January 1, 2007 - Belleville (Canada) • Phil: Happy New Year everybody! Patricia took me for a short run today. She forgot her gloves and her hands were getting cold, so we were out for only 30 minutes. Her favourite place to run is by the water's edge so we ran down to Myer's Pier which is on the Waterfront Trail. The trail runs along the north shore of Lake Ontario from St Catherines to the Quebec border. Patricia would like to cycle from one end to the other, one day. When we got to Myer's Pier it was really amazing to see ice in the water, floating clustered along the shoreline. We could hear the waves hitting the shore and very faintly the ice making tinkling sounds as each piece hit others. Patricia loves boats so she had to take a picture of me in front of the lighthouse. It's too bad that all the boats are in drydock for the winter, Patricia says its really beautiful in the summer.
January 2, 2007 - Belleville (Canada) • Phil: Today was another do-nothing day. Patricia was knitting a sock in butterfly lace, I told her it was really pretty.
January 3, 2007 - Belleville (Canada) • Phil: Patricia went for a run today. She told me that she couldn't take me because she was afraid of dropping me. I told her that was ok, it was warmer inside and I like the heat. Patricia ran 1.71 miles at her fastest pace ever, I was so proud of her. I am glad I didn't go with her, she would have spent most of her time taking pictures of me. Later, a reporter from the local paper, the "Belleville Intelligencer", came to interview me and Patricia. The story should be in tomorrow's paper.
January 4, 2007 - Belleville (Canada) • Phil: Patricia had promise me more pictures tomorrow, maybe of the riverside trail that runs along the Moira river. I am talking Patricia into taking the running class that teaches you to run a faster 5k. It would be perfect for her (maybe I can motivate her to blow her old PR of 41 minutes for a 5k out of the water).
January 5, 2007 - Belleville (Canada) • Patricia: It has been fun having you and running with you, Phil. Good luck in your travels!
January 15, 2007 - Powell River (Canada) • Phil: I arrived in Powell River on the west coast of Canada. It was a cold day and my host, Cathy, sat me in front of the fireplace to warm up. It was late afternoon so we walked down to the ocean to watch the sunset. After a good rest we were up early to do the 5 k beach trail then off to the complex to do a exercise class with Roche that was so much fun. Day 3 was a very busy one for me - after the beach run I went to gymnastics with Ally I can jump so high and so can those girls. Then down to the beach to meet some locals those children were just delighted to meet me expecially baby Raine and Jenna. We had so much fun.
January 19, 2007 - Powell River (Canada) • Phil: Well this is my fourth day in Powell River and it has rained every day - how lucky for me that I just love to be wet. After doing the 5k run I was so lucky to meet Adrienne and her family and walked with them to 2nd beach - what big trees - would take me all day to climb that one. Then I went to Edgehill School where Tyler took me to visit his Grade 1 class - they were delightful kids. And then off to play Canada's national game of hockey with tyler - thanks Tyler - but a little too cold there for me. Think I'll stick to running. Well its Friday now and after our 5 k run Cathy and I are off to do some volunteering at the Salvation Army with Captains Rick and Jenn and Timmy. Tim says I'm the smallest volunteer they have ever had. Saturday was a sunny day for a change so off we went to hike some of the trails - the Sunshine Coast Trail is 180 kilometers long running from Saltery Bay to Sarah Point. We did the area known as TohkNatch trail after all the rain it is very green - my favourite color - we hiked to the bench to sign the book a must do for all hikers. After our hike we drove to the village of Lund - end (beginning) of Highway 101 where we had lunch at the historic Lund Hotel built in 1894 and fully restored 7 years ago. Lund is a great place for outdoor adventures - hiking - kayaking - and the gateway to Desolation Sound for boaters. I just enjoyed sitting watching boat traffic very peaceful. Sunday morning Cathy and I took a long walk about town for a couple of hours as she pointed out interesting areas - this is an arbutus tree cool eh! The rest of the day we visited friends and family. Monday morning saw us doing the 5K run in the pouring rain then some core conditioning exercises I am going to be so strong when I leave here. Then off to do some more volunteering. We stopped to meet Terry at the local meat market for some beef for supper. Was a busy day and I need to rest now as I am on the next leg of my journey tomorrow. It has been a fun place to visit and I hope someone will invite me to come back. Thanks Powell River.
