(**This is the first in a series by Brian Cowie exploring his journey throughout Haiti**)
Day 1 – Travel
My trip to Haiti started on Sunday January 27th and ended on Monday the 28th. I left Vancouver Sunday afternoon and arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Monday morning. As I stepped off the plane I was immediately greeted by the heat and humidity of the Caribbean Island. The ride from the airport was chaotic. The traffic was crazy and there seemed to be no order; lots of trucks and small motorbikes with as many as three passengers. The roads were a real mess with potholes everywhere. Our first stop was the Oloffson Hotel where everyone had been staying for the past few days. Here I met up with my tandem partner Eric Miller from Pueblo, Colorado. Eric was here as the medical director and also my tandem pilot. The Oloffson, built in the 1800’s, is a historic landmark in Haiti. It was a favourite destination for a number of celebrities including Jacqueline Onassis and Mick Jagger. Continue reading
Crossing the finish line at the Myles Standish Marathon
On November 18th, I did what I never thought I could when I completed my first marathon, the Myles Standish Marathon in Plymouth, MA. The race was a quick replacement to the NYC Marathon that was cancelled 2 weeks earlier due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
The race was an amazing experience and my race report can be found here.
Based on this race, I managed to qualify for the Boston Marathon as an AWAD runner.
When I started competing in triathlon 3 years ago, I never imagined I would be preparing for and then completing a 26.2 road race. Contrary to what I was being told by MANY of my seasoned athletic friends, I chose to honor a commitment I made to run in the “Feaster Five” in Andover, MA on Thanksgiving Day (4 days after the marathon) and then in the Jolly Jaunt 5K in Danvers, MA on the first weekend in December. A friend of mine warned, his only injuries have occurred during very short races following LONG races. Continue reading
This summer I competed in my first season of triathlon. I was registered for my races. I picked up my race kit including my bibs, bike stickers and the appropriate swim cap for my category. Before the race I racked my bike and set up my transition area. After last minute pep talks, I headed to the start line. I swam, I biked, I ran, I finished the race. I received my finisher’s medal. I will even be receiving recognition for the top finisher for the season in my category.
Does this sound “normal” to you? If it does, then you are most likely not a Para Athlete. Continue reading
Dave Carragher and his guide, Carl Burgess completing the Sprint triathlon for Silver at the Paratriathlon Nationals in Kelowna, BC.
As I rode my bike down the street, or went for a run or a swim as a sighted person, no one thought anything about it. I was just seen as an active kid. As a sighted athlete, I was just another guy on the team; not a superstar by any means.
I know everyone has their place, but like many other athletes, I also realized in able-bodied sports the childhood dreams of making the pros was definitely not a realistic goal for me as my sight began to fade.
Now after I have lost my vision and I have been given the opportunities to get back into sports, my dream of being able to make the Olympic team has been restored. Only now I will have the chance to compete at the Paralympics; where I will be able to compete against other visually impaired athletes instead of fully sighted athletes as I did when I was younger and going through the process of losing my vision. Continue reading