French 5-Day, Day 1, France, 1984, M40

This was the first of five days in the mostly forested sand dunes of southwest France. I don't recall ever feeling so confident on the starting line, for the simple reason that it was July 4, and it just seemed like that was a good omen.

The terrain was wonderful. No rocks, the white was pine forest, wide open on the old dunes (some of which were pretty big), and usually just as fast as the trails, or faster, as the trails were often just sand. A couple of mistakes, but I was running well, even on the totally miserable stretch into and out of the last control -- all deep sand.