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I’ve got two tickets to paradise

December 3, 2010

It’s Friday morning and I’m on a flight to Barbados for the Run Barbados Race Weekend http://www.runbarbados.org/. The funny thing is that I should have been on a flight Wednesday for Barbados. Why am I flying out two days later? Because I royally messed up…

A couple of months ago when I confirmed doing this 10km I thought my trip was going to be from Thursday until Tuesday and I marked those days off in my calendar. On Monday I realized that I still didn’t know my flight itinerary and emailed the race director for my flight information. In the email he sent back it said; “Toronto on West Jet flight ws2512 on December 1st at 9:40 a.m”. When I got the email I was really only looking for the departure time and airline as I thought I was flying out Thursday.

I went to the Toronto airport on Thursday morning. At the airport my flight info was not popping up on the check-in computer kiosk, “that’s weird?” I thought. At the counter I told the guy I was flying to Barbados today in which he replied “there aren’t any flights to Barbados today”. He then informed me that I was supposed to have flown out Wednesday December 1st. The attendant was really helpful and gave me a number to call and figure out how to get on Friday’s flight.

Side story: As I left the counter some lady chirped “huh, finally!” So I went over and asked politely “oh, pardon me?” She was caught off-guard and mumbled something about taking a long time. In which I replied very calmly, and with a smile, “oh, that’s good because I was trying to take a long time, I like standing at the counter”. I could tell she now realized that she had been obnoxious and I continued on my way back to my car. The lady at Park-N-Fly was really nice and didn’t charge me the $16 for one hour of parking.

Back home I called Westjet and explained that I completely messed up but I need to get on Friday’s flight to Barbados. The lady re-instated my return flight as I guess that usually gets scrapped if you miss the outbound flight. Run Barbados has already paid for hotel, flights, food so I couldn’t miss the race because of my own stupidity. I bit the bullet and bought the Toronto-Barbados ticket. How much does it cost to buy a ticket to Barbados less than 24 hours before take-off? Let’s just say that I now have to finish in the top 4 to come out ahead, fifth would get me pretty close to breaking even.

Prize money:
1st 2000
2nd 1500
3rd 1000
4th 750
5th 500

This prize money situation is not as good as I originally planned. For the past week I haven’t run at all in order to rest my bruised foot. I’ve been in the pool everyday this week to maintain fitness (a silver lining because I’m sure pool workouts are much better in an Olympic size pool than a pool with a swim-up bar). My foot is feeling considerably better with the recent time-off running. One reason why I’m seeing big gains in my foot this week is because now I’m taking time-off after three weeks of less than 50% mileage. As opposed to when I first started taking days off right after three weeks around 180 km/week.

Lesson learned.

Oh, and I actually heard the song “Two Tickets to Paradise” by Eddie Money on the radio this morning.  I thought that was pretty fitting since I ended up getting two tickets to Barbados, I just didn’t use the first one.

Update:  I’m here in Barbados now.  I went to pick up my race number and ran into the race director.  He asked me what happened yesterday and I told him I thought I was flying Thursday, he thought the same thing too.  It doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t pay attention to the date but at least I’m not going completely nuts.

Once it got dark and the pool was empty I did a 20 minute shake-out pool run.  The pool’s deep end is actually pretty big and it took 2.5 minutes to do the contour.  As it turns out there is volleyball net in the pool, not a swim-up bar.

Here’s a pic of the pool from my room.

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2 Comments
  1. larry bradley permalink
    December 4, 2010 10:21 am

    Good luck Reid! Most would have totally lost their minds and be too stressed to enjoy the race or tropical locale. Seems like you played it pretty cool. That will pay off with some good karma!

  2. December 19, 2010 4:56 pm

    This is a funny story, I can imagine how frustrated you were.

    I once had tickets for my sister and I in Colombia that said (5.30) departure time. There was no am or pm on it, so I assumed pm for some reason. And when I got to the airport they told me we had missed the flight and that it had been that morning. The ticket was missing a zero (0)5.30 in my opinion…

    Even though I should have made sure i checked and in hindsight its logical that it was a 24hr clock and would have been 17:30.. if it had been pm. There were no more flights that day so they ended up putting us on the same flight, the next day with a small change fee so it wasnt so bad. But we had to sleep in the airport because the hotels were pricey to just go for a couple of hours and I was going to be boarding at 3am the next day anyway.

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