Posted by: Karen | February 13, 2005

Tampa Trip Part 6

I know, I know, my report titles are starting to remind you of Rocky movies…

After the long walk back to the hotel after Sunday’s race, Molly drove Marie-Claude and I to a mall. I’m not much of a shopper, but there were no little places to pick up souvenirs near our hotel, and I wanted to bring a few things back for my family. I did two laps of the mall in short dispatch and came up with a few keepsakes, a bowl of vegetarian chili, two fresh Tollhouse cookies and a large white milk. There had been no lunch for cheerleaders at the finish line, so I was very happy to find the food fair.

Back at the hotel, it was time to get ready for our farewell banquet. We car pooled to a restaurant that overlooked the bay. The dress code was to be “festive”, so I donned a glittery black long dress and pink knitted slippers, made from variegated yarn. Elegant princess with runner’s tired feet. I wasn’t alone with the comfy footwear, either.
Signing postcards for Penguins who couldn't come
We posed for pics, signed postcards for Penguins who hadn’t been able to come, and dug into some amazing food. I had grilled salmon atop buttery purple mashed potatoes, with asparagus. There was an amazing chocolatey cheescakey dessert to finish it off – wow.

Nancy and Beth acknowledged all the wonderful accomplishments we’d all made over the weekend, and drew for prizes. Dawn, Dianne and I received elegant silver penguin ornaments for completing the Triple Challenge as a Relay. Everyone received something to take home. I also received a fuzzy penguin blanket, a penguin mug, and a triathlon mouse pad which reads
Because Racing One Sport Per Morning Just Isn’t Enough

There’s that tri-nudge again…

Nearly Everybody

The whole weekend felt to me like Christmas with a long lost family. Here we were, hugging and racing and drinking in each others’ goodness, and we even got presents at the end! Cool beans, as Karen Bingham says.

After the banquet we did a huge mass-pack together at the room. How could all this stuff fit back into our luggage!

The next morning after breakfast a few of us savoured a couple more hours of visiting in the hospitality suite. No one wanted to leave. We hugged and said good bye and then visited some more. We hugged and said good bye and held back tears. Finally we loaded up our stuff and Ellie took us to the airport.

I had a tight connection on the way back, and a different flight, so there was some concern about me making it through customs and from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 in Toronto in time for my flight. I made it with a little time to spare, and tried to get some rest on the way home.

Hubby and kiddos gave me immense hugs when I came out of the gate in Calgary. I was excited and exhausted at the same time. I had so much to tell them! I wanted to hear how their days had gone without me, too.

Now I will return you back to my usual blogging schedule. If you’ve read this far I admire your stamina and wonder if YOU got anything done this weekend. I’m getting a little behind in stuff…


  1. You had a great time. That is crystal clear. I’m glad the Gasparilla was all you wanted and more. Now you have some wonderful memories to get through the rest of winter. Plus you’re probably in far better training condition for it. You rule!

  2. “We hugged and said good bye and held back tears.”

    Dammit. Now go get me started. I’m a mushy kinda guy. 🙂

    Sounds like some really wonderful people to meet.


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