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J186 - Tuesday, April 20: Szklarska Poreba - Strzegom

74.19km  – 9H23’
Altitude : 235m

Of the 27 countries in the European Union, Poland’s surface is the 6th largest, following France, Spain, Sweden, Germany and Finland.  The country has 16 administrative regions and we are in Lower Silesia, of which the capital is Wroclaw, a city of more than 600,000 inhabitants and which we will go through tomorrow.

This morning we went back a few kilometres to start at the Szklarska Poreba School. The town is close to the border and it is one of the most popular ski resorts in Poland. At the start, Serge was given several mementos by the lady Mayor, then, under police escort he Jacek, Tmasz, Robert and a few students took to the road.  Another encounter organized by Paulina and Robert will take place at the Jelenia Gora School and the local press will be present.  Unfortunately, we will not have the time to visit the historical center of the city and we will only able to see the bell towers of its 6 churches from afar.  It is interesting to note that among the 10 cities twinned with Jelenia Gora not one is French.

Serge seems to be transformed since our Polish friends arrived.  He is no longer the twisted runner he was before Prague.  The first 5 km are run at a fast pace and not in 50 minutes.  In short, it took a weekend and the crossing of Prague for Serge to find his alert pace.  I am searching for a rationale behind this and I can’t find one. I think there is something irrational about long distances races because a runner’s morale and mental state are the strongest part of all.  Sometimes it is possible to transcend pain and go beyond it and sometimes it isn’t.

In our trio of runners there is an injury this evening.  Jacek’s quadriceps are very painful and he is obliged to walk the last kilometres.  We hope that a night of rest will repair the damage and that tomorrow he will be in form to cross his country with Serge.

Town : Strzegom

GPS : N 50.58’18.7° E 016.21’24.7 °