Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 102 Kitchener to Elmira, Ontario

Day 102, beautiful sunrise outside my hotel room in Kitchener
Downtown Kitchener by city hall. This was my first time driving the command vehicle, (affectionately know as the "penalty box") a whole different view of the relay, behind the medal bearer.

The previous 3 medal bearers were so into it, they continued to follow the other medal bearers for a least a couple of kilometres

Heading into Waterloo, Ontario, adjacent to Kitchener, pop. about 100,000

Our morning time adjustment break was at the Waterloo Public square.
They had a sledge hockey demonstration on the outdoor ice at the square. Those guys were very talented and super fast!

Downtown Waterloo

The medal bearers went through Sir Wilfred Laurier University. It was Saturday, so there was not much going on. Impromtu stop at a road hockey tournament, we introduced ourselves and the Rick Hansen Relay with our portable sound system.

The fringe benefits of having McDonalds as a corportate sponsor. Lunch was provided for all at this Waterloo McDonalds, thanks for the food, but don't supersize me!

Outside Marilyn and Billy get creative with the contents of a planter box.
4 medal bearers carried the medal through St. Jacob's, population of about 1500

3 Mcdonalds sponsor stops in one day, a new record! This one was in Elmira. Both Elmira and St. Jacobs are in the township of Woolwich

I had heard there were Mennonites still in the area, it was really cool to see at least 4 of these horse and buggys going down the road. Click on Mennonites to learn more about their history in Southern Ontario

A lot of support from the community of Elmira, the last few medal bearers had quite a following.

End of day celebration was at the Woolwich Memorial Centre. There were so many people upstairs that it was hard for me to squeeze in.
I just held my camera above all the people to get a shot of the medal bearers. I want to share the story of medal bearer number 30, Quincy, who ran back at Sir Wilfred Laurier university in Waterloo:

For Wilfrid Laurier University professor Dr. Quincy Almeida, his research isn't only about discovery, but also making a difference in the


In 2005, the Faculty of Science professor opened the Sun Life Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC) in an effort to

better understand brain function and then define exercise rehabilitation strategies for people suffering from movement disorders such as

Parkinson's. It's the only facility of its kind in Canada.

"We literally have hundreds of patients involved in our studies," says Almeida. "Patients are involved in assessments of speech, upper limb

movement and coordination, walking and balance, neuropsychological testing and, of course, exercise rehabilitation."

Improving the quality of life for those suffering from Parkinson's disease is Almeida's main priority. His most recent research has reached worldranking

status in the fields of medicine and specifically neurology.

"By maintaining safe movement control, more people with Parkinson's will have the opportunity to continue gainful employment, remain in

independent living situations and actively participate in all aspects of our society."

Dr. Almeida has won several awards for his research on Parkinson’s disease including the Franklin Henry Young Scientist Award for motor

control in Canada, the Parkinson’s Society of Canada Young Investigator’s Award, the Petro-Canada Innovators Award, the Polanyi Prize for

physiology and medicine, and was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by the Waterloo Region Record.

Dr. Almeida’s research has been featured in the Toronto Star, the Globe & Mail, on CBC national news and Maclean’s magazine. He has spoken

about his novel approach to understanding Parkinson’s disease throughout the world including the United States, France, Italy, Brazil and


Time to put the relay to bed for another day.
I came across these pictures last night, which I have not previously put on the blog. First shot is leaving Kelowna in August on my way out to Halifax to start working on the relay. Nice shot of the Okanagan valley and Okanagan Lake.  
First two people I ran into in Vancouver were my roomie (nice face) Jeremy, and another one of our drivers, Dawn

Switching planes in Toronto

Picking up the vehicles at CN rail in Halifax. The larger vehicles were trained over from Vancouver. We still have to get them to St. John's,  Newfoundland.

Welcome to Cape Breton.
Catching the ferry at Sydney, Nova Scotia, bound for Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, a cruise of 4 1/2 to 6 hours on the day trip.  

Leaving Sydney, now we have joined up with Hank, Wendy, and Pat

Picture says it all

Really rainy and foggy in Port Aux Basques

The view from the motorhome and the hotel in Port Aux Basques.
Right outside Port Aux Basques were the twin peaks in the Codroy valley.

A long way to go to our next hotel, 480 km to Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland

But we made it safe and sound, only 12 more days to the start of the relay!

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