Mont Saint-Michel Marathon 2014 Race Report

I signed up for the Mont Saint-Michel Marathon a long…long…long time ago.  When I did so I didn’t actually have any specific goal.  In fact, the only reason we really signed up for it was that we knew we had to deliver a wedding cake in the same general region.  So we figured we’d do it for fun.

The course is point to point.  You start off in a small town roughly 26.2 miles away (slightly less line of sight) and then you run directly to the famous Mont Saint-Michel.  Outside of the massive hill encompassing the first mile or so, it’s largely a pancake flat course out in open fields.

So going into it even as recently as this week I didn’t actually know whether it’d be more of a race, or a training run, or something in between.  But, what I did know many months ago was that if I did decide to race, I needed precisely two things to happen:

1) Not be a head-wind day
2) Not be a hot/sunny day

If I had a 26.2 mile head-wind, or a hot and sunny day, it was going to be rough going.  If not, it should be awesome.  Thus, why I really didn’t decide until the start line what my plan was.  But first, a few pre-race notes.



We arrived into Saint-Malo to complete packet pickup on Saturday evening.  As we did, it looked like the pace runners were having a bit of a warm-up run of sorts.  Kinda neat to see them go by.

Afterwards it was into a bit of a convention building on the water for the packet pickup.


There were plenty of stands, though, a number of them had unfortunately already gone home (about 90 minutes before closing time).  Thankfully, the race packet people people hadn’t gone home yet and we were able to very quickly pickup our packets.


For those curious, here’s a bit of a map of the course.  As you can see it’s making a big sweeping loop around the bay from the start to the finish.  There’s a bit of distance added in the last chunk wandering around some fields.  And looking at the elevation profile down at the bottom, you can see that once you get over the big initial hill you’re good to go.


After heading out we grabbed some dinner and then headed off to the hotel.  We stayed right near the finish line, to minimize hobbling post-race.

Here’s the stuffs that came inside the race bag:


Speaking of the race bag contents, this seems like a good time to have a brief discussion about national treasures.  Yes, treasures.  See, all countries have something culturally that they place a high value on.  It could be something as simple as great wines or cheeses from a specific region, or something more global like gold or silver (precious metals).  In the case of France however, it appears that the most precious of all metals is actually the safety pin.

Yes, really, the safety pin.

See, in none of the races that we’ve completed in France has said method to attach the provided race number to one’s shirt ever been provided.  In fact, the mere question of asking for safety pins seems to strike surprise and aghast confusion into the look of any race volunteer.

Looking around at the start line the next morning, one starts to realize that perhaps the safety pins are passed down from generation to generation like a family heirloom.  After all, no one person’s race number seems to have all four pins from the same origin.  It’s usually a blend of small pins and large pins, gold colored ones and silver colored ones.  And in fact, having four pins at all is even somewhat rare.  I saw the one-pin option and the two pin option in play.  Three pin was clearly the most common.

Maybe my native French readers can help bridge the gap in understanding why exactly there is so much value placed on ensuring the only safety pins one uses are from their own private reserve collection.

Race Morning:

On race morning I headed a short distance away to board a bus that would take me to the starting line (from where I was located near the finish line).  There were also busses that did the inverse of that post-race if you wanted.


I lucked out and got nobody sitting next to me for the approximately 1-hour drive to the start line (it wasn’t really a direct shot on roads a bus could drive).


After arriving in the correct town, I joined many others for the walk down to the start area.  I’m guessing it was half a mile or so walk.  All downhill, nice and easy.


Ultimately you’d end up down along the bay and the waterfront street lined with picturesque buildings.


Here runners were scattered about, burning time until the start – about an hour remaining.


Many were doing warm-ups on the pier seen below, or the beach which had the tide out.


While folks did that, I went off in search of safety pins for my race number.  I made many stops in my quest, but eventually was able to find one of the bag drop truck drivers that was willing to part with three pins (a massive loot!).


From there I went out for a 7-10 minute warm-up run, just nice and easy at first and then building up to a bit quicker pace.


By time that and the pin-search was done, I headed on into the starting corrals and got ready to start.


The Race:

The way the starting corrals worked there was an elite section, followed by a preferential section, followed by everyone else.  I would fall into the ‘everyone else’ category.  The only challenge with this was that there was a 3:00 pace group up in the preferential section, which I couldn’t get near.  You’ll see why that mattered a bit later.


