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J176 - Saturday, April 10: Hirnsdorf - Pertersbaumgarten

72.44km – 10H32’
Altitude : 408m

300 marathons in 25 weeks and we aren’t half way through the race.  There are precisely 190 days, i.e. 27 weeks + 1 day (says Serge).  The days fly by at high speed and the weeks are ticked off before we can say Boo.  The elderly say that time passes more and more quickly as the years go by and the notion of time, as relative as it may be, counts and  like it or not, the  minutes, hours and days that set the rhythm of our lives continue to relentlessly slip by.  But sometimes when you stop to think about all that is short lived and how fragile life is, you realize that it is important take advantage of every minute that passes.  That is what makes life so exhilarating and sweet, even if it is sometimes difficult.  Life is not always rosy so isn’t each of our lives worth living to the hilt?

For us, the regularity of our days means that this morning, in spite of a planned wake up at 6:30, we were awake at 6:00, ready to begin a new day on the road.  Serge, who wanted to say in bed until 7:00, took advantage of his recuperation to the very end, even if he was no longer sleepy.  At 7:41 he was on the road, the day was misty and there was melting snow at km 51, when he went over the pass of the Mönichkirchen (960 m).

Yesterday, we didn’t speak about the clocking of 300 marathons until Serge had gone to bed.  He hadn’t mentioned it to us, no doubt thinking that we had forgotten (as was the case for 200 marathons) and waiting to bring it to our attention!  But 800 meters after km 27.5 (which corresponded to 12,658.5 km, or 300 marathons) and when we were properly parked, we were proudly and happily waiting for our runner at the bottom of the descent leading to Lafnitz. Only Brigitte and Roger were missing because we had not set a time.  But never mind, this evening at the finish René had prepared a second sign reading 301 marathons for a souvenir photo.

At the finish, Serge improvises a show for us: his odometer shows 71.44 km and he doesn’t like it.  He has already shut down the beacon and his activity on the Garmin watch; however, he starts running back and forth for 500 meters, then runs zigzags in order to add 1 km and 8 minutes to his odometer and clock.  He was hoping to cross Vienna tomorrow but the route chosen will only allow him to reach the southern outskirts of the Austrian capital so I suggested that he continue his day.  He is crazy but not that crazy but for those 8 minutes I really asked myself what could push him to act so foolishly on the parking lot in order to add a few hundred meters.

I have to admit that to cross Vienna on a Sunday afternoon would be easier than on Monday morning!!!  Especially because today Marc, an expatriate living in Vienna, comes to tell us that his offer to guide Serge through the capital won’t be possible because he has to travel from April 11 to 16.  It’s really bad luck because when I look at my map of the center of Vienna it does not appear to be easy or suited to pedestrians.  No matter how I read it, I come up with the same refrain: “difficult if not impossible to park”.  We are going to have to find another organization, compared to the other capitals, but from tomorrow afternoon it will be settled because we will leave with René to scout this city of 1.6 million inhabitants.

We finished this evening over baked custard with prunes “chez Adrienne”.  After the banana desert of yesterday we are really spoiled.  Thanks go to Brigitte who is a fabulous cook.

Town : Petersbaumgarten (Basse Autriche)

GPS : N 47.38’01.5° E 016.07’55.9°