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Work Hard, Play Hard

I think it’s been clear from some of our earlier blogs that while the US Team and the staff of the USEF is all business over here, they do also find some time to kick-back and have fun. I think you need to have that “work hard, play hard” element to your day to get through an event as intense as the Olympics, or any major discipline competition, really.

Sarah and I were invited along for a very high-level athletic event to be held in conjunction with the hottest ticket of the Games, the 100 meter dash. The USEF high performance team hosted the competition and we made sure to carb-load with some cheese and crackers before embarking on a dysfunctional triathalon of sorts held in front of the team hotel and DLR train station. Our team’s pre-game consisted of trucking the evening’s refreshments over from the USEF/USET house to the staff and athlete residence (aka competition venue). While a cab was graciously offered, our motto was “if we can’t carry it, we shouldn’t consume it”. So off we went on the 1.5 mile journey…

The evening’s events included a three-legged race, 100 meter sack race, and a timed sprint around the parking lot for the duration of Bolt’s current 100 meter record. Sarah and I fielded a team consisting of ourselves and our good friend, Allyn Mann, from Adequan. Each team had a name and we were dubbed “Team Smartequan”. The competition was formidable and we were especially concerned about “Team Canada-ish”, headed by Karen and David O’Connor. Although it was clear the dressage high performance team also came to play…

It was clear that when you get a bunch of competitive athletes (and athletic supporters) together, they’re going to bring it regardless of the award waiting at the finish (in this case “medals” made of paper plates and credentials lanyards). We had a lot of fun, and only one slight casualty, when Karen from Team Canada-ish tried to take the tight inside line in the circuit race and lost her footing. She was regretting the decision to take her studs (heels) off before the start. Team Smartequan never really got out of the blocks, despite Sarah’s best efforts. If you look up “fail” in the dictionary, there is actually a picture of “hugmeister” Allyn and me doing the three-legged race.

Fun glimpse behind the scenes of the Olympics with some great people and we spent the remainder of the evening chilling out and watching the track and field events and enjoying some pizza and the beverages we sherpa-ed over. Safe to say that none of us will be contesting any track and field medals any time soon!

Stay up to date on the latest London happenings by following @SmartPakerSarah and @SmartPakerColby on Twitter!

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Posted in Stories & Adventures, Travel

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