No worries though, I joined 4,000 or so of my newfound friends in the corrals.


At precisely 8:30AM, the starting gun fired and off we went.  Don’t worry, just like every other race I’ve been in here in France, there was no fanfare.


Here, me in the first few hundred meters.


Now, as mentioned previously, when it comes to this race course there are really only two things to know: First is that it’s point to point. And second is that the first mile or so is all uphill.  After coming back down that hill it’s basically pancake flat the rest of the course.

So strategy wise you want to be aware of the hill, and simply not kill yourself on it.  I decided to just take it nice and easy.  Ultimately, I had no real decision in that matter since it was too crowded to go much faster than I was going to go anyway.


After clearing the hill things opened up a bit and I was good to go.  It’s always interesting watching how people run courses, specifically the turns.  Note in this case that the straightest line is staying in the left lane and then gradually crossing to the right.  The only people that did that were the two runners that have the same singlet’s on mid-photo (+ me).  Thus this serves as a general reminder that courses are indeed measured/certified on the shortest path between any two points.  I’d also point out that my total mileage per the GPS was only 26.3 miles – about as close as you’re ever going to get.


Oh, and I continue to be impressed with how many older Europeans are always riding their bikes.  It’s especially cool when they have a bike with them that’s almost just as old.


After coming down from the hill it was onto the flats along the coast for quite some time.

Now remember back to the beginning of the post where I said in order for me to have a fast time I needed a lack of headwind and a lack of sun.  Well, as you can see, I clearly lost out on the sun component.  While some people might like running in the heat, for me, my body just isn’t good with it.  All of my most successful races and fastest PR’s are on days where it’s actually been snowing at the race.  Seriously – everything from 5K PR to marathon PR is on a snowy day.

Of course, what you can’t see is that we did indeed have a head-wind.  Sigh.

But, I had a solution there.  While I could run behind individuals, most of the time it doesn’t provide a massive savings.  Especially if they aren’t good at pacing.  But, just ahead about 200-300 meters was the 3:00 pace group.  My pace was at/about a 3:00 marathon anyway.  So if I could bridge to that pace group then I’d be sheltered from the wind.


Of course, that’s a bit of a tough race decision to make.  If I try and bridge that 200-300m, I’m going to have to substantially increase my pace (and thus effort) for a period of time.  If I were to only slightly increase my pace, then I’m still increasing effort but not getting rid of the wind factor.

So, I went for it.  A bit of a calculated decision that I could knock out the difference in about a mile.  200-300m sounds like a short distance, until you remember that the pace group is moving at 6:45/mile (4:12/KM), so that means I have to drop down into the 6:10-6:20/mile range (3:50-3:55/KM)to make up the ground within a mile or so.

Which, is what I did.  Here, you can see where I kicked up the pace and my HR spiked (an increase of about 12-15BPM):


About a mile later, I was successfully in that group.  The real question then is does my HR come back down to the pre-spike levels?


Thankfully, it did.  Within about 2-3 minutes I was back at the exact same heart rate levels and still at the same pace as before.  So my HR was floating between 162 and 166bpm (Z3), and my pace was at 6:45/mile (4:12/KM).

Now, I’d like to give serious props to this particular pace guy.  His pacing at 6:45/mile was scary perfect.  It wasn’t that he hit every mile at that pace, it was that he was constantly at exactly that pace.  Had I thought to take a video of my watch’s instant pace, it virtually never swayed off of 6:45/mile.  He was also definitely of the non-social variety.  I don’t think he said a word to anyone, except calling out water/aide stations.

In any case, I kept with the group no problem at all.  The only slight downside was that it was actually much warmer in the group because the wind was blocked but the sun was still glaring down.  So every once in a while I’d scoot to the edge for a minute or two to get a bit of breeze and cool off.

Otherwise, we just kept a very even pace towards the bump in the distance that is Mont Saint-Michel (seen below):


Just keep on truckin’….


Around the half-way point things were all still good.  This was where if you were in a team-relay you would have ended your half and someone else started.  Though, it seemed like the first half runners actually ran only about 12.2 or so miles, and the second portion runners got a longer chunk.  Though, the first half runners had the hill.  Or, perhaps I was just confused at that point in the race.


In any case, onwards I went.  No particular problems, though, it was getting warm out.  My half-marathon split was approx 1:29, so a very solid split.

