Upcoming events –

Napa-Sonoma Half Marathon, July 20, 2014
Noble Canyon 50km Trail, September 20, 2014

Saturday, September 2, 2000

Brisbane River

Today was an easy training day. We went for a mere 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) walk this morning along the river path, over two bridges, and back to the hotel. On the way around the loop, we saw the beginnings of today's River Festival.

Brisbane, Australia has a beautiful river that winds through a stunning skyline. The most impressive structure over the river is the Story Bridge, a massive double arched suspension bridge that reaches across the bend in the river to Kangaroo Point.

Each spring the city hosts a raucous River Festival that began tonight with the most impressive fireworks display I have ever seen. The same group that orchestrated the Sydney and London Millennium 2000 Celebrations put on an ear-shattering, eye-popping display tonight.

Most of the US Olympic Track athletes went down to the riverwalk to watch the fireworks and we were all dazzled and amazed. Two barges parked in the middle of the river went through three series of 10 minute barrages of lights and noises and huge bangs. And then the highlight: they lit the bridge on fire! At least it looked as though the entire bridge was blown out of a cannon, rainbows of light exploding from the highest span, white light cascading down from beneath the roadway. Then, to top it all, an F-16 flew low over the river trailing a pulsing ball of fire.

It seemed that the entire city population turned out for the event. Over the next week, there will be concerts at the South Bank cultural center, outrigger canoe races along the river, and food festivals galore. Too bad that I'll be training for most of that time.

That's all for tonight from Brisbane, the River City Down Under.

Cheers, mates!


No comments: