(Forgot to post this – wrote while I was in Australia, but apparently it never posted!)
I left Florida March 19th, in hopes of arriving March 21st in Mooloolaba. My first flight to DFW was rerouted due to weather, causing us to run out of fuel…we landed in Houston to refuel and had to overnight in Houston. There were no hotels left because of the bad weather, however I was in luck: Camille Reagan, our USAT Chiro, saw me in the airport and said, “Gwen, is that you?!” I barley recognized her – baby in hand, next to her husband. I was used to seeing her pregnant and face down, getting adjusted. Camille saved me, with a hotel. Her and husband and her were generous and let me stay with them for the night.
On the 22nd, I was off to the airport to M’ba-take two. My flight from DFW to Brisbane didn’t fly every day of the week, which was actually a blessing in disguise as the DFW-Brisbane flight doesn’t always make it to OZ, and often lands in New Zealand. I ended up flying Houston-LAX, LAX-Brisbane.
I arrived in Brisbane on March 22nd, one day later. Thankfully my bike made it, however my other luggage was lost in transit. They couldn’t find my bag, which wouldn’t normally be an issue, but I had borrowed Sara McLarty’s bag and they literally had no idea where the bag was…thankfully they gave me a Qantas Tshirt/shorts PJ bottoms to wear. I told everyone at the race briefing they were my new sponsor (I wish! Seems only the Aussies are sponsored by Qantas!)
On the way home from the briefing there was a huge storm. It had been raining since I arrived, and it started storming during our meeting. We tried to drive four city blocks home, however the streets were flooded – water was up to our knees and cars were literally floating down the streets. We tried to convince Jono to drive the wrong way down a road, drive on curbs, etc. to get us home. He was responsible and got us home safe and sound an hour, and four blocks later.
All ended great – Qantas found my bag, and I wore much more comfortable Hincapie clothes…and didn’t look so ridiculous! I ended with a top 10 finish and then flew to Sydney where I ended up forth in the WTS event.