Day 291 (17 April 2011) – Laurent is My Hero (Again)

This will likely go down as one of my favorite days of the sabbatical. Laurent participated in the Nantes Marathon, running 42.195km (26.2 miles). He’s been training for months and Frédérique planned ways for us to show him support at various places along the route. Today’s photo shows him reaching out to high-five Melinda about 30 minutes into the race. We next caught up to him (after connecting with his parents & sisters and having a late morning drink, of course) at about the 2 hour mark, then again about 30 minutes later, before hustling (by car) to the finish to find him having completed the marathon in 3 hours, 25 minutes, 36 seconds.

That’s right. Laurent ran for nearly 3.5 hours today without stopping. We drove around in a car and stopped for a drink.

There were over 3100 participants in the marathon and Laurent finished in 639th place (I picked him to finish 638th so I’m sorry to say I lost…). Impressive doesn’t even began to describe my many reactions for what he accomplished today.

A couple of hours after he finished, 20 of us convened at a restaurant for lunch. I sat next to Laurent and learned quite a bit about the psychological part of running a marathon. It was fascinating. He also explained in all seriousness to me that drinking a beer after a marathon is good for you. As I watched him tip one back I decided to give it a try myself. He was right. A cold beer really does hit the spot after a marathon.

This cold one’s for you, Laurent, my hero.

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