Hey everyone…Phil here with your day 5 update and recap.  Getting up early after the long day yesterday and not getting to bed until late was tough.  So 5:30am came early, but we were up at the buzzer.  I quickly got my uniform on, ran down to the wifi area and sent the blog for yesterday. 

I headed back up to my room to get all my gear for the day.  You know, extra clothes, hat, sun glasses, water, energy bars, warm-ups, wallet, passport, camera and video camera, of course my paddle and all important butt pad (those wooden seats on the boats are hard). 

Then headed down, now about 6:30, to the restaurant to wolf down some breakfast, grab an apple or two for the road and board the bus to the Racice race site.  The weather today started like a day in Great Britain. 

It was so foggy you couldn’t see 50 feet.  When we got to the race site you couldn’t even see the finish line from our tent area. . . much less any of the lane bowies.  Neither could the officials.  So the start of the races was delayed about an hour.  Eventually the weather cleared at it actually got hot, well into the 80’s. 

Now that the racing is done for the day, I can’t believe day five is already over.  The time is flying.  Today was the day for the 1,000 meter races.  These are grueling 4 plus minute races which are effectively all out sprints. 

Probably a lot like the 880 race in track.  It’s a sprint just off the 100 yd dash effort, but you have to go a long way. I raced in all three of  the Senior Open men’s heats.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get into the medal round. 

These teams are really good!  We’re not getting out of the gates as quickly as we’d like so we have some work to do.  The shorter races are coming up in the next couple of days and we can’t afford to be slow in the start. 

I also raced in the final (heat number 3) of the Grand Master’s mixed division.  That was late in the afternoon and my fourth 1,000 meter race of the day.  The good news here is that we took the Silver medal!  Yahoo, I now have a bronze from the 2000 and a silver from the 1000. 

We’re moving in the right direction.  By the end of the day and after many races in many divisions the USA ended up with one Bronze and three Silver medals.  One of our youth teams took a gold, but unfortunately it doesn’t count in the overall country count.  The bronze was won by the Senior women’s team, one of  the silvers was won by the Premier women’s team, one was won by my GM mixed team and the final one was taken by the Premier men’s team in the marquee event - the last race of the day.

The atmosphere and tension between the various country teams relaxed a lot today.  There was a lot of congratulations for medal placing and at the end of races for just having a good race. 

There was also a lot more interaction around the athlete’s village area and in walking around to and from various destinations.  We are all here to compete, but we’re also here in fellowship around a common obsession! 

Each country seems to have it’s own personality as you might expect, my observation is that the Australians, Britains, Germans, Canadians, Iranians, Philippines  are more friendly than not and the eastern block and Asian countries, like China, Slovakia, Poland, Japan, Austria are much more reserved and standoffish. 

The community is coming together now and we’re beginning to recognize individuals on certain teams.  I think it will be really cool to have some of these folks in Tampa in two years.  I hope I can stay in shape and get to compete against them on my own home turf!

Tomorrow, Friday, is 200 meter day.  I have to be on the bus again at 7:00am, so I’m off the bed for now.