Sunday, July 10, 2016

Olympic Trials - Final Day

Last night, I skipped dinner with some co-workers. Turned out to be a good call: dinner took 3 hours, and I had things to do this morning.

Like my second run with the House of Run podcasters. And Eugene did what Eugene does: massive deluge. I kept looking for an ark floating down the Willamette.

We ran about 5 miles on Pre's Trail. Jason probably had it the worst; recovering from a bum knee, he was on the bike while Kevin and I ran. You can't generate any body heat while riding a bike at 7 mph in a cold rain.

But you can definitely run faster than you think you can when you're being nudged along by others. We talked track the whole way, and the time flew.

Oh, and a Phil Knight sighting out there. He didn't stop to chat, probably because I was wearing adidas.

There was a last minute officials/volunteer brunch held at Autzen Stadium, right where we finished the run. So I simply bounded up the stairs to the Club Level in search of good eats.

First time for everything: a fried chicken and waffle sandwich. 

Just in case I forgot where I was...

 From the "It's a Small World" category: an official at the brunch told me that someone who knew me 33 years ago in high school was there shortly before I arrived. This unknown person recognized me on the track, but didn't bother to leave their name! Now I'm very curious...

Back to my room for a quick shower, then off to Cheshire, about halfway to Corvallis. Old friends Corey and Bretagne recently moved there with their four kids to a great place out in the country.

A greenhouse for the ages

Wine-worthy grapes

Japanese hot tub

Byron and his buddy

Awesome table/fire pit combo

C, B, and my man D

Great seeing them again!

Now, back to 'work.'

Jogging down the practice sprint track behind the stadium, en route to that tent in the distance...

On the head of another patron...The Olympic Creed

Not to be confused with Apollo Creed

Ah, the medical tent and another massage. Get there before the athletes arrive, and the physical therapists practically fight over you!

Great likeness, eh?

Yes, that's my nose...

Below the West Grandstands, the last umpire briefing of the year.

Umpire Sue is wearing a sweatshirt that says "Track", but with her other gear obstructing some letters, it looks like 'Teaneck.' Since she's from Long Island and I'm from New Jersey, I rib her unmercifully over this.

Only a few races today. Molly Huddle gets her 5k/10k double, running away with a lap to go. Shelby Houlihan uses her 1500 speed to take a close second, and is probably helped by the black and red kit that matches her black and red hair. After making her first Olympic team, she looks almost distraught for at least 10 minutes. Right before she's interviewed, I walk behind her and whisper, "Jeez, smile Shelby!" I think she heard me.

Edwin Moses was recognized for his 122 consecutive victories. Impressive feat, though many athletes of that era noted that Ed was notorious for ducking tough competitors to keep the streak going. Regardless, two Olympic golds looks pretty good on a resume.

After her collision in the 800, Brenda Martinez is definitely the crowd favorite for the 1500. She works her way into 3rd with 50m remaining but has nothing left. She sees a runner about to edge her out, so she dives and secures her spot. Took her awhile to realize she made it, but the look on her face made the bodily damage worthwhile!

Jenna Prandini rigs up in the 200m homestretch and follows Brenda's lead by diving at the line to nudge out Allyson Felix, who can't be too disappointed since she already has a slot in the 400.

Kendall Williams makes the team in the heptathlon, making her the 2nd most famous resident of Marietta, Georgia, following in the footsteps of my Annapolis classmate Ken D.

Great meet. As we disbanded, I asked a fellow umpire to again thank his wife for hand-crafting my flag holder last year. He looked at me for a second and said softly, 'It was the last thing she sewed.'  No other words needed.

A Brazilian troupe did a little 'Welcome to Rio' piece.

Sigh. No more track.

Back to the real world.

I love track.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7

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