Tonight was the regular Lyon Running Club run…or should I say it was an irregular Lyon Running Club run. After all, instead of a standard 10K around the city at a nice pace in a group of 30 or so, tonight we were in teams of six and on an urban orienteering course through the city.

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Before the club run, however, I wanted to get in some time on my feet. I figured I would have enough time to get 10 kilometers in before arriving at Celestins for the start of the race. I headed up the Saone river until I got to Vaise, did a loop around the bridges there, and then headed back towards the city.

At the footbridge near Saint Paul I crossed over to the right bank and followed my nose down to the bridge at Perrache. I crossed over, wound my way through the second arrondissement towards Bellecour, and then clicked stop on the Garmin as I arrived at Celestins. I noticed a big bunch of people at the Odlo store and entered to find my team and get set for the run.

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I only knew one person on my team by name – Nathalie – so I’m going to have to use nicknames for the others in the main and for that I am sorry. Besides Nathalie and myself there was a Nice Guy (NG), Laura (who had been to Perth in Australia), and two girls (I think thry were Melanie and Jessica) who were really sweet and just kept smiling the whole time.

The goal of the night was to visit six checkpoints in the order that we thought best. We had the addresses and we were allowed to use phones to navigate, but save for the first checkpoint I knew where they all were anyway.

We headed across town to the Parc Sergent Blandon where, at the first checkpoint, Pauline was waiting to sign our form and get us to answer a question. The next checkpoint was by the pool on the river Rhone and by the time we got there the team was starting to fray a little in terms of speed. Nathalie was out front pushing hard and hoping we’d stay with her. The NG and Laura were running with me in the middle, and the girls were at the back running together. We did our best to stay together but Nathalie was insistent: she loves to run fast!

After the pool we went down to the ice rink near Confluence, then made our way to the old city where Luka was waiting for us. At his checkpoint he had us running up and down a steep incline three times. Nathalie was working hard and running the steep hill fast, but the rest of us ran together and cheered on the girls as they made what was a hard slog to the top.

After the old city we headed to the Opera House for a penultimate stop, then on to the final stop only about a kilometer away which was the favored bar of the running club and the end of the run. We took some photos, congratulated each other, and enjoyed the warmth.

I left pretty quickly to get home but Melanie was heading back to the Celestins to collect her stuff. We chatted on the run back to the Place and it turns out she lives near the Isle Barbe. I’ve probably passed her on the pathways along the Saone a dozen times and never even noticed!

All up, it was another 21K effort for the night and I felt good. All of the running was done at a steady but low pace, and I enjoyed the urban orienteering, too. Good running, good people, and good fun – the perfect Wednesday on the road.

Distance: 21.7km (10km + 11.7km)

Elevation: 83m (24m + 59m)

Time: 2:02:35 (52:10 + 1:10:25)

Strava + Strava

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