This year’s randonnée was perhaps too successful! We normally expect about 250 walkers, but more than 500 subscribed on Sunday. The weather wasn’t too bad, a little heavy perhaps but without full sun. A storm was forecast for later on in the day so the bulk of the walkers set off early.
Chris had devised the circuits of 9km, 14km, 19km and 25km. He decided it was easier to mark them out himself than organise teams so we spent several days beforehand preparing the arrows and signs, and going round on the quad hammering them in and tying ribbon to trees along the way.
The final post to plant outside the foyer rural
We finished the marking out early before the first walkers went off. In the hall teams were busy registering, pouring coffees and setting out the refreshments.
Martine with Chantal, Sophia with little Abelia, and Marie Antoinette who were preparing to register the walkers
Claire, Simone and Pascale prepare the food and drink
David and I had dash off to the boulanger in Cluny to fetch three sacks of baguettes and we just managed to get to our point d’eau as the first of the walkers arrived. This is the first refreshment stop after about 4 km. We were stationed on the top of a steep ascent out of Varanges so everyone arrived hot and thirsty. Although we were really just a water point we also put out nibbles but didn’t reckon on the huge numbers of people passing through and soon ran out of dried fruit, biscuits, chocolate and oranges. However after another 5km there was a stop at Blanot where wine, coffee and more substantial snacks were provided.
Martine & Pierre-Jean and Martine & Guy served the refreshments in Blanot
There was a further refreshment stop in Culey, manned by Georges and Dominique for the people on the longest 25km walk.
Back at our point d’eau we were running out of water and had to phone Chris to bring some up tout de suite. He even raided our cave and found an extra 8l of Perrier. Nothing but the best for our walkers!
All the walkers passed the point d’eau
and the cattle next to us were interested to see what was going on
After the last walkers had passed through David and I packed up and went back to the foyer where we got involved in a lot of washing up (me) and serving beers (David).
When we thought everyone was back Chris and I went off in the car to fetch in the arrows around the villages and the warning signs from the roads. He left the markers in the woods until the next day when he could gather them in on the quad.
On returning to the hall we were just in time to join in the usual post event shared supper. It was good to discuss the highs and lows of the day. Generally the opinion was that the walkers really enjoyed the countryside and the circuits were challenging enough for the serious walkers and well marked. The only criticism was from the latecomers who found the refreshment tables a little bare but Pascale had catered for the usual number of people, and had not reckoned on twice as many turning up.
Well earned relaxation after a hard day
Luckily the impending storm held off until the event was finished and and all the tents and tables had been brought in. In general it couldn’t have been a better day for the Randonnée des Roses. That’s it until our next event, the soap box racing in Varanges on Sunday 1st July.