It is 12:43 PM in Prague, and I am in the media center of the O2 Arena. To say that the trip has been challenging, might be an understatement. A former co-worker, Julie Wells, used to laugh as I would relate my travails with travel, noting, " Larry, I will never travel with you."
I will leave that up to the reader to decide.
In any regards, I see it all as an adventure, and this season, your athletic pilgrim has gone from Boston (New Balance Indoor GP) on February 7, to New York (for Millrose Games and PUMA launch) on Feb. 14, to Birmingham, UK for Sainsbury's Indoor GP on Feb. 21. A short trip to Malmo, Sweden for a Feb. 25, meet, ended with a twenty hour trip back to Boston, for the USA Indoor Champs.
And now, after an overnight stay in Washington D.C. due to snow delays from Boston, I make the trip to Frankfurt, then, to Prague...and now, the Euro Indoors!
The art of travel is really underestimated. I have been using my miles for some of the indoor excursions for this season.
I have to admit that it frustrates me to no end to find out that, five minutes before I arrive at a gate, and with snow delays across the eastern seaboard, a certain American based airline, with a global alliance, leaves people stranded, costing them more in hotels and rebookings than the fifteen minutes of waiting would have accomplished.
I spent the night in the HIlton Dulles Airport. I had not been there since 1989, when I was working on America Online and visiting Steve Case and his advertising department. After I cooled down, the hotel and staff were so nice that I just got some work done and actually slept.
My flight from Washington D.C. to Frankfurt was non-eventful. I did see the Imitation Game movie and was quite moved by the story of Alan Turning. Turning was greatly responsible for the breaking of the Enigma code, and like the men who developed atomic bombs, Turning was tortured by the good and evil of what he had done. His chemical castration for being convicted of lewd behavior (he was gay), was women into a movie with high points and low points. After that upper, I read a book on General Zhukov, one of Russia's greatest generals, who was loved and hated by both Stalin and Kruschev.
As I was getting on my flight from Frankfurt to Prague, I saw President Diack getting on the plane with a couple of the IAAF VPs and his advisors. As we walked down steps and to the plane, the President was carrying his own large bags and I noted that, at 81, the President was handling his own bags fine.
Our trip into the O2 Arena with several of my English and German friends was a bit of a pain, but worked out in the end. Media signs were lacking, but I noticed Patrik Sjoberg, the great Swedish triple jumper, who is doing TV for Sweden. Patrik, always gracious, showed up the stairs we would be taking our bags up several flights of stairs to get to our media center.
The media center was quite nice and the wi-fi worked well. The O2 Arena is a wonderful setting for the European Indoors. Once I set up my media info, and took the credential, I had a taxi called to get to my hotel, which was a long way, I thought, from the arena.
Checking into the Hilton Old Prague, for a wonderfully inexpensive rate for a major city, I passed out. Later in the evening, after about five hours of catching up with work from the States, I took a couple mile walk into the Old Town. Lots of restaurants, and young people out around midnight, and a smile came on my face as I saw the Metro stop. As the Media credential gives one free access to public transportation!
The metro stop is about three minutes from my hotel. Thank god for little miracles.
The morning session will come early, and I will be a grump. Time to crash.