On the high speed train (SNCF) from Gare de Lyon, Paris to the south of France. Finding the right train car is always a challenge at 7am especially when the ticket (printed at home) is difficult to read. But a helpful French man figures out it’s car 15. We walk/run along the platform beside the sleek blue train and arrive at our car with two minutes to spare – a 4 1/2 hour ride awaits us.
Villenueve-Loubet (12 kms from Nice)
I look out the window from the small cabin in Camping Parc des Mourettes – grey sky hovers replacing blue from the day before. Letting the curtain fall back in place, I see a flash of lightning followed by a rumble of thunder.
It is my last scheduled long run in preparation for the Marathon du Medoc, but I hesitate since getting struck by lightning would put a crimp in the training. But at least it will be cool. The temperature has been hovering over 30 degrees C for the last week and I am almost acclimatized to the heat.
I’m hoping to get to Nice and return.
Downhill from the camping ground, I cross the main road to the train station and then take the under pass metres from the Mediterranean Sea. There is no beach running here – no sand, just small pebbles. I need to make it around the large pyramid-like apartment complex that blocks the sea view. A quick run along the edge of the fast road until I see an entrance through the complex and the red walking path.
The run really begins now that I have no cars to fend off and the lightning has stopped. I pass leisure boats, fishing boats and reach a faux boardwalk hugging the sea. Picking up my pace to outrun the rain,
I glide through the towns of Cagnes sur Mer, Cros-de-Cagnes and finally Saint-Laurent-du-Var. I pause, looking for a safe, calm route into Nice.
I quickly discover that the route is too complicated to navigate. I stop and turn around.
It will be another 10 kms back to the campground (plus a hill) – a decent training run (with dry running shoes). Tonight I will sleep well knowing I have completed the last long run before the marathon.
Next stop: Nice by local train (a twenty minute ride).