We were pretty wiped when we arrived back in Beijing and we spent most of the day just hanging out at the hotel, swimming and relaxing. The kids managed to get some school work done and in the afternoon we walked around the neighborhood. I decided to try a snack at a street cart and I bought some fried bread that I had seen being made in a few different places. Eric warned me about it, saying he had a bad feeling. I should have listened to him as the next couple of days were pretty rough stomach wise. I was glad we were back from our detour as western toilets had not been the norm on our trip to the Warriors.
We spent a night in Beijing and then got a taxi to a hotel in Changpin within walking distance to the triathlon. The race is why we came to China in the first place. Although we had only been away from home for a week it was excellent to see familiar faces! It was also really special to be at world championships and to see the race. Simon, Kyle and Brent have all been part of our lives for many years and although Rob gets to see them race quite regularly, I don’t so it was especially nice for me. Performances were mixed with Kyle having a flat that was not fixable and Brent having a very strong swim and bike but faltering a bit on the run. Simon continues to amaze and although his 13th place finish may not have been as memorable as the Olympic Silver he brought home on the same course a few years ago, there are not many competitors (maybe none) in the sport who have so consistently performed well for so many years. Way to go Simon! Even though it was rainy and chilly I loved watching the race and just being there.
The day after the mens’ race, Rob, Kim, Steve, Gabor and I started the morning with a walk/run/hike up the side of a beautiful mountain, 1600 stairs (I think). It was gorgeous and I wish I had some pictures. It took us longer to get there than we thought as on route we passed the age group race and watched about five cyclists crash on the same corner. We stayed to try to help slow riders down and make sure everyone was OK but eventually we realized that we could stay there for the whole race and there would still be crashes.
The results for the women’s race were a little disappointing so the mood afterwards was a bit solemn.
Overall, the kids enjoyed being at the race venue and seeing friends from home made them feel really good. It was also an excellent opportunity for them to be exposed to folks from around the globe and to hear many different languages, see many different flags and to simply be a part of such an international event. We hope it gave them a bit more of a perspective on the sport that has been so much a part of our lives.