Yes it’s been a long time coming the updating of this website. I am not sure if anyone actually reads it or not, but I have decided to keep it going. Therefore, anyone who is interested my life can continue to be bored to hell as I continue writing meaningless little tid-bits like this.
I know I have been slack and the details from Hawaii are not here but that will be my next point of order. I need to upload some photos to do that as well.
So I have been settling into work here in Canberra and am currently hard at it, as you can tell from the timestamp from this post. I am remembering how much fun it is to wear a tie around all day. Now that I have work down I am intending to start to get the training back on schedule. Over the past few months I have added a few kilos (pounds for you North Americans) that are ready to come off. Must have been all that high quality food I was eating while I was on the road.
This weekend I am off to Nowra for round 1 of the Australian National Triathlon Series, not to compete as my lack of fitness will not allow that, but just to act as a spectator this time around. I’m really just in it for the trip to the Coast. It better be warm!!
Ok till next time.
I’m sitting here in Calgary early on a Monday Morning, looking out the window at the snow falling from the sky, realising that it has all come to an end. Today is my last full day in Canada as tomorrow i will cross the 49th Parallel Border for the last time on my trip.
Yes Ladies and Gentlemen from now on all my journeys head West until ultimately i arrive back into the Australian National Capital and back home.
From Calgary I fly back to Vancouver and then board an Amtrak Train to Seattle. From there I’ll take a flight to Hawaii right into the middle of the action in terms of the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon (and of course Yesterday’s earthquake). How could i come all this way and not stop over in Hawaii? I’ll be meeting Danielle there and of course Mr Shane Radnell will be in town supporting his wife Kristen as she takes on the Ironman. Kelsey Mulvihill, member of the ‘First Family of Kelowna’ will also be coming to the Islands to party it up as well.
It was sure nice of Calgary to drop some white stuff for me one more time before i leave the country. It’s all the more fitting seeings as in the next destination and of course the final destination (home) its summer time.
Here is a list of meals i want prepared in honour of my return to Australia.
1) Roast Lamb with all the sides
2) Mince and Cabbage
3) Tuna Patties
4) Sunday Night BBQ with the Hot Potato Dish
5) Veal Schnitzel
6) Bangers and Mash!
7) And not so much a meal but Pavlova! hmmm Pavlova.
The countdown to returning to Australia that is. Yes ladies and Gentlemen it’s time for me to return to Canberra put on the suit and resume my duties of serving the Commonwealth of Australia. In less than 3 weeks i’ll be in Australia and back at the office.
After returning to NY from Boston it was time to come back to the West Coast. I spent just over a week in Vancouver catching up with friends and relaxing after the four weeks out East which went so fast. I packed in 3 Vancouver Giants Hockey matches and Canadian Thanksgiving all in the week I was back on the West Coast. And with that my time in Vancouver, British Columbia was done!
Currently i am now in Calgary, Alberta, which is a city i have come to really enjoy, visiting Laura and Kerry who both worked at the store in the time i was there.
So I am here in Calgary till next Tuesday after which time i am heading off to Seattle for two days to await my flight to Hawaii. Yes i am off to Hawaii for beers, sun and the Hawaiian Ironman. It should be sweet.
Am i looking forward to coming home? Yes and No.
Yes: It will be good to get back to Canberra, earn some money again pay off some debts and see everyone again.
No: Because after 12 months i finally just got myself sorted in Canada and was finally starting to settle in.
So mixed feelings, but overall it will be good to get home for a while.
… I got a few seconds to sit down and let you all know what i have been up to and what i have seen and done while i have been here on the Eastern side of North America.
New York is crazy! It’s big, loud, fast paced and non-stop. Could i live here? No! But i am having a lot of fun here. It’s easy to get around, the subway runs everywhere 24 hours a day and you barely wait for long on the platform. The crowds of people just keep coming. There is plenty to do though and you don’t find yourself without much to do. It easy to keep yourself busy. Especially if you are like me and just like to wander around and explore and see what you stumble across. So what have i been up to and seen here in New York. Here are a few photos.
