After a good breakfast in a roadside lay-by, we set off to tackle marathon 33. It was sunny from the word go and it warmed up very quickly today. I enjoyed having Dave or Hannah pedalling along next to me, spurring me on. Hannah had to cycle up a huge hill and Dave has sore feet from his half-marathon with me a few days ago – it’s great to have people sharing my pain I must admit!! Dave managed to plot a route along a lovely canal and we enjoyed this shady path and car-free section of the marathon. At one drink-stop Hannah got chatting to a local French chap (a lorry driver by trade) who, inspired by the story of running all the way from Rome to raise funds for a cancer charity, popped home to get his trainers! Waiting where the canal met the main road in Bar-Le-Duc, Patrice joined me for a few miles. I was thrilled to bits as (with the exception of Dave and Hannah!) Patrice is the first person to accompany me on the road since leaving Rome in mid-July! Whilst running, Patrice told me that his wife sadly lost a childhood friend to cancer recently and that he was inspired by Lance Armstrong who overcame testicular cancer to achieve 7 Tour de France victories. I was really impressed with Patrice’s ‘get-up-and-go’ approach to life and his determination on the run today. He later even drove ahead to meet us and ran the last few miles with me – what a terrific guy! Hannah cycled the 17 miles back to our campsite after the marathon today and after a restful afternoon we tucked into a good old barbeque. I must have met my daily calorie target today as, under a star-lit sky we toasted marshmallows over the coals and ate them squeezed between chocolate digestives long into the evening! Thanks Dad for the recipe!