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August 17 - Alberta’s Beauty.

17 August 2009 No Comment

img_5593.jpg August 17, 2009
Stage 48
Suffield, AB to Bassano, AB.

The West Team was up and early as usual in the early hours of the morning as they drove up to the start point just past Suffield. The slopes that they saw in the days before had vanished and it seemed as if they were lost in the prairie landscape that stretched endlessly into the distance with nothing but the divided highway and the occasional truck that would pass by. As they headed northwest towards Calgary a copper sun rose behind them and cast long shadows that were seen along with the warm deep breaths that steamed out of the mouths of the runners. As the morning progressed, the sun began to cook the asphalt and mercury began to rise to a more bearable level. A very kind truck driver heading home towards Calgary pulled over in front of our one man and two vehicle convoy and was intrigued by our event such that he decided to donate towards our cause and promised to join us for our Calgary program in two days time.

Soon after, the early team was relieved by the second team which carried the Nishan Sahib onwards to Brooks where they had to wake up the earlier team who had had lunch and were fast asleep and dreaming in the Grey Squirrel code name for our passenger van. As they returned to reality with some better rested muscles, they continued on while the second team enjoyed the same lunch - sandwiches with creamy pasta sauce, fresh vegetables all wrapped in whole wheat bread that was purchased from the local grocery store. As they rested in the last main city before Calgary, the running team continued past Highway 36 and onward over the thermals rising from the prairie farm lands. From time to time, they would see a few cows scattered around, much larger in size compared to any of those seen in provinces past. Often, they would stare at the runner and the bus that growled behind and showed some competitive spirit as they would start running in the same direction alongside. Another truck shortly pulled alongside, this time with two generous drivers from Ontario who came out with bags and bags of food and pop that they had with them. After telling them about the run, answering a few of their questions and snapping a few photos, the run carried on and the runners enjoyed all the food.

Following the switch of the teams, the last team finished off the final stretch just past Bassano where the earlier team will begin their assault on the city of Calgary tomorrow morning. Upon arrival at the wonderful Super 8 Motel in Brooks, we had a delicious Indian meal cooked and brought to us all the way from Calgary by Inderjit, Rajinder and Jaslene Khera. For their kindness and generosity, the Foundation presented a run-shirt to the family as the team appreciates the efforts of all who come out to support them. Though they were grateful for the Khera family for opening their hearts, it was also a sad day as Sarpreet Kaur, one of the runners who has been with the run since the Centre Team, was leaving with them. She will be missed by all as she was of great help to all, both in running as well as in preparing food and other such chores. After dinner, a t-shirt that was signed by all the runners and volunteers was presented to Sarpreet.

Much to the satisfaction of all, the day went well and many had fun on the waterslide and relaxed in the indoor pool while others set up a projector to watch a movie and enjoyed complimentary popcorn in the motel conference room.

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