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Saturday, November 6, 2010

W.A.R.R 2010

September 25, 2010 W.A.R.R (World Airline Road Race) was held at the Docklands in London, England. P-Friddy and myself decided that it would be a wonderful way to represent our airlines, have a goal for a run, and a vacation rolled into one neat package. Unfortunately, Pammie was unable to attend, when she advised me I was disappointed and then the waffling started. Should I go on my own, should I stay and pick up extra flying to save for Christmas, etc. Oh what to do. On a Sunday afternoon while eating lunch with my folks I mentioned that I might head to England. I did not realize that my mum would talk to her brother the next day and in conversation mention that I was heading to London. Well, Auntie Dorothy (A.D) and Uncle Peter (U.P) got all excited and started planning places they could take me while I was visiting. Needless to say, I started getting excited about going back to England after all it had been 24 years since I was there last. Let the planning begin.

I picked up travel guides, spoke with my relatives in England, purchased a map of London, and scoped out the info on the internet :).  I was giddy to say the least.  The next day I woke up 20 minutes before my alarm went off, to get ready for work, checked the flights and purchased my ticket. The flight was in one week :). 

On Sunday the 19th Pam drove me to the airport and my adventure began. It was the first time I was flying KLM, I expected good service and wasn't disappointed. When I landed in Heathrow on Monday afternoon, U.P and A.D were there to pick me up, we drove to their home north of London. I was exhausted, but determined to stay up until at least 9 pm. I didn’t sleep on the airplane, and held out having a nap when I arrived. We went to the local pub, a glass of wine and then dinner followed by a 10 hour sleep that night. It worked out wonderfully, when I woke up I felt refreshed and never experienced Jet Lag.

St. Georges Chapel.. Windsor Castle
On Tuesday we headed to Windsor Castle. Incredible.  Wednesday was Waddeston with A.D, then Indian night at the local pub. Sweet. When dinner was nearly finished I pretended to head to the washroom, instead I went to the bar and paid the bill. U.P and A.D were wonderful and I wanted to do a little something in return. When we got up to leave U.P decided to and pay, so I suggested that we ‘dine and dash.’ Like I would ever do that, didn’t do that as a teen and certainly wouldn't do it now, but I wanted to give them a bit of a hard time :). Before he asked the manager for the bill I mentioned that I paid, he didn’t believe me!!! The manager said it had been taken care of, when U.P then decided to tell the manager that I suggested we dine and dash, the manager said that North Americans would never do that! It was pretty funny.

Waddeston Manor
Thursday was Oxford. U.P and I hopped on a tour bus, but the operator was a mumbler and we couldn’t understand a single word, we jumped off and wandered around. After lunch we found a bus stop for the tour, I showed our tickets, and we went to the top deck. Part way through we realized that we had already done the entire tour. Funny.

On the Friday, I bought a ticket at Chiltern railway and headed to London. I took a double decker tour, after 1 1/2 (only half of the tour), I got off at Tower of London. Took the DLR at Tower Gateway to the Docklands. Checked into my hotel room, the Novel Excel London, and picked up my run package for the next day. Had a shower, changed, and spoke to the ladies about Dream Flight.  This was the charity that every runner was raising money to support, as chosen by British Airways.  Then, I hopped the DLR, took the subway, and walked the rest of the way to meet coworkers at Leadenhall Market for dinner. Another amazing day.

Is this My Recorder? Oxford.
The run was Saturday morning. After a good night sleep I woke up went downstairs for breakfast, and got ready for the race. I picked up my Ironman to ensure that it was set for 10 & 1s. It was then I noted the time was 2:30am. OMG. There was no way I was running with a time that was showing a time that I should be sleeping. I advanced it 7 hours, and waited until it was show time.

I was nervous. When I was in Calgary Pammie’s man (boyfriddy) asked if I was going to run the 10km sub-60. I didn’t know that meant in under 60 minutes, that is until I told him I had no idea what he was talking about, then he explained. I hadn’t given it much thought other than run the race and then hang out some more with my relatives. That morning though I knew it was time to run it under 60 minutes.
U.P and Me before the race.

U.P and A.D met me at the race start, cheered me on, and took a number of pictures.  As I glanced at my watch with just over 1km remaining, I realized I could make it in under an hour. So I picked up my pace and ran the last stretch as fast as I could. As I approached the finish line I noted the time, and as I went through I knew I did it! It was incredible. I usually run a 10km in about 1h 4m. This time I was done in 59:21! A Personal Best.

Thankfully the wonderful people at the Novatel let me have a later check out time so I could shower after the race. U.P had parked the car near the start so he and A.D drove the car to the hotel, while I walked the 2km. Figured it was good cooldown, and would stretch out my legs. While I walked I texted Pammie to tell her about the sub-60, and thank boyFriddy for the suggestion. I then texted my sister to let her know. I probably should have made sure it was a reasonable hour back home, but I was too pleased to think of those details.

Sub 60 :)
After the best shower ever, we toured around London. I think I walked about 8km, and dragged poor U.P with me the whole way. We left Auntie Dorothy on a park bench while we wandered to Buckingham Palace and retrieved her on the way back to Trafalgar.

A bit of home in Trafalgar Square :)
I am so happy that I did decide to head out on an adventure by myself, meet new friends, spend time with loved ones, and take time to see a country that I have loved since I was a little girl. The memories of summers in England (my mum is the only one to Immigrate to Canada), and a realization that it is really only a hop skip and a jump away from Canada. No reason that I shouldn’t go at least once a year. The souveniers that I brought home were all related to being a child. I brought home Club bars, disgusting tasting crisps, humbugs and tea. They were wildly successful. Nothing like happy reminders of childhood to bring a smile to everyones face. Well except my dad, he is Italian :)