The US Open Tennis
Riding the Subway
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
After a few days in NYC, i headed to Montreal with Skye in tow. It was a lot of fun in Montreal. It’s an interesting mix of cultures in Montreal and it was a little odd to see people of Asian backgrounds speaking French. Although it did make me feel a little inferior as i could not speak french and here were people speaking 2 or 3 languages. Montreal was also divided into neighbourhoods of many different backgrounds. Old Montreal had the whole old school French feel with Narrow streets and cobblestones, while downtown was young, hip and cool, influenced in part by the many universities in and around town. It was a different feeling to the rest of Canada, but really cool all the same. A town I enjoyed spending time in, I just wish i could have spoken French to get the whole feel of it.
Part of Montreal known as the Latin Quarter
More Old Montreal
We also took the opportunity to get to Ottawa. Ottawa is the Canadian Capital. We had a day there and checked out the parliament area, the markets and had a quick stroll before driving back to Montreal.
The Canadian Parliament Building
The Ottawa River, Ontario on the left, Quebec on the right
Enjoying some Beaver Tail in Ottawa
Finally before coming back to NYC yesterday i spent two days in Vermont. Natali, who used to work at Forerunners, and her husband Mark had moved to Vermont so Mark could take up a new job at Middlebury College. So i stopped in Vermont to see them. Talk about totally different to where i have been of late. The biggest town in Vermont is only 50,000 people and Middlebury is 5,000. I think i walked past 5,000 people in thirty seconds after arriving back into NYC for peak hour on the Subway.
Natali and Mark’s house in Vermont
Middlebury College, Vermont
Downtown Middlebury, Vermont
Thats an update for now… I got plenty of photos which i am working on putting online. That will be happening over the next few days. So keep checking the gallery for photos over the next few days.
Sunday i am off to Washington DC for another adventure.
Hope everyone is well. Email me…
Another quick update… this time from Middlebury, Vermont a small town of 5000 people. I am in Middlebury to catch up with Natali and Mark. Natali used to work with us at Forerunners until her Husband took a teaching position at Midlebury College and they moved here to Vermont.
Since last time i have been to Ottawa, and then after another night in Montreal headed south to Vermont. Tomorrow i will be heading back to NYC. Once there i’ll post a decent write up of what i have been up to since i left Vancouver complete with photos and such. So stay tuned.
But for now i am alive and well and enjoying the rural setting here in Vermont. A relaxing place for some down time before heading back to the big cities.
More to come…
I still haven’t had much of a chance to sit down and type out anything of meaning, i am also still to upload any photos of my trip. I will get to that in a few days when i get back to New York or perhaps Middlebury, Vermont.
We are still enjoying looking around Montreal, tomorrow we are likely to hire a car and drive to Ottawa for the day. Ottawa is only 150km away, so the plan is to drive down there and scope out Ottawa in a day.
Saturday is likely to be shopping day. The main street here in Montreal is lined with clothing shops, i guess being a French City they are trying to be fashionable. And Skye has some things to correct from the past and is insisting on going to the chinese lantern festival here in Montreal to spite her mum!! (Skye says take that Sandy!)
Sunday i am off to Middlebury for a few days.
Photos and more of a write up will come.
PS. My new mate Dylan started his 13th round of Chemo on Tuesday. It sounds like shite when you read about it. Check out his blog for all the gory details. So think of Dylan and keep him in your thoughts. Be strong little guy!!
After a few days in NYC, where i toured the town, did some shopping on 34th Street, wandered 5th Ave, strolled through Central Park, rode the subway, went to the US Open, visited Ground Zero, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn just to name a few, i needed a break from the Hustle and Bustle. While NYC is a pretty cool place and one could easily spend a month there, the whole point of the trip was to get to a few places. One being Montreal, and that is where i am now.
Yesterday Skye and I caught the train up from NY, which was pretty cool, with Autumn colours already starting to dot the country side. Today we wandered through Old Montreal which is very French. Well from my limited knowledge of france, and that is what i have seen in photos. Lckily we are in Canada, and people will still speak English because i have zero knowledge of French. It ends at Bonjour, although today a shop assistant taught me to say “Sorry i do not speak French” so i have one phrase. With a French influence there are lots of cafe’s to choose from which is perfect for someone like me that loves the coffee. And what quality coffee it is. No offence intended, (ok maybe a little) but on the whole coffee in Nth America is pretty average! Granted there are exceptions, but on average, not great.
