Mini Tour de Europe

August 29, 2010

Traveling with The Husband while he’s on the job and I’m on the job of pace-making, is nothing short of a whirlwind. Yes we get to hit up some of Europe’s finest cities but unfortunately, not as tourists. Generally we’ll fly into each city the day before the meet, compete the following day and leave, well before the crack of dawn the very next day. No sightseeing, no shopping, no coffee’s at little sidewalk cafe’s, just airport, hotel, track and airport. Its intense and exhausting, but as an agent for 50 plus athletes, its how The Husband spends his summer months. I join him occasionally for a couple of pace-making races or to bridge the gap of long spells without seeing each other, but essentially, my suitcase dragging competition days are well behind me.

However, this weekend I’ve stepped back into the chaotic life of a professional athlete by pace-making the women’s 800m in Brussels, Belgium (last Friday night) and then onwards to Reiti, Italy where today I will pace the women’s 3000m. But who did I meet in Belgium, fresh from her silver medal performance at European Championships in Barcelona 2 weeks ago, why my BFF Derval O’Rourke, also known as Scratcher to her best friends. Scratcher and I have a bit of a history together. During my days on the Irish track team, Scratcher and I were serial roomies. Every meet, every country we traveled, we roomed together. In fact, I’m certain she still has my hairbrush from Helsinki World Championships 2005. But then again, I believe I have a sweater of hers from Pairs 2003, its hard to actually say, since all of our stuff (clothes, money, makeup and snacks) were just¬†pooled together and we pulled from the stash whatever we needed, regardless of who owned it. A true sign of our BFF’ness. And although brief, hanging with Scratcher for a couple of days in Brussels, was a great blast from our athletic past.

Once I was done competing, I hung out track side for a while so I could grab a few pics of Scratcher’s race. Please take note of her fabulous hair style, I did it. Yes, my creative talents know no bounds. As for the photo on bottom right, not sure what exactly we were going for, but we ended up with something more like a mugshot than any kind of glamor shot, very Lindsay Lohan of us.

At 4am the morning after the meet, The Husband and I packed up and flew to our next city, Reiti, Italy. There after an afternoon power nap, we took a minute to take a wee stroll around the city square where Husband became inspired to do some deep thinking by one of the town statues. Until I showed up and demanded a cheesy one handed couple’y shot.

4 Responses to “Mini Tour de Europe”

  1. Mary W (smile) says:

    Hey Karen,
    Great Website and I am so happy that you found joy in photography! Happy to know that your doing ok and Best wishes on everything. You are a talented, beautiful and successful lady! Paul is such a lucky man and I wish you all nothing but happiness. See you around……….Holla!!!

  2. DON B says:


  3. admin says:

    Mary: wow, thank you so much for all you kind words. I feel a little unworthy, but nevertheless, I’ll take it. Thank you.

    Don: with that class of a field, a fast opener was a must. At Diamond League level, these girls don’t play. I’m just glad I could deliver.

  4. Derval O Rourke says:

    Awwww Shinks I’m sitting here in Zagreb and I’m sad you’re not here. It’s boring without you. bring back Shinks. Plus my hair is a big mess!!
    I’m now gonna steal your photo’s and throw them up on my blog. Loving that pic of you and Paul BTW ye look very cute.
    Later lovely,

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