Mark Webber spent Wednesday in Austin grabbing Decathlon tips from World Champion Trey Hardee.
The only thing Mark Webber enjoys more than practicing a new sport is practicing several new sports, so it wasn’t very surprising to see him Wednesday afternoon on the University sports fields in Austin. Mark was being put through his paces by Decathlon World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Trey Hardee.
Austin local Trey gave Mark a few pointers with his discus technique and then had him practicing sprint starts out of the blocks. Based on his performance, Mark isn’t planning a change in discipline any time soon.
“It was great to catch up with Trey this morning – but I think he’s safe: his career won’t be threatened by me,” said Mark. “As usual with any sport, the good guys make it look very simple, but when you try it yourself that really isn’t the case. It’s always nice to have the best in the business offer to help you out though. I improved a little bit but not, as we say, enough to trouble the scorers.”
“The fact he says it was hard makes me feel better about my own discus performance, because he did an outstanding job,” said a magnanimous Hardee. “We have young athletes come here who don’t throw the discuss half as far as Mark did on his first day – I guess that goes to show what kind of athletes Formula One drivers truly are.”
Trey, who will be a guest of Red Bull Racing this weekend, said he’s excited at the prospect of seeing F1 cars up close and personal. “I’m pumped they’re here. It’s going to be my first F1 race, which is very exciting. Growing up you race them all the time in computer games; seeing them live is going to be great.”
“It’s been a lot of fun today but pretty useful too,” concluded Mark. I guess Formula One and Decathlon are about as polar opposite as sports can be but – so it’s been really interesting to have a chat and find out that, in terms of preparation, recovery and planning for a full season, we actually do very similar things.”