We are up here for a few days, and then i will travel back to NYC via Middlebury, Vermont where Natali who used to work with us at Forerunners is now living. So that should be a change from NYC, as Middlebury is a small college town of a few thousand people.
As well as some more time in NYC, i am also working on DC and Boston.
So plenty to keep me occupied.
When i get back to NYC and have my laptop with me i’ll do photos and more of a write up. Until now i’ll make the occasional blog entry on here.
A while ago Art had convinced me that I wanted to do a crazy ride with him for some reason i said yes, punished myself over 250 kilometers of hell, swore a lot and told him I’d never let him talk me into anything ever again. A few days past when he reminded me of what i had said and told me to make sure I keep training for the upcoming Hood to Coast Relay.
Yes Art Boileau had talked me into joining his family’s team for the annual 197 mile Mt Hood to Coast mile road running relay in Oregon. The Hood to Coast is the world’s largest Relay. 1000 teams, each with 12 runners per team take on the journey each year. Truth be told Art didn’t really talk me into it, he had hardly finished asking me when I said yes. It meant forgoing a trip to Penticton to watch Ironman Canada, but when you get the chance to be on a team with a two time Olympian and 2:11 marathon runner, you can’t say no. Also joining the team was Nicole Knapp, who represented Canada at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games, and suddenly i was feeling a little underdone.
The Hood to Coast has 36 legs so each runner does three. The shortest leg is 3.3 miles, the longest 7.4 miles, the hardest is leg 1 which drops 2000 feet over 6 miles. We had 11 and one third runners so there were to legs which needed to be covered by people running a fourth leg.
Our team had been alloted a 5:45pm start on the Friday afternoon. The group heading down from Vancouver (Art, Nikki, Joel, Jen and Ian and myself) were on the road at 7am. True to the non-training mentality that i was in at the moment i had been out to 2am for a quick drink with a friend who finished work at 11:30pm. Needless to say it wasn’t the best start to the day and knowing from 24 hour mountain bike races how one feels later in the event i was sure it would come back to haunt me.
After stopping enroute to Oregon for lunch in a safeway carpark…
we rolled into edgefield where we would meet the Oregon crew containing the other 5 1/3 members of the team. After some logistics and planning…
Van 1 containing the first 6 runners headed for Mt Hood. Van 2 containing Art and Paul Boileau, Nikki, Joel and Myself rested up as our van was not due to start until leg 7 at 10:30pm.
Welcome to Boring, Oregon…
I was first up for Van 2 and just after 10:40 headed out with torchlight in hand and reflective vest on for my first leg of 5.4 miles. It took me a while to get into a rhythm a lot of which had to do with being mega tired. Getting my leg in first in the van 2 rotation meant i was able to rest while the others went about there legs and wasn’t forced to wait around waiting. Art, Nikki, Paul and Joel ran there legs, it was time to jump ahead to the end of leg 18 where we would pick up after Van 1 did there second turn.
Art after his first leg at night…
Runners getting it done at night.
Art attempts to look professional.
About half a mile from the end of leg 18 was a St Helen’s School which had opened it’s Gym and laid out the wrestling mats for sleeping and the changerooms for people who wanted to shower. When i have raced 24 hour mountain bike races, i have always debated whether sleeping is beneficial or not, as coming out of the sleep always seems worse than not sleeping at all. For a while it seemed like it wouldn’t matter as some guy in the Gym was snoring like a chainsaw. It was so bad the wrestling mats were shaking. I reckon he was putting out a 5.0 on the Richter Scale, which was rather fitting given we were at St Helen’s High School. Finally with the Help of my iPod i was able to get some sleep.
I awoke at about 5:45 knowing that the next leg at about 7:00 was mine. A 5.9 journey with a killer uphill for the whole last mile. However this leg was my strongest and i was able to settle into a routine pretty quickly and got things ticking over. After this the discussion in Van two turned to who would run leg number 24 to make up for the missing 2/3 of a runner. Art had already been delegated leg 36, this left Nikki and I as the two in contention for the leg. Unfortunately it was me that had to go out for the 4.9 miles.
Joel and Nikki discuss race tactics…
Resting at the last big exchange before the arrival of van 1.
