It’s the 3rd Sunday in September – the day the Ronde Ceretane traditionally takes place – a 1/2 marathon around the hills of our local village in France. It’s a race we have both done for many years though of late we seem to be taking it in turns. In 2019 I was injured while this year it’s left to me as Judith’s knee is playing up.
After no race last year the organisers had decided on a new course – it was still 21km and still up in the hills. They had also added a 10km which suited me as I hadn’t done enough hills recently. The official blurb described the course as ‘taking in greenways, dirt tracks and technical trails, this easily affordable distance is nevertheless a nice challenge ‘. I didn’t like the bit about technical trails.
As usual the race was well organised. Picking up your race number required showing your “Pass Sanitaire” – something you have to do for everything in France, be it outdoor or indoors.
The first 5km were undulating along the south bank of the river Tech. As we reached the 1/2 way point and crossed over the river I thought that wasn’t too bad. – just back along the other bank. I had forgotten about the technical trails. Suddenly we veered left and started to climb up a narrow rocky path – walking in single file only possible – shades of IMRA.
I needed my BFF for encouragement! Eventually we reached an ancient church on top of the hill and then of course down a slightly wider rocky trail, which made me nervous.
Finally the centre of the village was reached with the crowds and the ubiquitous brass bands;
Looking at my Garmin the second 5km had taken considerably longer than the first;
Still a pleasant way to spend a bright sunny Sunday morning – the temperature was an acceptable 23C