Monday, March 23, 2009

The Bouzigues Parcourse

The Billat Family Splits Up!

Last week, we made some new friends. Pierre and Dominique are Emma’s parents, and Emma is Josey’s friend from school. As all the kids were playing in the sunny garden, the adults were sitting around getting to know each other (always interesting in French). They are really nice, and we have some wonderful things in common!

In fact, they invited us to participate in the Bouzigues Parcourse. The Bouzigues Parcourse is a 12K or 23K run through the garrigue, which is the countryside of Southern France. They were expecting up to 500 runners!

Here is Emma (in purple) next to Max & Josey at the starting line.

Mike and I were both planning to volunteer at a drink table – handing out water to the runners. I wanted to run. However, I wasn’t willing to risk an injury from running through the garrigue. Now I know that I could have done it – no problem!

Anyway . . . we kind of got split up. Part of the Parcourse is a 1K run for the kids. So, Mike stayed at the starting line with Max and Josey while I climbed into a Jeep with 3 Frenchies. Woohoo!! It was a super fun ride – 4-wheelin’ – through the garrigue to get to the table. It was awesome!!

It turns out that my drink table was at the end of my normal Loupian run, so completely within the realm of reality for my running! This was also the 6.4K mark of the Parcourse, so the 12K runners turned right to go back to Bouzigues while the 23K runners turned left to run deeper into the garrigue.

It was really fun! I was working with 2 other adults, Teri was the name of the man in charge, and 4 12-year olds. Teri was really nice and friendly. He spoke to me a ton, but I didn’t understand most of what he said. Remember, I was expecting to have Mike with me (to help translate among other things)! I did figure out how the table worked (pretty simple), and we got all the water poured and snacks set out for the runners.

I literally said, “Bravo!!” to every single person who ran yesterday (I’m guessing there were about 200-300). I was the only person yelling “Bravo!”, but that’s so “Gayle” – isn’t it? As the 23K runners came back by our table on their return trip, some of them seemed really happy to see a smiling face and water! Okay, so they were probably just happy to see the water, but I can wish. LOL!

Unfortunately, I did not have the camera. So, you’ll just have to imagine me: huge smile, bright orange “STAFF” t-shirt, white sunglasses, red hair . . . you get the (mental) picture, right?

Meanwhile, back at the port, Max and Josey were preparing to run their 1K. Max had been telling us all week how he was going to sprint the whole way. We warned him not to, but you know how determined my kids are. Hmmm . . . I wonder where they get that?

Check out the great pictures Dado took! The squirrel mascot arrived to start the race. Then, they were off!!

Guess what? Max came in 7th out of 30 or so kids!! Woohoo, Max!! He really did sprint. Look at that smile of success.

Josey was close behind. She came in 13th!! Woohoo, Josey! You go, Girl!!

Every child got a bag full of goodies, and they were all thrilled by the whole event. I wish I could have cheered them on!! I got to finish my morning of volunteer work with my own run – running home from the drink table. There was a bit of poor organization, so I didn’t have a ride home. It’s a good thing I was dressed for running.

The afternoon was spent at Chez Sabrina & Franck for a wonderful bar-b-que! More on that later.

Love to all!!

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