After soaking his legs for almost 15 minutes in a large trash can filled with ice and water, U.S. middle distance star Alan Webb walked gingerly from his garage and into his three-bedroom house in Reston. He limped through the foyer, past bunches of brown boxes with Nike apparel spilling from them, up a carpeted staircase speckled with faded brown stains.All in all, it sounds like your typical day in Reston. Who doesn't start the morning by soaking their legs in a trash can full of ice? Still, Webb definitely knows how to keep it real:
Once he reached the top, Webb plopped down on a silky olive couch, clicked on a 52-inch plasma television and laid his sculpted legs on a cluttered coffee table next to a PlayStation controller and a "Rambo" DVD.
"Dude, you get dinner?" Webb said, looking to the other end of the couch at Joe Zak, his roommate and best friend of nearly 20 years.
The American record holder in the mile and the country's most highly touted middle distance runner, Webb prefers his existence here in his home town. Signed to a reported $250,000 annual endorsement deal by Nike in 2002, Webb has turned down lavish, state-of-the-art training compounds in favor of the modest contemporary house he bought four years ago, where he shares laundry time and parking spaces with Zak.Tough choice there: Work in a climate-controlled, state-of-the-art training compound, maybe in Montana, staffed by incredibly hot Nordic trainers wearing spandex, or jog along Reston Parkway? But we've got something those hoity-toity training centers don't: mauve. That, and a down-home feel.
In Reston, "I get recognized for something positive that I've done, or am doing, but at the same time it's not craziness, it's not like People magazine or something like that," Webb said. "It's not like Britney Spears in rehab, like every moment is being photographed. It's cool that I get recognized, but it's not over the top."We dunno. We're pretty sure we saw the paparazzi chasing Robert E. Simon the other day as he left the Macaroni Grill, starlet on each arm.
Meanwhile, this weekend is the Reston Town Center Grand Prix, which sounds like it should include Formula racing cars made out of balsa wood piloted by effete elitists with lots of extra 'i's at the end of their names but really involves high-speed cyclists zipping around the Fake Downtown(tm), menacing pedestrians on their way to the Pizzeria Unos. Meet Victor Siegfried, one of the folks who will be cheating death as they zip by the Banana Republic.
“Last year, I crashed into an obstruction in the road, went airborne, and broke one of my ribs and my right shoulder,” Siegfried said. “When riders are riding handlebar to handlebar at 35 to 40 miles an hour, a crash like that can happen fairly quickly and leave you with a lot of road rash and other injuries. In a case like that, most racers will be more concerned about their bikes than themselves,” he noted.We hate it when we get the Road Rash. The race has more in common with NASCAR than the Grand Prix -- it's apparently a chance to watch a lot of horrific crashes and spandex. Lots and lots of spandex.