Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hello from L'Armada 2008

Farther, faster, a maxim which could well apply to these huge sailing ships, the world largest of their kind. To defend their country on sea or to support international trade, these ships have sailed many miles, the fastest as possible. This is the 5th edition of L'Armada de Rouen, with such an unmatched gathering happening every 4 to 5 years:
  1. 1989: the Sails of Freedom, commemorating the French Revolution;
  2. 1994: The Liberty Armada, for the 50th anniversary of D Day;
  3. 1999: The Armada of the Century;
  4. 2003: Armada Rouen 2003;
  5. 2008: Armada Rouen 2008.
The attendance has grown from 4 to 9 million visitors in 2003! I could enjoy the visit being in Rouen this week to visit my 2 sisters living here and attend a 3-day wedding of one my cousins (including a 5-hour lunch on Saturday from 2 to 7 pm; no, not an early dinner, an ultra lunch!).
On Sunday, I was able to run 25 kilometers in the Forêt Verte in Bois Guillaume, before joining the groom and the bride, their family and friends for a golf game (don't ask for my score, I just play golf once a year...).
Monday was off, from a running perspective with the visit of the Armada in the morning and a tour in Rouen with Greg.
I then ran twice Les Balcons de Rouen, a great 50K course around the North part of Rouen, Rive Droite. This is the course I discovered with Annick, Laurent, Phil and Stéphane in January for what I called a French Fat Ass. With this rainy beginning of July, the trails were almost as muddy as in January. The big differences with our winter run were (1) the leaves on the trees and (2) the crowd on the docks, downtown Rouen, along the large ships. 4h45 and 4h38 instead the 7+ hours of our social run in January.

If you have the opportunity to visit this part of Normandy, make sure to download the itinerary on your Garmin GPS watch (from Google Earth or Google Maps). Some turns and village crossings are tricky, but the loop is really worth, with great views over this city, the city of one hundred bell towers.
More later this week from Granville and the Mont Saint Michel (Mount Saint Michael)...


Victoria said...

If trail running can grow in popularity, I think that 5 hour lunches (or dinners) can as well. How could we bring this to California??

Anonymous said...

Un petit coup d'oeil au blog pour voir les belles courses de ce mois de juillet 2008;
bon retour à SF demain.