The US$400 stack...

"What do we do when we fall off the horse?"

"I don't know, Maurie. I'm not a gymnast."

Two evenings ago was the Zagreb meet here in Croatia in which I was up against some very solid competitors. It ended up being a lovely evening when I ran and not too cold (which it got later) with the wind almost still. A great night for hurdling! I warmed up amazingly well and was feeling fantastic on the blocks, this time. No problems with times at meets like this one! I did, however, have a high jumper constantly stand in my lane when I was warming up so had to slow down and run around her. Luckily, she was extremely hot so I let it pass ;-) hehe.

I was 'in the mix' (a phrase Matty often uses) through the race, hurdled well and was probably 2nd or 3rd at the 8th hurdle. As you may know my finish remains my weakness, so by the time the 10th hurdle came around I was sitting in around 3rd or 4th, but still on for a time around the 50.0-50.2 second mark. I hit the last hurdle hard, took a dramatic five steps or so to try and regain balance before hitting the deck. I was left in a position not unlike those cartoon figures that fall from tall buildings and end up in a heap of random arms and legs. I got up and finished, unhurt apart from a few grazes, in 61 seconds.

Matty wasn't sure whether I would be really pissed off or ok with the run, considering how well I was going beforehand. Fortunately, it was the latter. I was stoked with how I felt and and ran (up to the last hurdle) and it was just a really enjoyable race and atmosphere. The downside is that I lost out on some much need cash in the fall - around US$400. But money can't buy what I got from the race and the confidence it has given me going into tomorrow's race at the Continental Cup here in Split, also in Croatia.

I apologise for the lateness in post after the race 2 days ago, I haven't brought my computer this trip. I didn't want to feel the need to be constantly on the web checking emails and facebook. I see that so much over here travelling and I am just enjoying the travel and change in surroundings as much as I can. It's also giving me a chance to read lots, as I have said, which is something I love doing on the road.

We arrived in Split yesterday around lunch. I'm sure words won't suffice here so I'll leave the descriptives in the photos I'll post next week but this hotel is probably the best in the world I've been to. It's a 5-star resort on the water overlooking the ocean with coasts both sides boasting typical gorgeous Mediteranean white stone cities, all seemingly peeping over eash other up the mountains. The weather is stunning, and the atmosphere great with all the continents represented with 2 lanes in each event. I multicultural feast in a absolutely beautiful city.

I will be running tomorrow night in the hurdles, then backing up on Sunday for the 4 x 400m relay. My hurldes race is quite intimdating, with a standard worthy easily of an olympic final. The relay is only a four team race, but again with most of the best in the world lining up. We are hoping to take some scalps, but realise the bar is set very high!

More to come when I race tomorrow. Thanks for the kind words from last week, it means a lot to have such great support back home.

love bj


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