I have saved this post for last in my reports from Augusta 70.3, though I have mentioned several of these people along the way. One of the true rewards of triathlon has to be the people I have met. I have many supportive people at home, Sam, my open water swim group, Vulcan Triathletes, the She Does Tri team and people in my life outside of triathlon. I want to recognize those who I have met on the journey to Augusta though. And I know I will miss some people so I apologize in advance. I’ve borrowed some photos from Facebook so these are not all mine.
TriAugusta is the best group of people. I connected with the group this summer when I went to Bike for the Ballet. They have been so supportive to many of us on training weekends, with advice, and throughout the race. I was honored to wear a TriAugusta tat during the race. Jeff Spires organized swims, gave us a hard time about gators in the river, and always helped those of us hesitant about the swim. Carrie Brooks stuck by me at the training weekend, gave me water, and created a great painting for the race weekend. Her sister Katie has been such a cheerleader and so has Val Gilson (I don’t have a photo of Val). Val rode with me at B4B and helped with the TriTat’s last weekend. Randy Cantu created an awesome video of the bike course that I watched several times as well as the fun potato chip video.
There are others who are not TriAugusta members (or maybe they are but don’t live in Augusta?)
Jason Stine has been so supportive. Jason is a coach and a triathlete. He organized a weekend with the TriAugusta group in August so we could train. He has encouraged me along the way this summer and fall. I doubt either one of meant to meet up in the medical tent at Augusta, but we were both there at the same time.
Bobbie and Glen Gullickson are a very special couple. Bobbie swam with me on Thursday at the practice swim – I really appreciated that because I know she is much faster in the water. They have both been so supportive and it was wonderful to finally meet them. Glen and their daughter, Carrie, raced at Augusta. Bobbie had just completed the world championship 70.3 a few weeks ago!
Paul Corley, Jackie Hayward, Dustin Mabe, Kim Bragg, Allison Crow, Dawn Ekina, Reiko Donato, Izumi Alcober – I am missing so many people.
I can’t end this without mentioning Heidi Calma, who I met in the parking lot going to the dinner. She is an example of the “6 degrees of separation” I keep experiencing in this sport. Heidi taught at Kempsville High School with some of my oldest friends. Meeting her and her family was fun but also brought back some great memories of my days at KHS. I am looking forward to seeing her again in Raleigh.
I also finally met Karen Hall, who I have known virtually for over a year through the E3Tribe. We both felt like we had known one another forever. It was great to spend time with her, laugh, and commiserate after the race about our aches and pains.
As I have said, I’ve missed quite a few but I was so glad to have met you and to connect via Facebook. I appreciated those who encouraged me as they rode past on the bike. I hope to see many of you again in Augusta or somewhere else.
Fortunately, I did not meet this guy. I don’t think anyone else did either but we had fun joking around about him.