Latitude 17N

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cross Channel Swim

For those of you who try to keep track of our crazy athletic endeavors, you will be happy to know that I have survived the cross channel swim. Jaime was not able to participate because he had his clinical skills assessment which is his final exam for clinical medicine. The first picture is the group before we embarked on our journey and the second one is once we are happily finished and on solid ground. It was a really hard swim. It is a bit over two miles over and once you get out beyond the point at Oualie Beach the water is churning and moving and scary. As soon as I got past the point I got a mouth full of water and my friend Jenn's husband Eric who was a kayak support person came over and asked if I was ok. I said "I really don't know, I don't know if I can handle this." He told me his friend had turned back and I said that sounded like a good idea. Eric encouraged me on and told me he thought I was good enough to do it. He said he would paddle next to me for a bit so I set out again. About 15 minutes later I got more water and Eric was there again to help. He told me I should breath on the other side because the side I was currently breathing on made me face the waves that were coming at me. I started breathing on my left and it helped a ton because my head broke the waves and gave me a minute to close my mouth before the water went in. After about 45 minutes I got into a groove and started breathing better and felt less anxiety. I could see the bottome the whole way over but did not see much going on below me. I saw some fish, starfish and sea urchins but missed the sea turtle and school of sting rays that some others saw. I think maybe I am happy about that! Anyway, I finished in one hour and 42 minutes. Not too bad. I was in the middle of the group but while I was out there I was sure I was last. Most of the time I was out there on my own swimming by myself and could not see any kayaks or other swimmers. It is a scary feeling and the water swelling around me made me feel like I was in the perfect storm. I'm glad I did it and also glad that I am done! To see more pictures you can log onto and go to the pictures link. There are lots of pictures of the races we do here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Que Tal!

Julian was on the radio! Once a week Lyn Jeffers School hosts a Spanish talk show on the radio here in Nevis. Julian's teacher Mrs. Peterson asked Julian if he wanted to be on it this week. After a lot of thinking he decided to be on the show. My picture is not very good because I was trying to snap the picture before my battery died which it did after taking this picture. You can see Julian's head behind the microphone. He's the one in the middle. The kids were so excited to be on the show. Mrs. Peterson asked them questions in Spanish and called on them to answer the questions. She treated the program like a class so the kids were comfortable with the format. They answered simple questions such as Como estas? Which means How are you? And they would say Muy bien. which means very good. Other questions were Como te llamas, Cuantos anos tienes, cuando es tu cumpleanos and Donde Vives--what is your name, how old are you, when is your birthday and where do you live. Then they went through numbers,shapes, colors, body parts and animals. It was very exciting for the kids and they all had a great time.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hooked on Triathlon

What a busy weekend. We started off on Saturday with a fun day at the Taste of Nevis (I'll write more about that later). Saturday night they had a pasta party for the triathletes at Oualie Beach. They had three different types of pasta with two sauces, salad, grilled veggies, bean salad and bread. It was yummy and I piled the food high on my plate. We sat with two athletes in from Grenada. Nice couple of ladies. They became friends because of the sport. It was interesting to talk with them. We also sat with Tom and Eileen Dutton. They are a really nice couple who come here for the winter every year. They rent the same house my mother rented when she came to visit. Tom is a super-triathlete at 62 years old he was the winner of the sprint distance race this year and was far out in front of the other much younger athletes. His wife Eileen is one of the volunteers who help out with organizing the event. She is a very nice woman and very cute and bubbly. I volunteered at packet pickup with her and she was a lot of fun. Yesterday after the kids race we began our triathlon. This being our last year we decided to kick it up a notch and compete in the Olympic distance race. What a grueling and rewarding day! I loved the Olympic distance. It was a bit windy but not gusty which made for easier pedaling. The water was a bit choppy and my swim started out rough with lots of water in the nose and down the throat and feelings of near death...BUT, I made it. When I came out of the water I was disappointed to find my time was almost 40 minutes. I was predicting a good 30 and a bad 35. We later found out everyones time was long and think the course may have been long. So that made me feel better. Jaime came out of the water about 100 meters before me. Off into transition, I had my bucket of water to clean my feet. I couldn't imaging going all that way with sand in my feet. Imagine the blisters from running 10k with sand in your shoes. YUCK. So my happy feet got shoved into my little bike shoes and I tripp-trapped out of transition like a little billy goat. I got on my bike and downed my GU and headed out of town. Heidi and Aleka and the kids were on the first turn yelling and screaming and snapping these nice photos of us. I was feeling good coming out of the water before two of the people I was competing against. One passed me shortly after Four Seasons and I cranked it up and stayed on her tail for most of the race. Well maybe not on her tail but I was on her tail for the first half and then only about 1/2k behind her from there. At Hurricane Hill Kristina passed me on one of the club bikes. She is a strong biker and on that bike she was sure to catch me sooner or later. I kept closer to the two girls than I ever had before. I was hauling all out on this race. I didn't hold anything back. After two laps on the bike (from town to the airport and back) I headed back into transition, put on my running shoes and headed out for the 10k (two loops to the Four Seasons and back). I felt good coming off the bike. My legs were not wobbly at all. All that training paid off! I was strong on the run. According to my watch it was one of my better 10k times. And that's after swimming a mile and biking 25 miles. I closed the gap between Miranda and I but did not catch her. I had a strong run for me and finished the race between 3:10 and 3:15. A very good time for me. I'm not sure what Jaime's finish time is because times have not been posted but he got a 3rd place trophy for his age group. Reggie was the overall finisher of the race and was in a league all his own out at the front with nobody behind him for seemingly miles. The race was fun, the weather was great and we all looked awesome in our snazzy little club tri-suits. Oh, Jaime got to ride on one of the new club tri bikes too. They are really NICE!

After the race we mingled with all the new friends we have met who came in for the race. Two people we know from St. Kitts (students at the vet school) got stranded with no ferry going back so we brought them back to our house and let them sleep on our sofa bed. They were so appreciative, they bought us pizza to say thank you. We all ate and showered and went to bed.

The Cheetah's-Tomorrows Triathletes

Yesterday, Nevis started the day by kicking off their first ever Jr. Triathlon. The new club--The Cheetahs-Tomorrows Triathletes competed in a swim/bike/run event. The length of the event varied among the kids. Julian did a 100m swim, two loops on the bike which was beteween a 1/4 mile and a 1/2 mile, and one loop on the run (same course as the bike). The police graciously closed off Hunkins Drive to accommodate for the race which kicked off the 2007 Carino Nevis Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons. Julian did great in the race. He had a bunch of friends competing as well. He had a bit of trouble in transition getting dressed after the swim but Sherry Allerton was there to help him and once he got onto his bike he kicked it into high gear and belted out his two laps on his rusty little bike. His run went really well. He sprinted to the finish trying to beat Siobhan. The kids all did a great job and had a great time. They all got new club t-shirts and medals and trophies! Times have not been posted yet.