On the way to the track, another Jesse Thomas sighting: Bend triathlete who's probably a top five pick for the Hawaii Ironman...and CEO of Picky Bars, now in Trader Joe's nationwide.
Disclaimer: I'm not sponsored by Picky Bars. Can somebody change that?
I can't count the number of people who complimented me on my kicks. Bought these a couple months ago at the Nike Outlet Store in Bend, and they are pretty comfortable on the track.
Still some time before the first event, so i did some climbing to the upper reaches of the homestretch bleachers, adjacent to the press box:
|That's a long way down!|
|My kingdom for a water balloon...|
Cool vantage point!
This is the back side, overlooking the Fan Festival and all the over-priced retail offerings...
Underneath the West Grandstands, there is a short warm-up track.
Before the events started, I squeezed in 2 sets of 7 pull-ups in the Weight Room. On top of my awesome 11 reps yesterday, I'm feeling quite like this...
During the umpire briefing, I noted that the wind has been picking up, and maybe we should start the 800m races on the backstretch to compensate? Everybody threw their water bottles at me.
I love track!
An Ashton Eaton sighting, though not a glamorous one: he was waiting for the Honey Bucket adjacent to our meeting.
Two decathletes, warming up for the hurdles:
Guy #1: "Hey, are you going to lift weights today?"
Guy #2: "Sure. Why be at the Olympic Trials if you don't look good?"
They both laughed.
You know those close-up TV shots you see of the athletes as they are on the starting line? The camera guys absolutely get in their grills; you can probably see nostril hair. And it makes me shake my head to see the camera guy frantically/desperately looking for Ashton, because it's very important to get a close-up of the world record holder tying his shoes.
One decathlete gets announced: he blows kisses to the 15 other guys waiting to run, and they all bust up laughing.
Then the starting line clerk will ask each runner: "Need any more time?" One athlete, a professional, replies, "Ready to go, sir."
I LOVE TRACK!
For the record, Ashton has enormous calf muscles. I also notice that he has lots of spike marks on them...odd place for that. Then I realize the cuts are on his lead leg that skims the hurdles oh so close. Sometimes a little TOO close!
In between sessions, i pedaled down the the Amazon Pool for some easy laps before it became deluged with visitors...
I had actually left the pool before I remembered to take some pictures, and I felt a little funny walking thru the locker room holding a camera. Sorry, guys...
The other day, I mentioned this Epic Bar: found it in the energy bar section of the store, and am still conflicted about it. Turns out it's not bad; kind of a chickeny Spam thing.
One of the ingredients is....lactic acid. WHAT???? No thank you, I do just fine in that department on my own.
And an accidental bike chain tattoo..
Lunch on Agate Street outside the stadium...have I mentioned how much I love food carts?
Friends (and former umpires) Don and Betty hunted me down...
Book signing? I saw this on two successive days and never saw the signers...John Carlos was one of the Black Power Salute guys at the 1968 Olympics, and I can't remember what Frank Shorter did.
omg...this is either hilarious or...I don't know what...
kinda looks like Lil' Penny
Yes, I'm not exactly having a miserable time here. Too much laughing!
We're three for three on buttery rich National Anthems: today it was Madeline Manning, 1968 Gold Medalist in the 800m. She's friends with lots of the local management, so hopefully i can meet her.
Natasha Hastings did a brutal but effective dive for 3rd place in the 400m. Effective enough for a trip to Rio, and hopefully not effective enough for a case of Zika.
When Jenna Prandini was in college, she NEVER acknowledged the crowd during race introductions. Not a smile, wave, NOTHING, just a cold-blooded killer. Multiple NCAA titles and even an Outdoor National crown. Now that she has an enormous pro contract, she's waving and all smiles. Today she was out of the medals....Puma needs to forget about superficial PR and tell her to lock it down, because it worked before. Then again, she's better in the 200; stay tuned.
LaShawn Merritt! What a beast. In the 400m, everybody dies in the last straightaway, because you simply can't run that fast for that far. But someone forgot to tell him; he absolutely CRUSHED the field in the final 100m and showed no signs of tying up. Only man under 44 seconds this year, a huge run, and his third straight Olympic Trials win. Meanwhile, Gil Roberts in the next lane was practically bent over backwards trying to hold it together, and he did. 3rd Place to David Verburg, all 5'7" of him (and a 6' wide smile on his victory lap).
Long jump: stud Marquis Dendy is in danger of not qualifying for the final with one jump left. He juices it and flies to a personal best of over 28'. Then he runs back up the runway, cussing up a storm (but in the very best way). His coach yells, "Way to get in the party!!"
8 cameras set on remote shutter..one for each lane on the finishing straight...these photographers are serious!!
100m winner English Gardner was raised in New Jersey and schooled in Oregon, which means she spent the first 22 years of her life not pumping her own gas.
Huge roar while waiting for the men's 100m final. Not sure why the fuss, because no other events are in progress. Then I realize that the decathletes just threw champ Ashton into the steeplechase water pit.
and this guy...
I love track.