You’ll notice I’m wearing a CamelBak.  This was mostly for the practical purposes of having a place to hold onto a bunch of gels.  I wasn’t even planning on putting water in it.  Then The Girl reminded me that given it was a hot day, perhaps I should add a bit of water in case I needed some between aide stations (every 5K/3.1 miles).  So I put about 20oz of water in there, which I was definitely glad I did given the heat.


It was around the 14 mile marker or so though that things abruptly hit a wall.  For reasons somewhat unclear to me in the span of about 100m I went from feeling just fine to watching my heart rate plummet, and then my pace along with it.  I’m reasonably sure it was heat, given I was pretty warm at that point.

This had a significant suck-factor to it, as my pace went from 6:45/mile (4:12/KM) down to 7:45/mile (4:49/KM) in the span of about a mile.  I kept on chugging though, but at the next aide station I stopped to walk and try and get some more fluids in me (and water on my head).  I easily downed a full bottle of water, plus a cup of water with a sugar cube at the bottom, and then some orange slices.


Of course, at this point it was basically just wide-open fields and hot sun:


I don’t actually have a lot of pictures of this portion of the race.  Mostly because while I was moving along at generally a 7:45-8:00/mile pace, there was also two prolonged aide station moments.  Further, it was really just a lot of fields.


At around the 36KM marker, there was this giant inflated archway out in a field.  And, a horse of some sorts cheering people on.  I’m not quite sure why they chose the 36KM marker (6KM to go), instead of the 37KM marker (typical 5K to go).  But, they were very enthusiastic.


I will point out that I’m actually liking the kilometer system much better than the mile system, for marathons.  I do all the paces in my head, but I was actually counting down in kilometers since there were no mile markers on this course (actually uncommon for marathons in Europe, most have 5-Mile markers).  For some reason, it goes by faster.  Perhaps because I’m clicking off kilometer markers every 4ish minutes, rather than every 7ish minutes.

Speaking of which, I eventually found myself at the 40K marker, which was crossing one final bridge.  It’s here that I found The Girl!


It’s also here that I could sorta see the finish.  It’s way at the end of the river to the left.  It’s 2.2K away still, which made me realize it’s still about 1.4 miles away.


Oh, here’s the photo The Girl took of me while she was cheering on that same little bridge:


With that, I turned off the bridge and headed down a nice running path working my way towards the finish off in the distance:


The blue thing above was not the finish.  Rather, I think the 1.5KM marker to go.  I was impressed with how many people there was though along the banks all the way to the finish.  Pretty cool to see.


Which, I crossed in 3:19.  Definitely not my fastest, nor the very manageable pace I was on going into the first half.

The finish line overlooked Mont Saint-Michel off in the distance about a mile away.



I think the clear lesson here for me is I need to simply only run marathons in the dead of winter (or in the arctic).  Historically that’s just worked out for me.  And while you can acclimatize to a degree, the reality is that France isn’t the US East Coast, so my hot-weather running days are somewhat limited, even in the summer.  For reasons that have been clearly spelled out to me race after race, I just don’t do great on warm weather days.

Ironically, it rained and poured the day before and was much cooler (it also rained the day after).  I’m reasonably certain if I had that rain instead of sun, I would have kept up the pace no problems.  I’m also certain I didn’t go out too fast.  My heart rates for the first 14 miles were quite spot-on for where they needed to be: Just above Zone 2, into low Zone 3.  And my perceived effort matched that.

In any case, it was still a fun race, and one where I decided on the goal/plan about the day before – so no complaints here.



After walking from the finish line I continued down a corral to pickup my finisher’s medal.

From there I hit up a tent for a bag of finisher’s food.


Its here they handed me the biggest bottle of water I’ve ever received after a race (awesome).  A full 2-liter sized bottle, plus a smaller secondary bottle.  Sweet!


I then went over to pickup my bag with stuff from the start.  I was impressed that before I even got there they had seen me walking (err…waddling) towards them and by time I arrived at the fence my bag was in my hand.  Great volunteers!


With that, I posed for a quick photo on the bridge before heading back to the hotel a hundred meters away (best post-marathon hotel walk ever!).


And afterwards, as noted in my previous post I headed out for a couple hour bike ride with The Girl to keep the legs moving.  Good stuff.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. Hubert

    Great race report Ray!
    Congratulation for the marathon, your pace impresses me (mine = 6min/km), and even more impressive, all this calculation during the race => you still have the courage (and blood pressure) for that?!?
    How easy you finish a marathon is really inspiring!

