It’s the night of the Wales vs. Portugal semi final in the Euro 2016 championship. The match is happening here in Lyon and as well as the stadium being packed to the rafters, the Fan Zone in the center of town is full to the brim. The Lyon Running Club, though, does not let little things like a football championship get in the way of their Wednesday night group run and so, as per normal, we met at the Celestins at 7:30pm ready to knock over an hour of long, slow distance.
The pace was never really high but it didn’t need to be, either. The Wednesday night runs are relaxed and a chance to talk a little with runners old and new to the group. I got chatting to Karne, who is visiting Lyon from her home in Atlanta, and also had the chance to catch up with Thierry and Yohan, too.
We started by heading down to St Georges and then cutting through the Old City, passing St Paul, and following the river down to the tunnel beneath Croix Rousse. This was the pace zone for the night but the thought of putting too much strain on my leg for the entire 1700m or so of the tunnel seemed a little much. Instead I kept things nice and calm and ran through the tunnel chatting to Karen, mainly about the Tour de France of all things.
Exiting the tunnel we passed over the river then dropped down onto the berges near the Parc de la Tete d’Or. After that is was a slow but steady jog back to Guillotiere, then a short jump back across the Rhone to Place Bellecour and the Fan Zone. A final push through the streets around the Place and we were back at Celestins.
So who will win tonight? As I write this it is 0-0 at half time and I haven’t seen much of the match as I was pounding down a late dinner of sauerkraut and lardons. Still, wouldn’t it be great if Wales could get up? An underdog victory with bonus Ronaldo tears would make my night.