January 20, 2007 - Powell River (Canada) • Cathy: Thanks for visiting us Phil. I will miss your company on my morning runs. You have been the most perfect guest - stay safe and happy trails.
February 5, 2007 - St. Catherine (Canada) • Jim: Phil arrived safely but had to wait several hours shivering in the mailbox until I got home. The temperature was a frog chilling -35 °C with the wind chill factored in. He came in and warmed up before settling down for the night. It took him a few days to recover from the cold trip so he relaxed at home while I went to work.
February 8, 2007 - St. Catherine (Canada) • Jim: The weather warmed up to a balmy -8 °C with a wind chill of only -20 °C... heat wave!!! Phil joined me for a run with the group from the Runner's Edge store here in St. Catharines. We are training for the "30km Around the Bay race" in Hamilton, Ontario. It is the oldest road race in North America. There was a severe wind from the west which we encountered twice on our circle route of 7 miles.
February 11, 2007 - St. Catherine (Canada) • Jim: Phil played tourist and visited Niagara Falls, which is only a short 15 minute drive away. First, we stopped by my daughter's house where Phil was warmly welcomed by many of his kind. Later, we went down to the brink of the falls and took pictures of both the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. It is really beautiful to see in the winter.
February 14, 2007 - St. Catherine (Canada) • Jim: Happy Valentine's Day! Phil is all packed and ready to go, but we had a severe winter storm so were housebound today. He will be on his way to New Brunswick tomorrow.
February 20, 2007 - Rothesay (Canada) • Daryl: Phil has a leisurely day with the cats in his host family's house. The humans are at work and school but so Phil takes advantage of the time to make feline friends.
February 20, 2007 - Rothesay (Canada) • Daryl: It is cold here in Canada but Phil bundles up for his first run with his host. It is a bright sunny day but the temperature is in the minus 20 °C for the entire run. Phil is fine once he warms up after a few days in his "pill".
February 22, 2007 - Rothesay (Canada) • Daryl: Time for a little socializing with the local running gang. Phil meets several runners and turns out to be very popular among the ladies. His rugged handsomeness and quiet strength seems to be the attraction.
February 25, 2007 - Rothesay (Canada) • Daryl: What an adventure! Phil takes to the ice of the Kennebecasis River to take part in an International art installation called the 50 Paces Project. This unique project brings together photos from all around the world (just like Phil). The artist asked people to take pictures at fifty-pace intervals from their home. The photos were than hung on trees stuck in the ice at fifty-pace intervals marking safe passage across the ice. Learn more at www.unsweetened.ca/unsweetened/2007/02/50_paces_projec.html. Phil also had a real treat when he got to ride on a dog sled. The mushers were very friendly and the dogs were very gentle with Phil! Phil had a great sleep that night!
February 27, 2007 - Rothesay (Canada) • Daryl: Phil meets another nice group of people when he goes Nordic walking. He gave the poles a try but his flippers just did not quite reach the ground so he had to catch a lift. Again Phil has a hit and he had a great time.
March 1, 2007 - Rothesay (Canada) • Daryl: Phil's fifteen minutes of fame! CBC radio invited Phil to be a guest on their morning show. He could really say much, he had caught a bit of a cold on the ice and had a little human in his throat so his host did most of the talking. He was a celebrity the rest of the day and everyone in town wanted to meet Phil.
March 2, 2007 - Rothesay (Canada) • Daryl: Well, it was a great visit but it is time for the adventure to continue. Phil is off to Halifax and we wish him a bon voyage.
March 4, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: Phil arrived in Nova Scotia on Monday from his previous billet in Rothsay, New Brunswick (about a five hour drive away). Phil immediately accompanied his new tour guide to physiotherapy at Wag Physio. Phil met Helen, the retired seeing-eye dog who supervises operations at Wag. Helen refused to have her picture taken with Phil so he agreed to pose with the interferential machine that was hooked up to Nancy's Achilles. After leaving physio, Phil visited the Isaak Walton Killam Children's Hospital to meet Naomi Claire who, at 26 hours old, had never seen such a being as Phil! Naomi's mum did not want Phil to get too close since he was such a traveller and could be carrying germs.
