This is day four of my month of travel to Copenhagen, Paris, London and Boston. Today, I am in Copenhagen, the day before the World Half Marathon Championships.
This is a busy weekend within the world or road racing and track and field. With Carlsbad on Sunday, March 30 and the Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday as well, Copenhagen has Saturday to itself. 30,000 citizen runners and 202 plus elite athletes will race across the one lap course in Copenhagen for 13.1 miles or 21.11 kilometers, whatever you choose.
Friday was spent heading to the press conferences. As I hit the city center, the race course was taking shape, as workers were preparing the start and the finish. I noticed Driving Liason, Kasper Hjort, who had just dropped off President Lamine Diack, General Secretary Essar General and Associate Secretary Nick Davies for the main press conference.
As we approached the press conference, Andreas Thorkildsen, Kajsa Berquist and Wilson Kipketer, the three athlete ambassadors for the IAAF, appeared. Along with Zersaney Tadese, Valeria Straneo and Wilson Kiprop, the ambassadors answered questions for the assembled media.
Tadese, who will have run nine of the World Half Marathon champs, has won five and taken the silver in the sixth half marathon. Wilson Kiprop defeated Tadesse in 2010, and wants to win once again. Tadese had many smiling when he said that he would reveal his tactics during the race.
Andreas Thorkildsen had the best quote. " I would have to loose 50 kilos in order to run a half marathon. Seriously, there is no amount of pain killers that could make me run the half marathon." When asked later, Andreas was even more explicit, " My running distance is 30 meters."
Wilson Kipketer, who has run two marathons, is actually in shape, The former world record holder at 800 meters, Kipketer has been training and hopes to run 1:20 for the half marathon distance.
After the press conferences, I took a walk into the Stroll Square, a wonderful shopping area. Finding the Cafe Europa, I did not appreciate that just because the sun was out, it could be cold. A few minutes later, with a blanket on my lap, and an espresso in my gullet, I enjoyed a sample plate of Danish treats: smoked salmon and salmon mouse, avocado and shrimp, a small moose burger (serious), and a salad made with lots of bacon (mmmmm).
Lunch at Cafe Europa, photo by Larry Eder
One day to go for the Half marathon. We will have to be in the city centre about 9 am local time in order to get into the Media Center, and we will be staying put until about three in the afternoon, when the final press conference ends.
I can feel the jet lag hitting me, so time for a short nap, after some more writing. That is it for today.
Graven Image of a Cow, Jensen's Steakhouse, Copenhagen, DK,
photo by Larry Eder