Triple jumper Shani Marks, four-time USATF champ and University of Minnesota grad, is in Valencia, Spain with the US team to compete in the IAAF World Indoor Championships, March 7-9. She agreed to file occassional reports from there for DtB. Here is her first report.
"Spain so been quite the adventure so far. I got here on Monday afternoon and was without my bags for about two days. So my first two days here were spent working out and then shopping for what clothes and other things I would need for the day. Luckily my roommate was kind enough to share her things with me. We started referring to her stuff as 'our stuff.' But now my things are here and all is good.
"The USA team, as well as the Jamaican and Italian teams, are staying at the Melia Palace Hotel right in Valencia. The hotel is beautiful and in a great location within walking distance to lots of restaurants, tourist attractions, and of course the subway. We have about 50 athletes from the US that are here for the competition. Because there are so many athletes here and the weather has been pretty decent, all teams have been practicing at the outdoor track located near the indoor meet track. It's been in the 60's since we've been here, so it feels great compared to Minnesota weather right now. The meet starts tomorrow, but today will be the first day that we are allowed to practice at the indoor competition facility.
"All of the members of the team are friendly and get along pretty well. We have an athlete lounge set up in the hotel where we have snacks, movies and games. So the athletes are usually hanging out either in the lounge or in the cafeteria. They also bring a full medical staff so there are two suites set up with massage, trainers, doctors, and chiropractors. USATF really does a good job of making sure that the athletes have everything they need here.
"We have been in Valencia since Monday so most of us are anxious for the meet to start."
Photo Courtesy of USATF