  2. benji

    Given what’s written on the 36 km arch, it is at this spot because you leave ‘Ille-et-Vilaine’ to enter the ‘Manche’ ‘departement’ [these are 2 of the 96 mainland france’s administrative divisions].

  3. cjm

    So… you going to be carrying your stash of safety pins with you in future?

  4. Michael C

    I’ve always carbo-loaded before marathons, ’cause that’s what you do, but I don’t know how much I really believed it made a difference. However, this spring on the night before running a 20, we had some great steaks. So good in fact that’s about all I ate. The next morning what should have been a very doable 20 was one of my toughest runs in years. I’m back to high carbs before long runs.

    Just a random stranger questioning your pre-race meal (which looked delicious) but not your related chicken humor. Thanks for another great write up.

    • Generally speaking most nutrition folks are trending towards carbo loading in the days leading into it, but not quite as much the night before (sometimes a larger lunch is substituted).

  5. taniwha

    You might enjoy that end of november marathon link to marathondelarochelle.com
    Thank you for all the race reports and the good writings.

  6. James White

    Great race report, I’m sure you’re dry sense of humouring is coming out more in your reports (this is a good thing!)

    May I ask which sports tracking software the heart rate graph is taken from?


  7. I hope you are getting your Racedots soon to save on the safety pins.

  8. SimonNZ

    Snap! A 3:19 is my best marathon time, sadly unlikely to he repeated as it was 6 years ago and I am only getting slower…

    Always enjoy your race reports, look forward to a marathon report where you nail it(from memory your last one was also not so flash?).

  9. Madelein

    Just curious, how hot was hot?

    • Tom

      Note that the spectators are wearing jackets, scarves, and hoodies with the hood pulled up and Ray is from Seattle.

    • Andre

      In France, that’s usually not a very good indication of how hot it is outside. Just saying….

    • I think it was about 70*F, but it was direct sun, so that was honestly the bigger factor. I actually got a solid sunburn out of it…which is now peeling. :(

  10. Rob

    Hi Ray, Which camera did you use?
    I bought a VIRB a while back, but have not been blown out of the water by it – I’m thinking i might go back to a “normal rugged” camera.

    Thanks – great site … i tragically check for updates each day…

  11. ddddavidee

    thanks for the report. I really would like to run this marathon next year.

  12. Bryce

    Thanks for the details on the HR. Great post as always.

  13. nice ! in the last years we ended really at the Mont and it was a huge mess since people were stuck against the Mont’s wall trying to head back to their car and family.I think it’s a better finish now :)

  14. Angel

    Great job Ray, 3:19 is a fantastic time, not every one are able to run. Just one question did yo run Behobia San Sabestian?

  15. Kate

    I can’t say that bringing your own saftey pins is a bad thing. I often volenteer at packet pickup and watch giant boxe of saftey pins slowly empty themelves. Then I start to wonder how many pounds of saftey pins that orginizer goes though a year. I keep a pill bottle with pins in my car now and try to remember to bring them with me.

  16. Chris

    Nice race Ray. The heat is always rough, luckily for me its rained at probably 95% of all my races.

    Which GPS/HR unit were you using in the race?

    • Brett P

      99% likely that he was using the Garmin Forerunner 620 with the HRM-Run chest strap.

    • Brett P

      Although now that I look at the picture that The Girl took of him, he appears to have two watches on (too blurry to tell which models).

    • I had both the FR620 and Polar V800 with me (one on each wrist). For heart rate I was using the Scosche unit on my arm, pairing the ANT+ side to the FR620, and the BLE side to the V800.

  17. cecile

    I’m french and we just assume everybody has safety pins. It’s a very common item in sewin boxes. And if you generally end up with only 1,2,3 pins is because you generally give 1-2 to a friend or random stranger

    • slartiblartfast

      Having had the experience of turning up at a French race (Alpe d’Huez duathlon) with no safety pins and being told that I wouldn’t be allowed to start unless my number was pinned on, I can confirm that a last minute safety pin scramble provokes needless anxiety. Perhaps French race websites should make it clear that everyone is expected to bring their own safety pins!

    • Can’t say i like your tradition of bringing your own pins…what are we supposed to do go to the store just to buy safety pins? Seems like a basic thing a quality race would provide.