March 5, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: Phil went outside, fully intending to join Nancy on a run, but after he got a lung-full of -18 °C air, he declined and went back inside to torment the cats. Since he did not go for a run, he joined Nancy at the Halifax Running Club for a core strength workout. The ball was a little big for him, but he showed us a thing or two about jumping rope!
March 9, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: Phil appeared at the "Blue Nose International Marathon" media launch where he was photographed with the marathon's mascot, Myles. Also in the picture is Marie Leppard, a member of the Run Nova Scotia Management Board.
March 10, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: There is not much point in coming all the way to the Atlantic coast without seeing the ocean itself, so off we went to the south shore to go have a look. What looks like regular sea foam behind Phil isn't - that's frozen foam! If you keep going past Phil's left shoulder, you'll hit Portugal... eventually. On our way home, Phil noticed something sitting on the ice and immediately dove under the car seat! It was a juvenile bald eagle, and Phil wasn't inclined to be the eagle's afternoon tea so he stayed hidden until after the bird's picture was taken and Nancy was back in the car.
March 11, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: Phil slept in because of the time change so did not accompany Nancy on her weekly long run with the Halifax Running Club. He was happy to have his picture taken with Rami Bardeesy, one of Nova Scotia's fastest distance runners (Rami was the first Canadian across the finish line at the 2007 "Boston Marathon"). Actually, Phil seems to be happy to have his picture taken with anybody!
March 15, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: Halifax is one of the oldest cities in Canada, founded in 1749. Phil wanted to see some of the historic landmarks so he and Nancy went on a little tour. Their first stop was the Old Town Clock, completed in 1803. This clock is at the base of Citadel Hill, a star-shaped fortress in downtown Halifax. The Citadel, as it is now, is a refurbishment of the final Citadel, built in 1856. Every day at noon, a cannon is fired from the Citadel. There has never been a defensive shot fired from the Citadel! Phil was in the picture before Nancy pressed the button, but he saw something really interesting and jumped off the railing and headed down the hill before his picture could be taken. He never did say what it was that caught his eye. Their next stop was at the Needham Bell Tower. This structure was built to commemorate the Halifax Explosion, which happened on December 6, 1917. The memorial has a break in it and when you stand at the space and look east, you look down over the exact place that the Imo and the Mont Blanc collided causing the explosion that flattened the north end of the city and killed over 2000. It was the largest man-made explosion prior to the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here is Phil overlooking the Narrows.
March 22, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: Phil had been hearing a lot about "Run Nova Scotia" while he was staying with Nancy. No wonder! She is the Director! She wanted to take Phil for a ride in the official van, but he did not want to ride shotgun. He wanted to be in the driver's seat! Unfortunately, his flippers could not reach the pedals and he could not see over the dash - okay, he could not reach the steering wheel either - so he had to make do with sitting in the driver's window.
March 25, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: Phil had a choice: attend a race in Nova Scotia or head to New York City for the "More Half Marathon" with Nancy. He chose to stay in Nova Scotia and help do the timing at the "Moose Run", a 25 kilometers race that many Nova Scotians use as a training run for the "Boston Marathon". Phil is pictured with Bill Mills (left), one of the organizers of the "Back to Basics 8-Miler" and the "MacPass Bridge Mile", and Luke MacDonald (right), co-chair of the "Youth Running Series" and co-owner of the first running store in Nova Scotia, Aerobics First (in business for 27 years now).
March 28, 2007 - Halifax (Canada) • Nancy: Phil entered his travelling pod and headed to the other side of Canada. Thanks for the visit, Phil!
April 7, 2007 - Gibsons (Canada) • Angela: Phil arrived at my mailbox in British Columbia just in time for the Easter long weekend. Phil joined us for our traditional Easter breakfast and a walk at Davis Bay beach.
