In 2005, through the lens of my Canon D1, I watched Jamie Whitmore cross the finish line wearing a bright yellow tri suit at the XTERRA USA Championships in Incline Village, winning her 4th national title, I was inspired and honestly jealous.
She made the race look effortless as she finished what most consider to be grueling race. She was young, sponsored, in the best shape of her life and got paid to do triathlons, who could want more?
The truth is I don’t know Jamie too well, the only time I see her in a race is when she is lapping me. But she’s a part of the off-road family that is XTERRA. She is sincere, approachable, kind and continues to inspire even when she’s down.
Two and a half years later and after perhaps the best season of her career Jamie struggled to walk down the hallway of a San Francisco hospital. She was diagnosed with a pelvic tumor leaving her crippled.
Despite being sidelined, Jamie did not loose her drive or competitive edge. In one of her postings on her web site, www.jamiewhitmore.com she expressed frustration, not at her diagnosis, but the fact she got passed in the hallway by an elderly woman with a walker and IV—a true triathlete.
Jamie faces a lot of uncertainty—is the tumor malignant, when it’s removed will it cause nerve damage? And if so, how much? Will she be able to walk let alone swim run or bike again? Not to mention the expenses of living in a hospital for months.
To help support her friends and family are hosting a ride Saturday April 5 at Mammoth Bar ORV Park at 9a.m. and 1:30 a.m. for more information go to www.jamiewhitmore.com.