La Boucle des Coteauxe
14th November 2010


Official Result

Bob Wells 43.17 - 20th

The start of Sunday's La Boucle des Coteaux hilly 10.5km road race at St Loup Cammas  included many of the features I have seen at the start of local races in SW France - the majority of competitors entering on the day of the race,  lots of handshaking and kissing, the blaring 'music' to alert somnolent residents that their village has been taken over forthe morning, periodic PA announcements which even those with fluent French find difficult to interpret, occasional silences when somebody trips over the speak  cable, a ripple of unexplained applause from the participants presumably for the mayor, the sponsors or the organiser and finally a "cinq,deux,un,partez" (I don't think they teach backward counting here) followed by a lot of pushing as those who got themselves in the photo for the local press hold up the fast starters behind. An added feature at St Loup was the firing of a starting Pistol. - after most of the field had already covered 60metres or more!

I was initially pleased with my 43:17 for 20th place overall and 1st MV3 and enjoyed a very unusual English-style post-race cuppa (plastic, no milk of course) in the sunshine before the apéros appeared. However, when I got home and checked my records I found I was almost two minutes slower than in the same event last year. That's two convincing bits of evidence of ageing – running slower and failing memory!

Bob Wells


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