  18. Ray,

    I’m curious as to whether European marathon have timing systems allowing spectators to track runners along courses like we do here in the US? Maybe only higher profile races or larger races? Is it common/free/paid etc.?

    Thought about it while reading this post and don’t remember you discussing in a race report.


  19. Steve

    Sweet race, and fun to read about.

    Heat is tough stuff. I was recently reading on another running site about the sweating rates of the elite warm weather marathoners – their ability to dissipate heat is just as crucial a factor in winning as the legs.

    So, I’m thinking 2 watches, a Mio Link and a footpod? Maybe I need to carry more to go faster…..

  20. Amedeo

    on the table of post race’s food, near bananas, are there yogurt?

    does camelback, on a sunny day, decrease your refrigeration on the back?

    • Yup, yogurt indeed.

      The CamelBak doesn’t bother me too much. In this case the sun was actually on my face (lower in the sky still, in front of me). It probably does reduce cooling a bit on the back, but having water makes up for it in my experience – especially since European races spread out the water to every 5K (versus typical US races are every 2-miles).

  21. Yet another great race report Ray.

    Here is an Arctic marathon: the midnight sun marathon, in Tromsø, Norway, 2014-06-21
    link to msm.no

  22. Thanks for sharing your race experience. I can relate to your heat aversion which is why I always wear a running cap. I am pretty fair and the sun not only burns me, it also zaps my energy. Nevertheless, I can only dream of times like yours. Well done.

  23. Paul

    Nice race report as always. You should consider to run the ING Night Marthon in Luxembourg which starts at 7pm, so generally no problems with sun.

  24. Kevin Sheasgreen

    Nice job Ray, I would say it’s still a very respectable time. You need to get some racedots. you’ll never use safety pins again.

  25. Ed

    Ray – do you wear any fitness bands during marathons? If so, what’s your regular these days?

  26. Claudio

    Hi Ray,
    funny to see you race report – I ran the Mt Saint Michel marathon back in 2011 (my only marathon so far), and your report brings back a lot of memories. That year, though, the finish line was really at the foot of the Mont, maybe just 100m from the entrance. so that last straight was even longer! ;-)
    In many years running in France, I don’t remember ever having had safety pin problems – sometimes they are in the race bag, sometimes they are freely available at bib pickup (as was the case at the Versailles Triathlon I did last WE), and, yes, sometimes you bring your own (I think most people have a bunch of them in the bag they carry to races). But actually I hate safety pins, so these last years I’ve been using some plastic clips (which work great if the T-shirt and bib aren’t too thick), and lately magnets from racebibup.com, and also have racedots on order (which have actually arrived, but at my sister’s place in DC, so I’ll pick them up this summer).
    In any case congrats on your result, despite the wind and the heat!

  27. Matthieu in Taipei

    ray ! KM 36 the blue arch was the border mark between “Ile et vilaine” and “Manche” department.
    Mont saint michel being in Manche !. this is why the boards say welcome in Manche
    Great report ! Keep Moving !
    Cheers Mat

  28. MAGNUS

    Great race report. I can only hope to get down to a 3:19 time. I’ve only got two marathons under me, both not great experiences, but I finished…

    First time it rained the entire time and was much colder than I normally run in… Second time I tore my meniscus a few months prior. I was still able to run my race, and even beat my first race, but still not happy with my time.

  29. Tom

    Great race – Congratulations. Thanks for writing and sharing your race report…I’ve been there and recall experiencing high winds. Glad you had a good day, overall and a strong performance despite hitting a wee wall.

  30. skijeti

    I’ve noticed from the picture The Girl took you’re using Scosche RHYTHM+ band,i’m interested, generally does it meets your expectation in terms of accurate HR measurement without losing signal or having much spikes.
    Thanks for sharing Ray.

  31. Blythe

    I agree that you can’t always count on safety pins in race packets here, and I do have a collection just in case! But you can always just use a tri belt– safety pin problem solved and you have a place to put your gels! :)

  32. Great race recap and amazing result and pace! But I have to disappoint you on one point:

    “I think the clear lesson here for me is I need to simply only run marathons in the dead of winter (or in the arctic).”

    You cannot even trust the arctic anymore. ;) We started last week at the Oulu marathon and thought of a “chilled” race and it then it was hotter than at the Mediterranean Sea last week end!

