Upcoming events –

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

Saturday, September 23, 2000

Sydney, Olympic Village

It's getting down to crunch time here at the Olympic Village. Today was the last of the intense speed workouts before the race and it went really well.

As I prepared for this morning's workout, the drama of yesterday's 20k race was still fresh in my mind. The tension and fatigue of watching yesterday's grueling race made it tough to focus on the intervals that I had to do today. What made it easier was seeing that 20K gold medalist, Robert Korsenovksi, and my training partner, Jefferson Perez, were out on the course for a workout the day after such a hard effort. If they could do an easy workout after a hard race, the least I could do was my tough workout.

Now that the men's 20k is over, the focus at the practice loop definitely shifted to the men's 50k. All of the heavies were out in force: Korsenovski (Poland) will be a strong contender in the 50K (he'll have seven days of rest between the 20K he just won); Jesus Garcia (Spain), 1997 World Cup Champion; Valentin Massana (Spain), 1996 Olympic bronze; Tomaz Lipzig (Poland), 1999 World Cup silver; and the guy from Kazakstan who won the World Cup last year. Not to mention a couple Russians who walked really really fast earlier this year.

I did some of my workout with Curt Clausen, my U.S. teammate who finished 4th at the World Championships last year in the 50K. Usually no one pays much attention to the American walkers, but all the athletes were keeping a close eye on us. They were looking at our technique, our shoes, how relaxed we looked, how fast we were going. Several coaches would check their watches when Curt went by to see what kind of splits he was walking for his 2Ks. It's nice to see the U.S. walkers being taken seriously.

On the way back to the Village, we were stopped by a pair of journalists who wanted to do a quick interview. It turns out they work for NBC and were at our 50K Olympic Trials in Sacramento back in February of this year. They promised to send some coverage back to the NBC affiliates in Portland, OR, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. It may be brief-lived, but being somewhat famous is fun.

It would be easy to get carried away here at the Village, too. There are always media people roaming around outside asking for interviews and trying to meet with the athletes. It would be so hard to be someone like Marion Jones or Michael Johnson who is always being asked for an interview. I'll take my fame and fortune in small doses, thank you very much.

Well, it's time for me to get a shower and dinner. I'll try to stay away from the free McDonalds, but those apple pies are just so tempting.

Cheers, mates!


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