Upcoming events –

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

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Gotta love Gothenburg

One of the perks of racewalking is getting to travel all over the world, and I mean, everywhere. I think I'm up to 35+ different countries and I'm hoping to add a few more some day. This trip won't add any new ones to my list since I was in Sweden and Russia back in 1994 for the Swedish Walk Week (winner!) and Goodwill Games (last place gets lots of sympathy cheers), but I'm very happy to be back in Sweden.

Wow, this place is amazing. Beautiful countryside, well-planned cities, free health care, free education, yummy food, stunning parks, beautiful and friendly people. What more could you ask for? How about a free place to stay with good friends who are racewalkers. I love it!

Andreas Gustaffson and his lovely wife Molly agreed to let me stay with them for a week before the World Racewalk Cup in Russia. I wanted to come over early to adjust to the time zone change but didn't want to go to Russia where I wasn't sure of the food or accomodations. So here I am in Gothenburg, Sweden, and I'm so happy I came.

The Gustaffson's place is right downtown and the first night there was a parade for me... okay, it was a celebration of May Day or something, but I waved from the balcony to keep up appearances. The next night, they had another parade for the local engineering school. This time both Andreas and I waved. Gotta look good.

Andreas is Sweden's top 50km walker who used to live and train with us in Chula Vista in 2003-2004. Now he's doing the same thing I am: preparing to hit a qualifying time for the Olympics at the World Cup. We're on a mission. His is much harder than mine, though. I have to walk under 4:07:00. He has to impress the Swedish Athletics Federation with a top 12 finish or a sub 3:54:00. His PR from last year is 4:00:48. He's got work to do, but he's very fit right now and is kicking my butt in the few workouts we've done so far.

Susan Armenta, one of the top U.S. walkers arrives soon as does Jolene Moore, another top American. We're all headed to Russia together in a few days. Russia. So soon. Yikes.

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