United Air and and 40 hours of fun.

So I’m writing this blog in the early hours of Saturday morning  as Mum and Dad drive me to Melbourne Airport (and finishing it lying in my bed at Augusts place in Trukee). I most likely will post it up when I get over to America and suss out the net situation.

We fly out at 12:30pm for a very reasonable flight time of 15 hours before we land in the states. However since we have all been up since 4:00am and in the car, I can see it already being a long day!

Callum and I have two stop over’s, one in Sydney and the other in LA, I can see us doing a lot of sitting and people watching as we wait for each flight. We both have roughly 50kg of gear so I hate to be luggage carriers on our flights!

Each year you get a feeling or vibe of how the trip is going to go and this time it seems to be leaning towards great. A lot of really positive steps (and people) have made this trip come together really easily as considering I’m going for 6 months that’s pretty surprising!

This “vibe” or happy thoughts so to speak didn’t last very long… I have left the top of my original blog in above, to show you how unaware I was of the epic mess we were about to walk into.

We arrived at the United Airlines terminal and this is when things started to go wrong. The flight had been canceled, in fact the plane had never even arrived and was still in America. We were re-issues with tickets flying to New Zealand first and then up to America. The problem was my ticket only went to LA and not Reno. So that caused a huge amount of running around between Air New Zealand and United Airlines terminals. So finally we got our tickets sorted, but due to our track and field efforts in the airport we only had 15 minutes to clear security and get on our plane. So we sprinted through security with some high priority passes and managed to get to our gate with a few minutes to spare. Ironically the plane left an hour late…

Callum and I in Melbourne before the storm.

So we jetted to NZ but our flight to LA was delayed again by about 30 minutes, which wasn’t a big deal until we arrived in LA. We had managed to swindle to a few air-hostesses on the plane and an hour or so before the flight ended we were upgraded to business class so that we could quickly make a dash from the plane, through customs and then board the connecting flight to Reno. We had about an hour so we figured with some running it would be possible. So the plane landed and the doors opened with Cal and I sprinting out, we flew down a set of steps and then BAM… US Customs… We got stuck in the line for about an hour. It would of been longer but along the way Callum and I had been split up and he was closer to getting through and with a bit more sweet talking I was taken to him at the front of the line! So after getting checked twice, we re-checked in our bags and it was back to running. We got to gate 84 running from terminal 7 to terminal 1 and just as we arrive, we saw the sign, Boarding closed. We missed our connection by 5 minutes. A little shattering but on the up side Cal and I got to chill for a while and eat while we waited for a flight 4 hours later.

In LA where Cal and I had lunch and a good laugh at the exit sign (we were fairly delirious by this stage). We though the sign was stating a rather obvious fact for patrons.

So we arrived in Reno and August our coach was there to pick us up, and surprisingly all of our bags too! So pretty much the first thing August asked us was “are we hungry?” Well Callum is pretty much chewing his ski bag by this stage (we didn’t get food on the last flight), so off we go to an ‘all you can eat’ Sushi Bar. Callum, August and I sat for and hour and a half punishing the most amazing sushi I’ve ever had. It was great just to unwind and chill not having to keep track of time and flights! We crashed at August house that night and will bulging bellies but a lot of relief! We move to our other accommodation today.

It was great to plonk on the couch at Augusts place when we finally arrived after and epic 40 hour trip!

It seems some thanks are in order before I go any further. First and foremost Mum, Dad and my Bro have been brilliant and patient, helping me get through packing and Airport drama. I’ve also managed to break gear on my last six rollerski sessions and every time Dad has either come and picked me up or come out and done some quick running repairs so thanks a mill!

Mr. Tim Retchford who is the team physio, without him I’d still be lying on the floor with a bulged disc in my spine! And finally all my financial sponsors and supporters! You are the ones that have gotten me over to the states so many many thanks to Innovative Practical Marketing Australia, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club, Feathertop Winery and the University of Ballarat!

More updates and photos to come, with all our running we didn’t have much of a chance to stop and take happy snaps!

Train hard. Rest easy. Live for the moment.


One thought on “United Air and and 40 hours of fun.

  1. Wow! This would rank up there in the top 10 flight disruptions during my 28 years of flying (about 10,000,000 kms). Air travel is certainly not the magical experience it used to be!

    Hopefully things will go more smoothly from here on.


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