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Rob Watson, our man in Moscow – Day 1: run at your own risk in this city

Run at your own risk on the streets of Moscow.
Run at your own risk on the streets of Moscow.

Morning from the ‘Cow everyone, sorry I didn’t get this out last night, once again, internet problems. This internet dilemma is fun, most of us are blaming the lack of internet power on poor quality Russian internet technology, but the Russians are blaming the Westerners for having way too many internet sucking devices. Both sides have a point, this internet is most certainly hella slow, but in their defence, the ratio of westerner to internet sucking device is at least 3:1. At training camp in Kamen we had 46 athletes, but over 200 devices hooked up to their WIFI! That is just absurd folks.

Anyways, let’s talk some track and field shall we?

So, things got off to a hot start yesterday. Literally. I was out for my morning shakeout at about 8:00 a.m. yesterday and it was already a warm and muggy 25 degrees. With the women’s marathon scheduled to go off at 2:00 p.m., things were setting up nicely for what we like to refer to as a “bloodbath,” “sufferfest” or “stupid hot marathon.” And that is exactly what we got. That race was hard to watch, man. I love Krista and Lanni, those ladies are absolute beauties in our game, such great ambassadors for Canadian distance running. Those girls are tough as hell and each ran themselves into the ground yesterday. The results were not what we were hoping for, but it was not for lack of effort or preparation. They’ll be back tearing it up in no time. Super proud of those two.

After the marathon I went for a little jog of my own. I ran with 800m man Romo. Romo had run the heats earlier in the day, he wanted to win, but he didn’t. Such is life. Dude is still a beaut. We ran down the river trail and had a grand ole’ time. Moscow is actually a pretty nice running town. There is an awesome path that provides brilliant views of the grand ole’ city and then even some quiet, secluded green space. The river path is vital for running survival here, because once you venture on to the city streets your chances of survival plummet as the drivers here just do whatever the hell they please with no regard for pedestrians at all.

Russia, a land of contradictions...
Russia, a land of contradictions…

Whilst running on the river path there are a few things that will distinctly stick out: 1) dudes rollerblading — so many damn rollerbladers in this city! It’s absurd; 2) dudes sunbathing on the river bank in speedos. The dudes are hairy, the dudes are “chunky” and the dudes just don’t give a crap. Banana hammocks all over the damn place! Kinda odd behaviour based on the attitudes that we have come to learn about this place…

Anyways, back to the track. Highlight of the day was certainly the men’s 10,000m. That was gnarly. The Africans tried their damnedest to beat that Farah character, but in the end dude just showed what a champ he was and pulled it out. It was spectacular. Speaking of spectacular, the Canadian kids also ran brilliantly. Our own little Mo ran an inspiring, ballsy race to finish 9th. We now have two absolute studs in the 10K game. It’s exciting man.

So that’s that for day one. Awesome start to what should be a great week.

Talk to ya later, gonna go get in a little jog with the crew.

Be good Canada, miss you and your sufficient internetting capabilities.