The HOMEstay Shoutouts

While I sit on the couch feeling miserable, it is soothing to reminisce the better days of activity, racing and the company of good friends. One of the best parts of racing is travelling to the corners of the Earth visiting friends from different walks of life.

In general, these people all share our love for triathlon. What is great is all the other common interests I have learned and shared this past season. Without further ado, here is my thank you list and shout out to my homestays for 2007….

Cruikshank and pregnant Dana join us for post-Maui bevvies in the hot tub

The Golden Homestay award goes to our friends Mark and Dianne in Alabama. Alabama is probably the friendliest place in the world with some good ol’ fashioned hospitality. Add that hospitality to a wicked dry sense of humor and you have our buddies Mark and Dianne. Well, they get the Golden Award for not only being one of our favoritest homestays. Dianne was Ross’ swimmer in the XTERRA Southeast Champs relay, kicking my butt in the water in the process. They added a ringer runner to their team to finish seconds behind me in the race. Nice work Diana-Ross! Still, that is not the reason they won the award. Mark and Dianne travelled all the way to Tahoe to race the US Championships relay… but due to illness and poor weather, travelled all that way to not race. Regardless, we had fun and it was great to have them and our friend Bruce Gennari there to make me laugh and forget an unhealthy finish to the series. Thanks guys!

The Burt family doesn’t even count as a homestay. They started as a stop on the tour for training and turned into our favorite friends in the world. Their whole family is incredible and no matter whether we are racing or not, will be making the journey to Gunnison for years to come. Along with the Burt family is a thank you to the community of Gunnison as a whole. It is a pleasure to visit that city and enjoy the incredible outdoors they have. Thanks to the whole party for really making Ross’s birthday special and Dave and Susan, you have always been inspiring to me – especially now that you guys are such great athletes and parents post career!

Thanks to the Telford family in Utah. Tom has been so incredibly helpful in making me feel at home in Utah and did so much to get me sorted out for training and for the past two years has found me a great place to call home. Add to this the awesome people in Utah… I had a HUGE group of women hikers cheering for me and calling my name while I was on Snowbasin training the week before the race which got me super stoked! I love the city of Ogden and all the people that call that area home. Lucky for me I go back again this year!

To my very pregnant friend Elise… thank you again for another year of preparation for the finals! Each year she has seen the good, the bad and the ugly in my attempts to win a race that is my LEAST favorite but MOST focused on. I love having such a healthy person to motivate me to stay on track and I wish her all of the best with her coming baby boy!

To Brent Kay and his family… it was wonderful to spend the week in Temecula with Kim and her kids. Brent is the fittest doctor in the whole world and it was great to hang out with him at the Floyd camp. Kim and I had a great week talking quinoa and drinking some nice wine.. and it resulted in my best series finish of the year! Have to go back this year….

To Debbie and Kevin in Mesa… it was great to have the chance to hang out with you guys, your friends AND your family for Easter!! Wow… so wonderful to be included. I had a great time meeting a group of the Arizona tri club members and that trip created friendships with folks I saw all year long. It was fun going to Arizona to mountain bike but hang out with all the triathletes. Thank you again for the good times and the yummy cookies…

To my buddy Josiah and his wife Ingrid: I think it is still a homestay when you give me your WHOLE freakin house while you are away! Wow! Thanks for the fabulous digs in Vail and I am a super fan of Josiah for life…

To my friend Tom Sharkey in Aspen – FABULOUS! I can’t wait to come back with Ross and ski. Don’t think I am kidding about this… it is happening…

Thanks to Jay Paul for the repeat hosting of the whole Canadian gang… Ross, Luke and I! It was a good time in a smallish space so thanks so much for being so accommodating. We need to get Jay back on the start line of the full XTERRA events…It was super fun for Luke and I to do prerace swims at the Country Club and eat quinoa pasta family style with Jay and Kate. Looking forward to another year in Richmond!

Thanks go to Paul and Becky Batizy-Wells. The fun training, the introduction to our other great homestay, Lee Hall and the year of encouragement are very much appreciated.

A belated homestay thank you goes to our buddies Murray and Kirsten who homestayed us in our hometown when our home was unliveable! You guys are the best and each year on Maui is very memorable.

Thanks to my buddies Cruikshank and Palmer…. the fun trip to Vancouver at a great hotel was a good time. It is so great to have you boys still giving me a run for the money… even if it is even better when I can get you back when we raced in Hawaii! Good luck with the baby Angry… and Palmer.. you need to get back to the program in the New Year!

Finally, thank you to all of the sponsors (special shoutout to Scott), training partners, massage therapist, physiotherapists, pool directors, swim coaches, run coaches, bike coaches, media people, race directors, bike shops, bike mechanics, friends (the list is too large but Bill and Day -I couldn’t do it without you keeping me sane!) and my family…. here’s looking forward to another year of fun times and good memories. Hawaii 2008 is going to be something special!

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