I consider myself a fairly well travelled young man. I have been to wealthy countries like America and less fortunate ones like Hungry. However in my all my travels I have never come across such a rare and unique country as Turkey.
On our arrival here into Erzurum we managed to get into bed at 1:30am after an expected arrival of 10:30pm that night at the athlete accommodation.
The general population and volunteers always mean well and are extremely polite and friendly. They always want to help us as much possible and make sure all we have to do is train and rest( sounds pretty good I know). But we seem to run into a little bit of a snag when they try and do everything for us but they never have any clue about what you are trying to achieve. A classic example was the first morning we went skiing and our two coaches were trying to set up our team wax room, placing benches and waxing tables where they wanted them. Our Turkish attaché however felt the need to stop us from setting it all up and wanted to do it all for us(He’s a nice guy that means well just does things differently to us). Or the other classic one was the Sunday morning when we booked the bus to get us to the race course (which alone is a 1.5 hour drive) for 9:00 and didn’t leave the hotel till 10:30.
Callum Watson who has a quite a famous reputation for hating the place has even more of a reason to hate it after getting food poisoning the first night he arrived and has been in bed all day (but on the mend and should race last two races).
In many ways our arrival here could not be more different from last time. Last year it was a few days before we even saw any snow, where as it’s been pumping down non stop since we’ve been here. We have had a few skis out on the race course and it all looks pretty good and I’m keen to do the distance course. It is very hilly with very long striding up hills and almost zero double pole which suits me well. The sprint, which is, tomorrow on the other hand will be interesting. It’s a fairly long (1.6km) course with two tough climbs in it. To make things interesting out of the start is quite a long straight through the stadium and into the major climb. This doesn’t sound that bad but not cooking the goose to early the sprint is very important so it will be some tough racing tomorrow. That’s all from me I’m in for an early rise tomorrow.
Will keep you posted.
Train hard. Rest easy. Live for the moment.