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I’m on a plane, I can’t complain

February 11, 2012

Hey, would you look at that, I finally figured out how to automatically post my tumblr pics into this blog.  It wasn’t that hard, I just didn’t have the patience to do it when the internet was slow in Kenya.

I know it’s actually “plain.”

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Friday was an interesting day of travel…

My journey started Thursday in Iten and consisted of a matatu ride to the Eldoret airport and then a flight to Nairobi and then to Amsterdam. Eliud Kipchoge and Augustine Choge also had the same flights to Amsdterdam on their way to Karlsruhe.

In the Amsterdam airport I saw an Ethiopian runner (full national team kit). I wondered where he was going and looked at the sign, Luxembourg! Why the hell didn’t I book a ticket to Luxembourg instead of going to Brussels and taking a 3 hour train to Diekirch, Luxembourg?!

Anyways, I asked the Ethiopian if he’s racing cross-country, yep he is. I told him I would see him in Diekirch because I was taking another flight and would be 3-4 hours later than him.

I got to Brussels and took a train to Luxembourg (just over three hours). Upon arriving in Luxembourg I realized I only had two minutes to catch the next train to Diekirch, (Diekirch is about 40km North of Luxembourg City). As I was hustling to the train I saw the Ethiopian standing on the train platform and seeing that it took him over three hours to get from the airport to the train station (9km apart) I concluded he was lost.

He was very happy to see me. I told him “c’mon we gotta catch the train on platform 4!!” I started running and then realized he wasn’t following. I turned around and told him we have got to go NOW to catch this damn train to Diekirch.  I just took off in hope that he gets the message to follow. I got down a couple flights of stairs and he was just staring at me from the top. At that point I realized I had missed the train. He didn’t follow me because he wanted to get on another train that left a few minutes later from the platform we were on. That train went to Frankfurt, Germany.

After talking to him for a while I realized he was trying to go to Germany because he thought Diekirch was in Germany and whoever sold him the train ticket in Luxembourg made it out to Frankfurt (he doesn’t speak much, other than Ahmaric). I explained that Diekirch is 40km away and Frankfurt is hundreds of kilometers away and that he doesn’t need to go to Frankfurt to get to Diekirch. And then some random, local Ethiopian stopped to say ‘hi’ and I explained the situation and got the local to explain to runner guy why he should get on the next train with me to Diekirch (the train to Diekirch runs once an hour).

After lots of talking the runner decides to stay in Luxembourg with his new Ethio-friend. I gave him the website and contact details of the race and parted ways because all of a sudden it was time to get on the train. I rushed to platform 8 and jumped on the train with a few minutes to spare. As I got settled I looked up and I didn’t see Diekirch on the screen, some other city, ‘Altun’ or some shit. I asked someone if this train was going to Diekirch, nope! I jumped off and looked down the platform, there was another train on the same platform with signage to Diekirch! I started running for it but as I got closer it took off.  Sweet, one more hour in Luxembourg train station!

After the second miss I went outside to some shops with 6 weeks of gear/clothes in tow.

View from hotel room in Diekirch

This morning (Saturday) I woke up to -13C (-20 with windchill) so I decided to wait until after 10am to go for a run. Sunblock is replaced with layers of running gear and I headed out to the XC course.

My god the hills on the course are steep and there are seven laps! There was a dude running around the course with a massive parka, and sure enough it was the Ethiopian from yesterday. He stayed with his new Ethiopian friend and will again tonight. We ran a couple laps of the course together, this is his first time running on snow. As I parted ways I thought of how close he was to traveling to Frankfurt and that if he beats me tomorrow maybe I should have let him go to Germany, hahaha.

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If you haven’t seen my tweets lately I’m absolutely loving Eurosport right now (minus the German language).  Last night I watched the Dusseldorf Indoor track meet.  Today I watched the downhill race in Sochi where Canadian Benjamin Thomsen was second.  Right now I’m watching the women’s slalom in Soldeu, where Canadians Erin Mielzynski (Guelph) finished in 18th place and Marie Gagnon in 8th.  After the slalom they’re showing a 30km XC ski race in Nove Mesto which features 4 Canadians, including the only person ever to beat me on XC skis, Lenny Valjas. See post from February 2009 to see what I’m talking about.  Tomorrow at 6:30pm they’re showing the Karlsruhe meet, hopefully I’ll be in Liege, Belgium by then to watch it with Pieter Desmet and JP Weerts.

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3 Comments
  1. reid fan permalink
    February 12, 2012 11:29 am

    hey reid, just curious,since you are running the 30km in 7 weeks, why not run a top road race in the states(or europe) rather than a x-c race where you have the chance of risking injury..ie turning an ankle etc. anyways good luck…my 30km prediction for you….1:31;15!!!! new course record by a land slide 🙂

  2. P-L permalink
    February 12, 2012 1:53 pm

    congrats on the 4th place Reid!

  3. March 23, 2014 1:00 pm

    I’ve saved your blog as one of my social bookmarks finally, and will not be neglecting
    any comment updates like I did before.

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