Posted by: David D. Daggett | August 4, 2008

Unbelievable Love, Part II

Unbelievable Love, Part II

      Again, to me and our family, this theme of unbelievable love is simply part of our Ironman experiences. I previously discussed the first trip to do Ironman Europe back in 1989. On our recent trip The Magic was still there 19 years later!

       The most fun for me was that the magic was now shared with all five of us. It could have been an instant reply for 1989! Lotte and Dieter Reinel and their family welcomed us in and took care of all of us not only physically, but with their whole hearts. You could feel the love!

The Reinel Children, Birgit and Helmut, are now grown, educated, and professionally successful. Birgit and her Husband Norbert have a 1½ year-old daughter Caterina. We have also become close with Dieter’s brother’s family. Ernst and his wife Gabbi along with sons Frank and Jorg round out the clan.

Before this trip to Germany my wife told me I had better cool my expectations because I was so excited for our kids to experience what I have experienced that the kids may not enjoy the total immersion into German culture as much as I was hoping. Because of the people and the love we received, the kids actually enjoyed it beyond my expectations.

Lotte still can’t speak any English, and it still doesn’t seem to matter. We did discover that her given name is Leiselotte – isn’t that just beautiful! She and Dieter served as our hosts in Roth and loved every one of us more than we could ever expect. No wonder the kids cried when we finally had to leave.

They were a bit surprised that I didn’t have my bike since it was the week of Quelle Challenge Roth, the largest Ironman distance race in the world. Helmut and I did manage to sneak out with Riley to visit the race expo – it was as big and impressive as ever. Little did we know that a world record would be set on the course the next day. We will most certainly return for me to do that race again, for the sixth time!

Again, our kids had a great time mainly because they knew they were loved. Lotte, Dieter, Birgit, Helmut, Norbert, Gabbi, Ernst, Frank, Jorg and little Caterina we love you too. We only hope we are capable of showing and caring as much as you showed and cared for us!

Way back in 1989 Dieter asked, in half German, half extremely broken English, if I would ever come back to see them again. Yes, Dieter, my German father, I have and we will again. Many thanks!

Unbelievable, again, love,


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