Upcoming events –

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

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Leaving for Athens in the Morning

August 1--San Diego

I'm almost packed tonight and certain that I will be sitting on the plane before I realize that I forgot something important. Isn't that the way it always is when you're getting ready for a long trip? I'm very excited about the trip and the adventures that await. I'm a little anxious, but that's pretty normal, too. If all goes according to plan, I should be in the Frankfurt airport in 24 hour waiting for the US Olympic Team charter flight to Athens.

Tonight Liz took me out to dinner at the local 'Olympic Cafe' for some Greek cuisine. It seemed appropriate to end my training in San Diego with a bit of Greek flavor. Yeah, in a couple weeks I'll be wishing I had eaten a nice Mexican meal of taquitos with guacamole and chips, but the souvlaki platter got me in the mood.

My flight out in the morning is at 6:30am, connecting through Chicago on my way to the charter flight in Frankfurt. I'll be checking into Athens around 1pm local time and then the process begins. First I'll get my official Olympic accreditation badge with my photo ID and a barcode that tells the security at each and every checkpoint who I am, where I'm from and whether I am an athlete, coach, delegation member, medical staff, or some other member of the Olympic family. For the next four weeks, my accreditation badge will be my pass into the Olympic Village, into and out of the athletic venues, into the cafeteria, housing, Games transportation, everything. Without it, I'm up a creek. With it, I have access to all sorts of interesting places.

After accreditation, I will pick up my bags and go through Greek customs. My bags will then get taken to the Olympic Village, I'll board a bus with my US teammates and we'll all be on our way. The track and field coaches have said they are going to get us a tour of the racewalk course on Tuesday evening of Wednesday morning. It will be nice to take a look at the 2km circuit that I'll be walking. Mentally it helps to have a picture of what the course looks like, where the turns are, the hills (rumor has it there are some nasty hills on the course), and whether there is shade or not. On the afternoon of the 4th, all of the track and field team members and coaches will get on another charter flight for Crete. There, we check into the Pilot Beach Resort. Five big big big star resort. From the website, it looks incredible. It's a shame that we have to do all that training rather than sitting poolside or dipping our toes in the Mediterranean. It's rough getting ready for an Olympic 50km. :)

Well, time to rest up for the big trip in the morning. Wish me luck!

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