Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Michele Santilhano gets a RAAM finish line surprise!

When 3rd-place female RAAM solo racer, Michele Santilhano, crossed the finish line at City Dock in Annapolis, MD on Monday, she might've been expecting a little celebration. Maybe George Thomas would announce her finish, get her up on stage and ask some questions. Maybe her crew would hug her. Bystanders would take photos and the finish line crew would cheer her through the chute.

But she wasn't expecting to see her sister, Wendy Santilhano, who flew in from South Africa to surprise Michele.

When Michele saw her sister, tears welled up in her eyes. She had her sister and her crew join her on stage to share the glory of her accomplishment. "It's an awesome nation," Michele said.

Crew member, Pia Christensen, said the crew laughed so much on this trip. Then she did what she dubbed the "Michele dance," showing the hand movements Michele would do on the bike to alert crew members to her needs and mental status.

As an added plus, Christensen and another of Michele's crew members, Chris States, are getting married on Saturday in the San Francisco area.

There was lots of love going around on the Santilhano team!
Michele at the finish line.

Michele and sister Wendy.
Pia, Michele and Wendy
Pia and Chris States

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