... I've made it. After a four-hour flight from San Diego to Chicago, and the 13-plus hour flight from Chicago to Abu Dhabi (with pretty decent sleep thanks to a bulkhead aisle seat), I woke ready for breakfast. Too bad it was sundown (and thus dinnertime) when we touched down. Gotta get my mental clock readjusted.
The lion's share of race staff and athletes are staying at Park Rotana. Running into my homeboy Herbert Krabel from Slowtwitch at the airport, we taxied to the hotel, checked in, and went straight for food.
Food? No surprise to find athletes around that. Virginia Berasategui, Hillary Biscay, Heather Jackson, Sam McGlone and Rutger Beke were all milling about after a meal. Seems Sam's bike is AWOL, as is that of Leanda Cave and Julie Dibens. And to think we pay premium for the chance to have the idiots in baggage not only toss our fragile rigs around, but toss them on to flights points unknown. Don't get me started about my recent run-in with TSA, who took Donna's Zipp VumaQuad crankset out of her bag, and forgot to put it in.
Signing off for now. Tomorrow morning, race organizers are taking several press members to the swim start to check it out and stretch out with a swim.. perfect post-flight activity. That will follow with a late morning press confererence. Check in later with a report from the conference.