Monday, July 17, 2006

Day 14 - Tip to Tip

East Point Lighthouse

Day 14

8:00 morning at Baltic. Souris Runners and father join ran first 2km on trail. Reached 273km mark of main trail at Elmira Train Station. Eastern King firetrucks follow the final trek of tip to tip PEI. We arrived East Point Lighthouse at 10:27 morning and the journey was over. The wrap-up party at Elmira and ride on mini train. After 2 weeks of across the island total distance is 316km.

Wow.... what a wonderful end to an incredible 14 days.

Last night's severe thunderstorm warning never turned into more than a few drops of rain. It was a beautiful evening in our riverside guest house.

The morning broke sunny and promised to be hot. The Rite Bite Cafe in the Mall in Souris provided our breakfast, excellent muffins (I was told the omelettes are great but Alex doesn't do eggs straight up). I'm not much of a breakfast person, I fueled up with one of their cinnamon rolls and coffee. We were met at our start point on the Baltic Rd. by the Souris Gals, our hostess Joan, Terri, Rachel and, as always, Sara was on hand multitasking.... photos, video, coordinating our Fire Department escort, BBQing, getting a cake.... Sara you & those gals are amazing, we can't thank you enough for EVERYTHING you did. Our Souris are experience was one we'll treasure, Souris is one little town bursting with spirit & Kings County truly treated us as kings.

Alex, Roger & the gals set off for Elmira (Roger wanted to run the 1st Km & last Km of the day with him. Not far along we ran into a mailbox on the trail, in the middle of nowhere, we left a flier and a postcard from the Run in it. We arrived in Elmira at 9:00, slightly ahead of schedule. The Eastern Kings Fire Brigade joined us with an emergency truck & a fire truck to escort us to East Point . The Cheif's wife, Linda Robertson joined the running there too. Elmira is the end of the trail. There are a number of buildings there at the station, a museum, take out, gift shop....

Back on the road the Emergency truck led the way, followed by Alex, then the rest of us, and tailed by the fire truck. Just up the road we came into sight of the south shore and kept sight of it for much of the run up the road. The bright blue sky & sunshine added much to the beauty of the day. We are, as I figured we would be, still seeing fields of potatoes.

He ran most of the last 8 or 9 Km from Elmira to East Point. When he rounded the corner on the road that led to the lighthouse and East Point his pace picked up. He was running better than a 12k/h pace and leaving his dad behind (he had driven to East Point, ran about a Km back to meet up with Alex). At the point where the water appeared straight ahead of us the fire truck behind us let out a wail and Alex lit right up. A smile burst across his face and his pace picked up a spring to it I've never seen before. As we approached the lighthouse he grabbed my hand (at this point I had to let go of my camera so I'd have my hand free for the brakes), took of his hat and held it up in his other hand, ran past the lighthouse, the people clapping, through the parking lot and took a left onto a little trail he had seen in an East Point brochure picture, right to the point (luckily letting go of my hand before he hit the little trail). He was absolutely in his element. He greeted me on East Point with a big hug & kiss then ran back to give a hug to his dad. He then went and shook the hand of everyone there, even the little kids. The photos from there really say it all. We picked up our Tip to Tip certificates there and headed back to Elmira where the wrap up was. The BBQ was fired up, a big bowl of punch appeared and our escorts, runners, firefighters and others joined us. The Moughan's from Mass., vacationing in the Georgetown area joined us too. Alex took the miniature train ride with some of the other adults & kids. No party is complete without a cake and a big cake, with Alex on the front in his signature yellow shirt and red shorts with "Congratulations Alex" was presented. The cake was made by the folks at the Harbourview Training Centre and was great.

It was a truly great wrap up to a thoroughly wonderful experience. Alex lived his dream, set his goal and reached it. His focus has shifted from the running to the money now, having he did "his part", at $20/km he figures he ran far enough to raise $6220.00. I have purposely not been tallying the donations I know about. I know of some big chunks that were donated, I know we are at least halfway to our $6000. goal, but there is much I don't know. I don't know how much has been donated at the Credit Unions across PEI. I don't know, except for a grant from the PEI Department of Community & Cultural affairs, how much has gone to the PEI Council of the Disabled since we started the Run 2 weeks ago. Alex is anxious to know so I'll be finding out what I can soon. If you were waiting to see if he could actually do it before supporting the cause, no need to wait any longer.

My focus will shift now too, from the Run to organizing Dennis' seminars in September. I'll also work at labelling all the pictures in the photo albums. I've been contacted by the Guardian to do a follow up story and Alex and I have been asked to be guest speakers at the BMO Prince Edward Island Marathon Health & Wellness Expo in October. Randy brought us the Western Graphic with the article we were interviewed for in Tignish, it has a couple of inaccuracies but is pretty good.

My only complaint is that bit of warm rain that soaked us up west, I'm thrilled that that is all I have to come up with for the "negative" side of this experience. I purposely have not mentioned my own health issues, afraid mentioning how well I was would jinx things. My back (and it's degenerating discs) didn't give me a single problem. I had added handlebar ends that allowed me to sit up straighter if I wanted and between that and a new cushier seat my back was amazingly fine. My MS was evident the couple of times I wiped out and my memory got pretty foggy. I think part of that was from spending my time on the trail very much "in the moment" and switching back to thinking ahead and/or behind was difficult.

I'll have more to say as I reflect....

Day 14 Photos Here


At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish we could have been up in PEI for this... it sounds really great all around. Way to go, Alex and Jypsy!

-- Phil


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