22.Feb.2013

Feb 22, 2013

Distance today = 49.60 km; Total distance = 16,901.33 km; Location = Anglet – 43 28.933′ N, 01 30.247′ W; Start time = 0856, Finish time = 1802

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/276288889

Well, let’s start where we finished off yesterday. After I was met by a group of runners from the Apalategui Sports Store, with various photographers from newspapers in attendance, I finished my day at our hotel, and availed myself of a massage, courtesy of the Hegalak Sports Center, situated just 50 metres away. It was my first massage since I started the world run, and Rosa did a wonderful job. Thanks Hegalak.

It was then on to the Apalategui store, where I met with proprietor, Felix, and the staff, and was given a free pair of running shoes and some running tops. I really appreciated this fantastic hospitality – they were all such nice people. One of the guys, Juan Mari, has a half-marathon PB of 61 minutes. That’s impressive, and would have been the world record not too long ago. I also met Spanish Nike rep, Albert, who happened to be visiting the store at that time. It was a very nice occasion, with lots of photos taken. We then headed off to have pintxos (the Basque version of tapas) and drinks – in my case, vino tinto. It was a great night, and I can’t thank them all enough, especially Felix.

San Sebastian, besides having such nice residents, is one of the world’s most picturesque cities. I’d rate it up there with Rio de Janeiro. This, combined with the culture and the “manageable” population size of 180,000, makes it, in my opinion, possibly the most livable city in the world – a big call, I know, but one I feel is justified.

The morning dawned bright and fresh, with a need for warm clothing as I ran out of San Sebastian. I got a sense that many people recognised me, as an article on my run had appeared in the main San Sebastian newspaper this morning. There were certainly a few honks of the horn as cars passed by.

I had a very enjoyable run, passing a couple of milestones. I crossed the border from Spain into France, chalking up my eighth country of the world run so far. I then passed the 400 marathon mark. Only 222 marathons to go.

I made it to Anglet, between Biarritz and Bayonne, within striking distance of the Atlantic for most of the day. Tomorrow, however, I’ll head inland, and will not see the ocean again until I reach Istanbul and the Bosphorus, although that’s not really an ocean. But it does represent the dividing line between Europe and Asia, and, therefore, the end of my European leg.