Aug. 23, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

So here I am in Penticton, B.C., the night before Ironman Canada...

I'm staying in a lovely little cottage in Naramata, just northeast of Penticton, called Quail Hollow (yes, there are lots of quails here). I'm sharing it with Amy from Toronto who is also racing tomorrow and her friend Jill from Calgary who is here supporting her. We'd never met, but a pro athlete who is a mutual friend put my need for a place to stay together with Amy's empty second bedroom. We're getting along very well and Amy and I may see a lot of each other on the course as we have similar time expectations.

Yesterday I drove the bike course. Wow! Very scenic. It's a single 180K loop with at least three significant series of hills. It's going to be challenging (is that an understatement?), but also rewarding. I'm really excited to be riding it tomorrow.

Today as I was buying some groceries for our dinner, a woman ripped open her pack of chocolate mints and gave me one to have during the race. Not on my nutrition plan, but I think I'll carry it with me.

Dinner was a delicious "beer can chicken" barbecued by Jill, who has some serious kitchen talents. Yum. We were joined by Sylvie, another pro mutual friend, who has been struggling with accommodation problems here. We'd offered to let her stay with us, but dinner proved to be the best support we could offer.

Of course this race wouldn't be possible without the 3000+ local volunteers who are making it happen. Kindness of strangers indeed...

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