We're jazzed around here about the season kicking off officially with Oceanside 70.3 this Saturday. It's blessed with stacked fields, and for once, I think we're gonna get some nice weather... there has been morning coastal fog, but it burns off by 9:30 or so. I think people are going to be able to get through this race without rain and cold for the first time in years. Be sure to stay tuned to this spot, as I'll have some behind-the-scenes interviews with athletes as well as some looks at the pro bikes for the beginning of the season.
Meantime, tomorrow (Friday), former Xterra World Champion Jamie Whitmore is due to go into surgery to remove a pelvic tumor. She's long been the face of Xterra and one of the nicest girls in the sport (well, not unless you're Mel McQuaid, her sworn enemy/archrival on the Xterra circuit). I know Mel would rather have to deal with Jamie on the course this year. (In fact, Mel put together a cool little YouTube montage that you can find at Jamie's website, www.jamiewhitmore.com.
Considering she's not racing, the bills are stacking up for her. Please check out her website and if you can, kick in to help her get through this tough. It's tough enough on her emotions, but for their wallet to take a big hit is as difficult. Jamie's bike sponsor, Cannondale, is among others that are kicking in some raffle goods for the event, to be held April 5 in Auburn, Calif. They're giving away a brand-new 2009 Cannondale Rize 4, a $2,500 bike. Yes, a 2009 bike.
Help out Jamie and in turn get a chance to get a new ride. Kick in by either showing up and doing this ride if you're in the area, or by just making a donation. As much as she's brought to the sport with her speed and enthusiasm, let's try to give back a bit to her in a time of need.
You can reach Jamie through her website as well. She's been corresponding with her fans from her bedside for the last while, and being the chatty girl she is, loves to hear from all of us.