It’s one of the biggest and best days of the year: Jamie’s birthday!

Today my little boy is a little bit bigger and turns 8 years old. Every day he makes me laugh, makes me think, and makes me so proud. He is so smart, so witty, loves to sing and dance, loves to run and jump, and seems to have more energy than I ever had at the same age. He’s a great kid and the real light of my life. Happy birthday, Jamie!

I got going early this morning, rolling out of bed at 6:00am and on the street to get going by 6:30am. It was cold and so I had on the gloves, the beanie, and the jacket, and I knew it would get colder once I reached the summit of Mont Thou, the high point of today’s run. The plan was to back up the 20K of yesterday with another 30K today, and make sure I got a bit of climbing in, too. As the profile of the run would later reveal, I managed exactly that.


After making my way along the Saone to Vaise I started the climb up through Saint Didier au Mont D’Or. This is some of the steepest work of the morning but I had a bit of energy and so I kept things nice and steady, never pushing into the red zone, and trying to keep my heart rate under control. I had the hydration pack on and remembered to drink regularly, though I didn’t plan to eat anything until about the 10K mark.

As I moved to the top of the hill I saw a turn off for Limonest. On the other side of the Mont Verdun, the climb back up from Limonest is a nice one and so, after hesitating for a moment, I turned to the left and started the drop down towards Limonest. Just before I got to the village, I turned to the right and started up the hill, but instead of taking the switchbacks I took the trail straight up the face of the climb. It was steeper and muddy, too, but it broke up the road running and I enjoyed the slipping and sliding.

Nearing the top I had the choice to continue on the trail or take the final switchback to the right and the top of the climb. I was enjoying the climb on the trail so much, I followed my nose and looped around the top of the hill on the trail, eventually coming out on the other side of the hilltop airbase. A right hand turn, following the road to the top of Mount Verdun, and then the slight descent back down to the col beneath Mont Thou.

Mont Thou is always the hardest climb around here and by the time I got to the top I was almost 20K into the morning’s effort. I stopped to snap a couple of pictures but the wind was making me very cold, especially with the sweat making the gloves I was wearing wet and heavy. I got going pretty fast again, ate a little on the way back down the hill, and then dropped down another trail towards Saint Cyr.

All through this part I didn’t really have a plan where I was going. I figured if I was heading towards Lyon – and I could see Fourviere almost the entire time – then I would be OK. After Saint Cyr I passed the Val Rosay and then dropped into Vaise and started back towards home. Across the river at the Pont Schuman, then a right turn towards the city center until I got to the Napoleon stairs where I headed up for one last ascent. It was a slow but steady climb, and at the top I turned for the descent and headed for Terreaux, Saint Nizier, and Jacobins, then I was done.

A great run on the birthday of a great boy – happy birthday, Jamie!

Distance: 31.8km

Elevation: 875m

Time: 3:04:31


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