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Old March 10th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #1
tdellaringa
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Thumbs up 2008 Squiggy Classic Reports & Photos

Let's get those reports and photos rolling in! I don't have mine ready yet, but I figured I'd start the thread
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Old March 10th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #2
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Default Great way to start 2008

Awesome race and a great way to start the 2008 racing season.

No pictures - my girlfriend's camera was only taking blurry shots. I told her to use it anyway and then we could tell everyone that I was going so fast that the pictures came out blurry. Of course, that didn't work well at the time since she was taking pictures of me standing, waiting for the start.

Overall, I was satisfied with my performance. I got blocked out early for the pace line that I wanted to be in but based on one of my fellow training partners who was in that pace line, I probably would have been dropped back to my pace line eventually. At the least, I would have liked to have the opportunity to try, anyway.

So, I settled into what eventually became the 3rd organized pace line and the 2nd open marathon pace line. We worked well together and in the end, we were just under 18mph average - a little off my pace from last year (1:24 in 2007 vs. 1:28 in 2008), but I didn't think I was in the same shape as last year and I wasn't expecting to be anywhere near last year's result. This is only my second sub-1:30 marathon, both coming at Squiggy.

One small topic for consideration to make the start slightly less crowded: Start the Elite skaters. 2 minutes later, start the open skaters. 8 minutes later, start the half marathon.

Kudos to all who organized the event. I congratulate you for putting on the best Squiggy marathon race ever and for enduring the outside influences that tried to knock this event off the schedule. I'm looking forward to another great one in 2008.

The General
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Old March 10th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #3
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I'm so glad everything went smoothly. If I looked a little preoccupied or nervous, it's because I was I really wanted to make sure everyone had a good time and that we made it a satisfactory racing experience for the locals and those that took the time and money to travel here.

Don, thank you for the suggestions and to others - please give us yours also. You won't hurt our feelings We're new to this, so we want to know what could make it better.

As for the start - you're absolutely right. We originally went with a mass start because we were worried about the manual timing, and stuck with it since we'd already made that announcement. I saw the crowd at the start line and I could see why that would be a little intimidating. Since the chip timing went so well, there's no reason we can't have several different starts - Elite Male, Elite Female, Master Male, and so on. We're hoping Squiggy will be even larger next year, so we'll most likely have the start divisions you see at other races.

And I know I've said it a million times but THANK YOU to everyone that skated and to the volunteers

I didn't get to take any pictures on Sunday, but here's what I have from Saturday (time trials):

Pictures

And now I can rest! Er, not really - now the Tampa Classic gets all my devotion. Maybe I'll rest sometime next month
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Old March 10th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Awesome weekend

Kudos to Jessica and Birgit for putting on a top-notch event, you guys did a great job. All of us at Team Rainbo really enjoyed the event. I sure hope I can make it down next year again.

I'll try and keep this short, I have a full account on my blog if you want to read the detailed version.

Having been skating indoors for the last 4 months, I felt like I was in no shape at all to skate a marathon, I had very low expectations, to be honest. I was glad to be away from the 18-degree weather though!

The Squiggy course if flat and smooth, very nice to skate on, very well maintained.

The time trial was fun, even with the hurricane force winds in our face! Seriously, the gusts were so strong it was amazing. It would easily knock 5 mph off your pace at times. As usual my back was killing me, and I honestly questioned myself whether or not I would even attempt the marathon the next day. My time trial:

Time: 26:03
Pace: 3:43.3/mile
Speed: 16.12 mph

I was just glad to be under a half hour!

The morning of the race was chilly! But the sun eventually warmed us up. I got myself into trouble by not having a plan at the start of the race. Because I was mentally juggling how ready I was and everything, I failed to get with a group of people that better suited my pace.

Consequently, I got caught behind a slower group while the guys I needed to be with skated away. The long and the short of it is I tried to shoot a gap to catch this disappearing group, and bit the dust. I don't know what or who I tripped on, but it was pretty much my own stupid fault. I went down hard on my right side and even my head scraped and hit. (Yay, helmets!)

At that point I was extremely angry with myself. I was fine, I got my stupid carcase off the ground and took off to catch the group I wanted (this time without crashing.) Turns out that group was the General's group as he mentioned above.

Turned out to be an excellent group with which to skate. There was a team of I think 3 guys who had a plan on what they wanted to do (possibly that was your team, General?) and they did a majority of the pulling. It was a great pack in that it was friendly and cooperative - no blocking, guys letting pullers back in, etc. You couldn't ask for a better pack.

In the group were two other Rainbo guys with me, Guy and John. We each took at least one pull, I myself only took one at the end of lap two. I would have liked to have gone up again but I feared it would ruin me for good.

I was really struggling with my back pain, and it was a constant mental battle to continue. But as Cale always says - "Embrace the pain!" At the end of lap 3 my left foot was becoming completely numb. The last lap was a struggle to keep blood circulating through it while trying to keep up.

The thing is I was not having any cardio issues keeping up, it's the other things that are bothering me right now. Maybe someday I'll actually skate a race where I feel good! (Boy, that would be an experience).

At some point Guy consulted his GPS and said he felt we might finish in the 1:40s, which I thought would be great. At the beginning of the race, I was hoping to be under two hours! That's how unsure I felt. To this point my best was 1:48, I would be happy with anything around that time.

With about 4 miles to go, our guy John decides he's going to break away - honestly not a good move. So Guy jumps out to go too, and I figure, sure why not, here I go too. Guy and I skated for maybe a half mile out front (not catching John) and the pack sucked us back up. Even Guy said "that was stupid!" Problem was we had no plan. Maybe if we had all three gone together and worked together, we might have been able to stay ahead, but we didn't do that.

