When she got home from work and heard the message on her answering machine from Triathlon British Columbia saying she was up for a major triathlon award, Mae Palm erased it.
"I though somebody was joking, or trying to sell me something."
She wrote down the number, however, and when she called it the next day the discovered that Triathlon B.C. had nominated her for Triathlon Canadas Athlete of the Year Award. Other nominees from the province include Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield and Ironman Champion Lori Bowden, both of Victoria.
The awards are presented every April to the best triathletes in Canada in their respective age divisions. Palm, who is an Ironman champion, definitely qualifies.
In 2001, the 61-year-old long-distance runner and triathlete was first at Ironman Canada in her age group (60 to 64), beating the old record by eight minutes. She was first at the Ironman Championships in Kona Hawaii, narrowly missing the record and beating the next competitor in her division by over an hour. She won a New Balance half Ironman in Victoria, and was first at the Penticton Peach Classic provincial championships. She also came first in her age group in the Squamish Triathlon.
The details are still being finalized, but she was told that the awards would likely take place in Edmonton this year on April 6. Palm says she will try to be there, but may have to skip it if the cost of attending the awards ceremony interferes with her plans of running her 100 th marathon, in Boston on April 15.
Still, she says the award would be a tremendous honour.
"Im not counting my chickens before theyre hatched, but even being nominated is quite a feather in my cap. Are they kidding? To be nominated along with Simon Whitfield and champion Lori Bowden, little old me, is unbelievable."