  33. Great race report ! Not that I was running your anywhere near your pace but I found the heat to affect me around the same mile marker (14+). I felt fine and was keeping my pace until just after half-way and then I got tired pretty suddenly. Something I hadn’t experienced in training. I will just happily assume it was the same for everyone ;)

    My Garmin FR 220 said I did 26.39 miles, just for comparison purposes. I used livetrack the whole time with my iphone, didn’t work the whole time (lost 3G) but apparently (according to my BF following me) it picked right back up when signal came back. Pretty cool feature!

    Oh, and the 4h30 pacer was fantastic, social and friendly. Keeping great pace and shouting motivations the whole way … really enjoyed him … until I couldn’t quite keep up anymore!


  34. Eric Guinard

    Hi Ray, coming from Bretagne, there is the usual pointless discussion between Bretons & Normands as to whether the Mont-Saint-Michel is in Bretagne or Normandie. As the saying goes “The Couenon, being silly, put the Mont in Normandy !”. So I believe the 36km mark must have been near that little river (Le Couenon) which separates the 2 regions… Now, the current French president wanting to halve the number of regions, he might just put the matter to rest for good !
    As to safety pins, no clue, I’ve been racing mostly in Asia these past few years so I’ll be careful next time I join a race in France. Thanks for the great report, always a pleasure to read. If ever you are in Kansai area in Japan, let me know !

  35. Janyne Kizer

    Thanks for sharing your race report. It sounds like a really cool event in terms of location. I’m sorry that the weather wasn’t great for running. I’m with you on winter running — my open marathons have all been in February.

    I was wondering if you always use the Camelbak for long runs. I have been carrying a water bottle and I don’t like that a whole lot but I despised using waste packs. I’m wondering if a hydration pack might be worth trying out. Your back doesn’t overheat? Does it cause your clothing to pill?

    • Yup, I always use it. It’s important to try a few things. For example, I’ve tried in the past the Fuelbelts, but can’t stand them after a while (feels constricting). Most CamelBak’s (and other products of similar purpose) have a mesh backing, so it doesn’t get hot. Zero problems for me with clothing pulling. If it did that I’d go crazy.

  36. Frank Cammarata

    Excellent race report. I highly recommend the Marathon du Medoc in the Bordeaux region of France. Everyone dresses up in costumes and you run from Winery to Winery for tastings. It is a wonderful event and the entire area shows up for support.

  37. Jean-Louis

    One day I bought a little box with safety pins (15 or 20 pins I think…). For my first race I gave 8 pins the 2nd one 2 or 3. By now I only have a big box with 3pins which became very precious. Before a race I always say to myself I should buy another box but I also always forget it after the excitation of the arrival.
    I ran this marathon twice, I will run it again next year.

  38. Really enjoyed your race report. I know you did this race over 2 1/2 years ago but I am thinking about doing the marathon or the new half marathon. What hotel did you stay in in Mont Saint Michel?
    I’ve done the Paris Marathon, Marathon du Medoc and the 20 km de Paris twice. Loved them all and highly recommend them!

  39. Michel

    This is a great breakdown of your experience with this race. I have been considering doing this race for 2 years now and in 2018 it might happen. I’m trying to find the best travel package ideal for runners since I will be coming from the US and alone, so I’m a little nervous doing that. I have a few questions to ask if possible:

    1) Was everyone at the race/expo French speaking and/or English speaking? Or a combination of the two?
    2) Which hotel did you stay in for the race?
    3) Did you use any sort of travel package? If so, what did you use?
    4) Any other advice for someone from the US who wants to fly out and run this race?

    Thanks in advanced!


    • It’s a super easy race to do, even without a travel package. Basically just book a flight to Paris and then grab a car rental to Saint Malo. :) Actually, you can also simply take the train from Paris to Saint Malo, as they have buses to sort logistics out, but post-race you’ll want a car to get around the region.

      1) Combination of two, but you’ll have no problems if English only.
      2) We booked the Hotel Mercure Mont St. Michel, which is right at the finish line. Though personally I prefer the Saint Malo area as a better place to stay (aside from a day visit to Mont St. Michel itself.)
      3) No, we live in Paris, so we just rented a car and drove out. Super easy roads to get there. Nice and scenic.
      4) It’s really pretty easy. It might sound complex, but honestly it’s a very laid back part of the country, and also one heavily visited by British folks via direct ferry, so if you only speak English, it won’t be an issue. They’re also very nice in this region too.


  40. Maree a Bridger

    Thanks, this was very helpful, Maree