April 9, 2007 - Gibsons (Canada) • Angela: We did not get out for a run until Easter Monday. It was a bit chilly, so Phil decided to find a warm place to ride out the run. Here is Phil and Angela on Angela's front porch, contemplating their running route.
April 11, 2007 - Gibsons (Canada) • Angela: During the week Phil helped Angela's Girl Guide troop sell Girl Guide cookies. Unfortunately Angela forgot her camera.
April 17, 2007 - Vancouver (Canada) • Angela: The following week was the "Annual Sun Run" in Vancouver. This scenic 10 km race gets bigger every year and this year there were over 50,000 participants. Angela, her husband Ryan, and Phil stayed at the Hotel Vancouver. Here is Phil in front of the view of downtown Vancouver. The hotel room overlooked Georgia Street, which was the start of the race. These pictures show the race start line at about 7:00 am (the time the music started and woke us up), then 8:00 am, then 8:30 am and finally about ten minutes before the race start at 9:00 am. The volunteer race marshals were wearing lime green T-shirts, while different colored balloons indicated the different zones that the participants line-up at based on their estimated finish time. This ensured that racers did not get stuck behind slower participants. Some of the participants were very happy to pose with Phil: here are some ladies, a boy and a man. Phil was thrilled to be part of this great annual event and thinks that anyone coming to Vancouver for the first time should try to participate. Runners get some of the best views of gorgeous, ocean-side downtown Vancouver.
April 30, 2007 - Gibsons (Canada) • Angela: Now Phil is off on a short mail trip to Surrey. Good luck on your adventures Phil!
May 1, 2007 - Surrey (Canada) • Phil: I am in Surrey to visit with Judy.
May 19, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: I arrived safe and sound from British Columbia to Media, Pennsylvania. I was a bit tired from my long trip but Rita, my new host, insisted on walking down State Street to show me her fair town before we went to her house. It was lovely, a balmy 60 degrees, and people everywhere.
May 20, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Rita: Just want you to know that Phil has landed in "Everybody's Hometown". He was a bit tired after he flew in from Canada but this morning he is ready to check out the sights. Suzanne, my daughter, was busy making breakfast for him as he looked on. I got there in time before he accidentally flipped in her omelet! We promise to take good care of him!
May 20, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: Slept well last night even though Rita and Mike's cat was eyeing me all night long. Their daughter, Suzanne insisted on making me breakfast. Yum! Suzanne began flipping eggs and then my own flippers! Yikes! I know she was just having fun. I was eager to stretch my flippers so Rita decided to take me out to her second "home", Ridley Creek State Park. The waterfalls took my breath away.
May 21, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: Rita is a high school social studies teacher and she decided to take me with her to work today. I had fun in her Global Perspectives class with some of the kids who were eager to meet me. I also got a chance to hang out in the teachers' department office with crazy Chris and Barb.
May 22, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: After a run through Media, Rita and I spent a little time checking out her flower garden. The lavender and roses smell especially sweet! Mmmmm... Rita's neighbor Sloan was playing near by and fell in love with me immediately.
May 23, 2007 - Swarthmore (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: Today Rita introduced me to some of her running friends. The Delaware County Road Runners Club is one of the oldest running clubs in the country and are a great bunch of people. Since it was Wednesday, we headed over to nearby Swarthmore and met at Swarthmore University for a five mile run.
May 24, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: It was a special night because Rita's son, Josh had returned home from college in Vancouver, Canada. Josh, his girlfriend, Colleen, with hubby Mike, Rita and I grabbed a bite to eat at a local Media restaurant called Iron Hill Brewery. The food was yummy! Since the early summer evening was still light, we took a walk down State Street, the main drag of Media and check out the community art work. This is me with Rita's hand tile which is part of a community mural.
May 25, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: This weekend is the unofficial start of the summer season with the Memorial Day weekend. In the United States, this is a time of remembrance of those who have served in war and for Rita and I, it meant shopping for a new flag.
