Letters to the editor for the week of August 22nd 

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Time to experience and embrace Ironman

As we lead into Ironman weekend, the excitement is building. We have all watched these athletes month after month pound the pavement, create waves in the lakes and line our beautiful Sea to Sky in preparation for the biggest race of their life.

These athletes have worked not just the months we have seen, but for some this has been many years with one dream in mind — to be an Ironman. The dream may have started small, but as they conquered each goal milestone, they somehow believe that this is the next step. With each event getting longer and longer they truly believe that Ironman is the event that will be the final notch on the belt in this life of training that they have lead.

After witnessing my husband complete his first (and probably only) Ironman in Penticton last August, I am so excited that this amazing event has made its way to Whistler.

For those of you who haven't had a loved one involved in this event you may not understand how important this race is to each and every athlete that is competing this weekend.

The sacrifice that they make for the training is insane and the pressure that they place on themselves is incredible. When I went to Penticton, I was not prepared for what I saw. The way that the community embraced this race was absolutely incredible. The streets were lined for the days leading into the race with signs welcoming Ironman athletes, there were personalized messages drawn on the pavement and roads of the race course, it was mind blowing.

When I drove into Penticton, I really had no idea how big a deal this race was. I had been living in a house with this crazy man that loved to push the limits of racing and I just thought that was normal.

Then I witnessed the true love and support of not just the families, but the volunteers, the local businesses, the emergency services and most of all the community.

I have no doubt in my mind that Whistler and Pemberton are the best communities for Ironman Canada to call home. You all have a heart of gold and I can't wait to see this showcased.

There are two things I would recommend not missing out on: the swim start — it may be an early start for all of us but 3,000 people in Alta Lake will be the most mind blowing sight you have seen; and the final hours on the finish line.

Just thinking about standing at the finish line watching these athletes makes me emotional.

Take the time to watch the racers that finish between 9 p.m. and midnight. Think about when they started the race — 6 a.m. Some of these people will have been driving themselves through the hardest barriers their bodies have ever created to overcome what seems impossible, to continue to race for up to 18 hours.

I have never felt so inspired watching these athletes of all shapes, sizes and ages. You can just see it in their faces as they tear up in the last 20 metres knowing that they have done it. That it was all worth it. That the sacrifice has paid off and they are now an Ironman.

These athletes will have been running for at least an hour in the dark on their epic journey to complete this race. In the final minutes before the race cut off, you will experience something incredible. Random strangers will cheer and run alongside athletes encouraging them to push as they make their way to the finish line.

These athletes will be barely able to stand and as they make the finish line prior to cutoff with minutes or even seconds to spare. The catchers will embrace them and let them know that they are now an Ironman.

This is a momentous occasion not to be missed. I promise for all of you that will be standing with me at the finish line, you will never regret experiencing the emotional moment of a complete stranger completing the biggest race of their life.

Ainslie Conway


Saved, one life

I would like to say thank you to the medical emergency crew and the police officer on duty on August 11 around midnight.

Because of these people's prompt action and sound decision making, my daughter was sent down to Lions Gate Hospital immediately and received major surgery that saved her life.

I also would like to say thank you to all our friends who worried for us, cried for us and gave us support and kind words.

I got my daughter back from the border between life and death!!!

Thank you so much!

Fumie Kashino


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