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I am traveling through Europe with the track circuit trying to find out why more people come to the meets and why athletes run so fast. This is day 1.
It is 5:15 pm in Paris and I am sitting in the bar of the meet hotel Sofitel. As I have learned pretty quickly, the meet hotel bar and lobby is where all business gets done. As I type this blog, the first of many from Europe, a group of five agents are talking to my left about their cell phone coverage in Europe and how the iPhone is the future and blackberrys are dead. I hope that is not the case because I just bumped up to the blackberry and I love my little white pearl. A Journalist sits to my left punching away at his computer working on his story for tomorrow?s paper, a manager and a coach sit across from me whispering in each other?s ear planning the rest of season, two meet directors at the bar talk about what athletes they have in their meet and how much they paid. It is actually quite amusing because all these agents, managers, meet directors and coaches fly all over the world every weekend to meet and talk business with the same people in different hotel lobbies.
Before I get to far ahead of myself let me take a step back and fill you guys in on the 24 hrs and how I got here.
24hrs ago I was scrambling in Austin to get ready for 25 days in Europe. How much should I carry and do I have everything I need? Those questions did not get answered because before I knew it I had to get to the airport to catch a 1:10 pm flight to Atlanta. I left Austin on time despite the rain and landed in Atlanta on America day heading over to France, kind of seems un-American as my friends pointed out. I have never been to France so I am willing to give it a chance and so far everyone has been pretty nice. I left Atlanta at 5:35 eastern time and had a whole row to myself until Ray Flynn the agent surprised me and sat next to me to waste some time. Ray and I talked for a couple hours about Europe and what I should expect.
I arrived in Paris at 8:15 am Paris time and headed straight to work. Dropped my bags off at my hotel and headed straight to the meet hotel. I ate Lunch with Andy Stubbs, the brother and biz partner of agent Peter Stubbs, Jenifer Thomas of Reebok and Sarah Jamieson, the 1500 runner from Australia. At lunch I set up an interview with Sarah at 2:30 and rushed to the Bernard Lagat press conference. After the Press conference and Jamieson?s interview I spotted Alan Webb in the lobby and hit him up for a quick recap of his season so far.
It has been a long day and I have slept 3 hrs in the last 30 and I am two espressos deep chilling out listening to the chitter chatter of agents here in the hotel lobby, the wall street of the circuit.