Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016 World Indoor Championships Day 3

At least I got more sleep than yesterday's 5 hours. That wasn't enough after a long run, but my body sometimes won't shut down when I have deep workouts like that.

Regardless, I was pretty sore this morning, and I needed to run a bouncy 8. Some of that mileage needed to be done in a military manner (with all due haste). Down the East Bank Esplanade of the Willamette River to the Springwater Trail and back.

Ugh. My legs just didn't work right during the warmup miles. I had to concentrate on picking 'em up and putting 'em down. Miles 6-7 were money, almost a minute per mile faster than race pace. That's plenty for today.

At our pre-meet briefing, I swear our Kentucky good ol' boy chief umpire Bo said, "Try to look impotent out there."  After a double-take, I realized his drawl wanted to say "important."Subtle difference.

I saw Harry Marra, coach of both Eatons, and congratulated him on a double victory. I wonder if he's paid on commission.

Ah, sweet relief: for the 60m hurdles prelims, the adjacent shot put netting is removed, but the thick floor cushioning is still there. So much nicer to kneel on that than directly on the track surface, which has the consistency of 100 grit sandpaper.

Runner's faces always fascinate me. People have different expressions when they are pushing hard:

1) Lolo Jones: slasher homicidal manic

2) Nicole Blood: very late for a doctor's appointment

3) Robby Andrews: oh, wow, golly gee (while at 3:52 mile pace!)

4) Emil Zatopek: please, just shoot me now.

The great Emil Zatopek

In the women's 60m prelims, the Marshall Islands and Saudi Arabia are both represented at the bottom of the field. The Marshall woman wins the prize for most awesome compression calf sleeves, day-glow orange.

Women's 800m semi: coming into my turn with a lap to go, the field is literally 5 wide! It turns into a drag race.

The first heat of the men's 4x400m relay is won by the team from Borlee. As in: Borlee, Borlee, Borlee, and Some Other Really Fast Guy. The Belgian Borlees have the world's best relay team under one roof when they add sister Olivia.

Bahamian 'Fireman' Chris Brown runs the anchor leg in his 8th World Championship competition. Since this event happens every two years, that would make the old. And still very fast. The last leg of this relay has four guys in a very furious paceline, all acting like Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder.

Or Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights.

Lunchtime: we're all tired of the concession stand food, so I find out that there is an enclave of food carts near a mass transit stop.

Here's my Cubanito...egg, sausage, ham, jalapeno, avocado.

Food coma!

Female triple jumpers look like a praying mantis, all limbs and levers that are folded strangely.

Men's 800m Masters (over 60). Maybe the best race of the night; two guys at the line, and one of them gives up his body in a swan dive.

Men's 800 final: So much bumping and bashing that I completely miss the finish because I'm writing up two fouls. Those guys should be more considerate of my time.

And after taking 3rd, it's clear that Eric Sowinski has gotten much faster since he cut his hair:


Two years ago, Boris Berian was flipping burgers at McD's after he dropped out of college. Tonite, this still-unsponsored guy is the world's best indoor half miler. Brave run from the front, Boris.

Hey, Nike: do you think maybe you want to sign him now? Just askin'. He's only been the best American 800m guy for the last two years. And Phil (Knight): you may have noticed that Boris's run brought the house down. I think the masses like this dude, and isn't that what marketing is all about?

US Women go 1-2 in the 400. Again I can't see a great finish because I'm busy writing incident reports. I hate fouls on the final lap, because I miss all the action!

Women's 1500m final: the leader drifts into Lane 2 and shuts down the trailing runner. I write up an obstruction foul, and I'll be mortified if the report is upheld. This is a world championship I'm influencing!

After the events are done, I jump the train for the downtown fan festival where the medals are awarded. Ms.Praying Mantis gets her gold, and I quickly learn that the Venezuelan national anthem has an awesome trombone line. Need to learn that one.

And it sounds like someone named Max Peck won silver in the men's triple jump. Huh? I didn't think we were choosing astronauts here....Turns out it's Germany's Max Hess is the jumper, and Max Peck is a guy only a NASA junkie like me would know.

Look, it's been a long day, and I'm punchy.

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