I don’t know whether it was a good thing or not but at this leg was rated as easy and was 4.9 miles pretty much dead flat. However by this time it was really starting to heat up and my 625x was measuring 32C. It felt like a sauna out there and i was grateful to one of the other teams who gave me some water out there on the course.
My final leg, number, 30 was 4.1 miles mostly slight downhill with about a 700m climb right at the end. By this time it was mid afternoon and pushing 35C. All i cared about was that i had 6.5km to run and in 30 minutes i could crack the beers. I went out pretty quickly, well quickly for a forth leg, using the downhill to keep my legs turning over. It was obvious, however, that when i got to that last climb that i hadn’t been running much lately as the last 700m turned into barely a shuffle up the small climb as my quads decided that they had had enough. At the end of the 4 legs i had run 20.45 miles, or just over 32km.
The local boys in blue look for Art after he goes missing.
but we found him in the bushes…
It was a hell of a lot of fun, and reminded me a lot of the Mont 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race, with the exception that this one was a travelling side show rather than the camp site. At the end of the day our team took 25:2x to complete the 197 miles which placed us 154 out of 1052 teams. Maybe one year we’ll have to get 12 members from the triathlon club to go for a winter escape.
Following the even the team headed for Rockaway Beach on the Beautiful Oregon Coast and two nights at a beach house for relaxing and celebrating.
Members of the team enjoy the view from the rooftop patio.
And sitting aroung the Beach Fire: Tyler, Aaron, Joel
As i write this I am on a flight from Vancouver to New York 3 days after we finished and i am still struggling to walk down stairs! I don’t want to see Power Bars, Gu’s or Peanut Butter and Jam sandwiches for a long time!! As i said after RAMROD… Damn you Boileau!!!!
Thanks to the Portland based Boileau’s for putting on one hell of a show.
So a while ago i invited myself to a few places. One was Calgary to visit my good friends Laura and Miss Kerry Edgelow in October, and the other was another friend Kelsey in Kelowna. Both of the girls have returned to their respective hometowns in the last little while. Kelsey because she missed small town life in Kelowna, and Laura because she is saving up to come down under in 2007.
So first up was Kelwona. Kelowna is located about 4.5 - 5 hours drive from Vancouver on the shores of Lake Okanagan. Kelowna has a population of about 100,000.
The Hotel Grand on the shores of Lake Okanagan.
Lake Okanagan is home to the lake that Ironman Canada takes place in, but that is in Penticton, about 30k’s down the lake, and also to the famed Ogpogo. Lake Okanagan’s version of the Loch Ness Monster. Despite looking and spending about 90 minutes floating in the lake on an inflateable inner tube, acting as bait, i was unable to find and evidence of the mysterious creature.
Friday night in Kelowna i was lucky enough to join the town’s elite at the opening night gala of the local theatre company’s production of Cats. It was a interesting show, but still a good night out all the same. A very classy production was put on.
Sunday was the Kelowna Triathlon. It’s also a 2nd tier ITU Points Race, so there was a decent elite race on. One Australian was racing Josh Rix. I made sure i had the Australian flag out to cheer him on. Despite my encouragement, and that from what seemed to be his fan club Josh faded a little on the run to finish 6th. However, i was also in town to repay a debt as kelsey had watched the Victoria Half Ironman i raced in June when she happened to be in town the same weekend that was on.
Kelsey runs through her race plan in her head as she awais the start.
Aaron sucks up to the New Balance Technical Rep - Stu, hoping for yet another pair of shoes.
The kelowna triathlon is famous for it’s huge crowds.
The Okanagan is also British Columbia’s premier Wine Region. So no trip would be complete with out some compulsory tastings. Kelsey shouted me lunch at the Quail’s Gate Winery, and i made sure i made the most of it.
We tried to take in the views of lake Okanagan and the vineyards, but unfortunately huge Fires south of the border in Washington State were leaving the Okanagan Valley full of smoke, so the views were less than impressive.
It was an enjoyable week up in kelowna, the weather was awesome, 30+ every day with the exception of the last day, and lots of oppurtunities to take in the sun. I also have to say thankyou to kelsey’s parents, Coleen and Paul for their hospitality. I haven’t eaten that well since i moved out of the Heiden residence when i first arrived here in Canada.
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