May 26, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: On our final run together, Rita took me back to her favorite place to run... Ridley Creek Park. We had a chance to look for long lost frog cousins and even saw deer off the trail. We ran on some trails, waved hello at another runner going by and at one point I stared at a very foreboding fence thinking that I was in Jurassic Park! Rita assured me that it was an arboretum trying to keep the deer out, not dinosaurs in!
May 27, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: All in all, I had an awesome time in Media with Rita and her family and friends. I hope I get to return some day to this small town community with so much warmth and friendship. She asked me to pose for a farewell picture with her wish for the world from both her and I.
May 31, 2007 - Media (USA/Pennsylvania) • Rita: Phil is now officially on his way to see his next host in Ardmore. I bade farewell to Phil this morning only after all the post office people greeted him. Sadly, I did not have my camera with me. It was a touching moment for all, including Phil. Phil is cozy in his little pill carrier probably taking a much needed rest after we had run another 5 miles together on the trails. Thank you so much for the pleasure of Phil's company. He was a real gentlemen with everyone. And thank you for doing your share of goodwill in the world. We surely do need it.
June 4, 2007 - Ardmore (USA/Pennsylvania) • Phil: I am in Ardmore to visit with Michael.
June 18, 2007 - Ardmore (USA/Pennsylvania) • Michael: Phil came to Ardmore and got to run around this part of the Main Line. He liked the tall trees and parks the most. On Sunday Phil and I met up with my long time marathon running buddy, Peter Zales at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Our first order of business was to run up the famous "Rocky" steps that lead to the museum. I have done it many times but Phil seemed to enjoy it. We all then ran to "Love Park", a world famous skateboard Mecca. Then on to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Once again, Phil was very impressed with the wonderful city of Philadelphia and the friendly runners that we met.
June 25, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: I arrived in Mosul and it sure was hot. I did not run today because I was still adjusting to the heat and time change. I did however take a long nap.
June 26, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: Andrew and I had to run inside since it was 100+ degrees outside and I still have not adjusted to the heat. We did an easy four miles on a treadmill, which is boring but it was air conditioned. We then went to work at night in the TOC (Tactical Operations Center) for twelve hours of monitoring a computer and radio (not fun).
June 27, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: Today after work Andrew and I ran outside for the first time. It was only 95 degrees this morning so we went for a thirty minute run. We say many HMMWVs and guard towers and people walking around with rifles. Running in the heat was difficult. I also got to experience my first mortar attack today. They did not hit too close but I was scared at first.
June 28, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: We were not able to run today since Andrew had a very busy day at work, but that was ok since I got to stay in the air conditioned TOC.
June 29, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: Today we ran for five miles outside in the 100+ degree heat. Other than the heat the run went well. I finally adjusted to the heat so other than the smell the run went well. No mortars today so that was good, but we heard some small arms fire off in the distance. No problem though Andrew told me that it was on the far away so I felt better.
June 30, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: Did not run today since Andrew had to work late. So I caught up on sleep.
July 1, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: I did not run today either since Andrew worked late again.
July 2, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: My last run in Iraq. We ran outside again for about four miles, we had to cut the run short because of the heat. The temperature at 7 in the morning was already over 100 degrees. But it was still a good run. I am looking forward to going where it is more temperate.
July 3, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Phil: I set off on a journey back to the United States today. Andrew wished me safe travel and I left for my long journey back.
July 3, 2007 - Mosul (Iraq) • Andrew: I really enjoyed having Phil and thank you for providing me with a fun way to run for a few weeks while I am deployed.
July 12, 2007 - Hoover (USA/Alabama) • Phil: I am in Hoover to visit with David.
July 27, 2007 - Franklin (USA/Massachusetts) • Phil: I am in Franklin to visit with Kathy.
September 12, 2007 - Brookline (USA/Massachusetts) • Phil: I am in Brookline to visit with Gary.
October 10, 2007 - Brick (USA/New Jersey) • Phil: I am in Brick to visit with John.
November 12, 2007 - Falls Church (USA/Virginia) • Phil: I am in Falls Church to visit with Liz.
November 28, 2007 - Brooklyn (USA/New York) • Phil: I am in Brooklyn to visit with Christina. I will be joining the Brooklyn team of Team in Training in their runs this weekend!