very pleasant route.  “There are days like that” he says.

Town : Fonyod

GPS : N 46.44’53.6° E 017.33’23.7 °