Every race has been an enjoyable one with new experiences and new friends along the way. My stay down in Florida was made more enjoyable because of friends I have met this year starting back to my first start in Arizona. One person who I became friends with in Boston knew I would be racing down in Panama City. This lead to my housing where I was given a warm bed and a friendly home to stay in. Terri who I met in Boston reached out to her friend that she has known since grade school. Because of this I was able to get a great night’s rest and also save on hotel fees. I really enjoyed my time at Glenda’s home with her husband. Glenda and her neighbors even made signs for when I would pass them on the run as they watched. The sign read (“All of this for a banana”). Now I did feel bad because I didn't even see them on the course. I learned about this while hangout out pool side after the race with a few cold ones. I really enjoyed speaking with Glenda’s husband who retired from the Navy as a diver. With my newly acquired friends down in Panama City, they have invited me to stay once again for my race in September which would be for the full Ironman. I am very thankful for them and for the connection from Terri.
When I first arrived in Panama City, I was able to have lunch with another Marine who also served at 1st Recon Bn. I realized only the day before I left for Florida that my friend Chris lived down in Panama City. With short notice, he broke away from his busy schedule and time away from his family so that we could have a chance to catch up. The last time I saw Chris was about 4 or 5 years ago when we were in southern Iraq so it was a fun short reunion.
In all honesty, I can say I enjoyed the race course. This is because the bike and run were relatively flat especially after my encounter in St.George.