Atlanta Track Club Elite: A High Time at Altitude Camp
Six men, eight women, two houses, one month, 5,300 feet of elevation, 1,400 miles from home.
Those numbers sum up the Atlanta Track Club Elite altitude training camp that's just concluding in Albuquerque, N.M., but the camp has been about more than just numbers. It's about more than increasing aerobic capacity by training in thinner air, too. Because it's also been about getting to know one another on and off the track.
It's been, as one athlete put it, four weeks of sharing a lifestyle with people who are all different yet share the same passions, drive and discipline.
The 14 athletes, who arrived in Albuquerque in late December straight from holiday breaks with their families around the country, have spent January juggling for space in their refrigerators, sharing a single van, competing in impromptu pool tournaments, adjusting to various bedtime schedules and pounding out the miles on mountain roads as they get ready - mentally and physically - for this important World Indoor Championships and Olympic year.
After a "rust-buster" opener in Albuquerque last Saturday that saw several athletes make their debuts in the Atlanta Track Club Elite singlet, the team is ready to break camp and head East, as the year's competition begins in earnest at the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge in New York City this weekend.