Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Best of times, worst of times 2

Well, my sister's life is certainly full of highs and lows at the moment. At the weekend Ian and I went to Hamburg to support her as she competed in the Triathlon World Championships. She had really worked hard to qualify to represent Great Britain in the age-group categories and was thrilled to get there (despite the fact that she had to fund herself, including buying her GB kit and race entry fee). When we arrived she was having a few pre-race jitters and we spent the day checking her bike with her, going through the course and watching her practice getting on and off the bike quickly. She had an 8.50 a.m. start the following morning and we just about got there on time to see her start her swim. We then ran over to see her get out of the water and cheered her and all the other athletes on as loudly as we could, waving the rattles that had been given out by the organisers. We then went to see her as she got off the bike and started her run and finally dashed across to the end so that we could see her as she came through the finish line. (We were both exhausted after that!) The atmosphere throughout was great. The athletes were enjoying the competition and the spectators (including us) got into the spirit of it and cheered everyone. My voice was hoarse afterwards! She came 38th out of 78 and was pleased with her performance but I think mostly she just enjoyed the experience of being there and taking part, which is exactly what I hoped for her. As Ian and I were waiting for the plane to take us home that evening I sent her a text saying that I hoped she enjoyed herself at the party that evening at that Dad would have been really proud of her representing her country and doing so well. She told my mum that it had been the best day of her life, that the cheering was great and that she felt really proud to be representing her country. As she crossed the finish line she was really touched that people came up and shook her hand. (The picture is of my sister and her friend at the end of the race)

As we were waiting by the swim start one of the competitors, a young Canadian girl, came up and told the organisers that she was really scared. The organisers calmed her down with reassuring words and we also said some encouraging things, but what I really wanted to say was that she was so lucky, to be there, to be representing her country and to be blessed with the health, fitness and abilities that she had and she should just go out and celebrate that and not worry about anything else!

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