We sucked up John too. Inside the last two miles it became time to start jockeying for position for the sprint to the finish. This was fun for me, it being the first time I have been in an advanced/experienced pack that would sprint to the finish.

My goal was to hang back until the last half mile while people moved around, then get to front so I could lead the sprint without any obstruction - this was the one point where the narrowness of the Squiggy trail became a concern.

Just inside a half mile I did just that, pulled to the front and then slowed the pace down quite a bit - maybe down to 12-14 mph. We all were skating relaxed, now in two lines leading up to the last curve into the finish. You really could kind of feel the tension of the group, everyone waiting for someone to make a move.

With maybe 300 yards to go, I think the guy on my left began to go, so I took off too. About halfway in, I got passed by two guys, but held my position there I think, for the rest of the way - it was a killer sprint - Guy was right on my heels.

When I looked at the clock I was floored... 1:33. I felt we were skating at a good pace, but I had no idea it was close to 1:30. Having set a personal goal of 1:30 for this season and to nearly hit that on my first race, where I felt like I'd barely finish one lap, it just astounded me. My final results:

Time: 1:33:36 (new personal best)
Pace: 3:34.4/mile
Speed: 16.79 mph
Place: 21st out of 52 in the open division, 19th out of 40 males, 6th of 7 males 40-49.

I guess it goes to show that I was not in as bad a shape as I thought, but also it shows you how important it is to skate with a good pack. I was also pleased considering I fell at literally mile 1. But maybe I needed to fall, I needed a kick in the arse.

The other great thing was meeting so many skateloggers and seeing them face to face. I've forgot a couple names, and seemingly I met/skated with the General without knowing it, but it was good to meet Jess, Birgit, ckMost, Bryan, SkateKat and her husband (Chris?) LezSk8 and more that I am forgetting already. The dinner ck organized was great, lots of fun all around.

A few pics for ya:





SkateLog dinner my table:



Jess & Birgit workin' hard:



Rest of my pics here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelme...7604088952139/

Not too many good ones, hard to get pics when you are trying to compete.

Great meeting everyone, and great weekend.

Tom
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Old March 10th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #5
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I'm so glad everything went smoothly. If I looked a little preoccupied or nervous, it's because I was I really wanted to make sure everyone had a good time and that we made it a satisfactory racing experience for the locals and those that took the time and money to travel here.
I think along those regards we can say "mission accomplished!"
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Old March 10th, 2008, 06:03 PM   #6
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Thank you to all who have helped to make the 2008 Squiggy Classic one of the best races I've attended!!!

Even though my training had been severely lacking leading up to Squiggy (less than 150 miles since Christmas), not only did I set an aggressive goal (1 hour) for the half marathon, I beat it shattering my personal best in the process My previous personal best for a half marathon was at my 2nd Disney event with a time of 1hr 6min 28sec (11.825MPH), my finish time yesterday was either 58min 23sec(13.463MPH) or 28sec (13.444MPH), but either way, that's a full 8 minutes off of my old time & over 1.5MPH faster!

I decided to try skating in my custom Vaypor’s for the race which I hadn't skated in since July... big mistake. Though the 110mm wheels were probably what got me in under an hour, my ankles felt like soft rubber after about 5 miles. I pushed myself real hard most of the race, starting out (for me) aggressively with a pace of over 15MPH the first mile & staying above 14MPH through to mile 3.68, at which point I just had to slow down & catch my breath, averaging less than 12MPH for the next 3 miles. Skating alone from the start through about mile 5 when a couple guys caught up with me & jumped in front to form a 3 man pace line to help give me a little break for about a mile, but even that didn’t help a whole lot! Soon I was on my own again as my ankles started to scream at me & the 2 skaters who had helped me that tiny bit picked up their pace. Thinking about Danny Daniels & his record breaking cross country skate, I ignored my ankles & pushed through, I told myself that if he could push on through the adversities that he had faced in his trek, surely I could manage a piddly 13.1 miles! At the start of mile 8 I again picked up my pace, matching my first lap pace, passing the two guys who had helped me earlier in the process at about 17MPH,& guys if you happen to read this, thanks! I eventually slowed down a little bit & got behind one of the mother / daughter pairs where those 2 guys again caught up with me & we for a time formed a 5 skater line. Finally, with just over a quarter mile left to go, I decided to try & make one last break headed to the finish line. I got out of line & pushed forward, got about a tenth of a mile into my final push & my ankles nearly folded over Luckily I recovered & pushed on, but it was evident that I was spent, practically rolling through the finish line & almost collapsing when I reached the car.

Then it got bad… I remembered to bring my sunscreen with me this time, but forgot to put it on As a result, my head looks & feels like a boiling tomato... had I stayed out there in the sun much longer for the awards ceremony, I would probably in the hospital right now Walking right now is a slow, deliberate, & painful process, so I’ll be calling in sick for work tonight… now I remember why I always took the Monday after a race as a vacation day from work… recovery!

It was great seeing some familiar faces, & meeting some new ones including several fellow forum members! Till the next race... happy skating

Shawn
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Old March 10th, 2008, 06:31 PM   #7
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Then it got bad… I remembered to bring my sunscreen with me this time, but forgot to put it on As a result, my head looks & feels like a boiling tomato... had I stayed out there in the sun much longer for the awards ceremony, I would probably in the hospital right now Walking right now is a slow, deliberate, & painful process, so I’ll be calling in sick for work tonight
Lol, i did the same thing and I did stay out for the awards ceremony,my face looks like this now I wish I could take the day off.

I started off way too far back and my legs/knee went into painful hell mode only after 1 mile, it was nice skating next to you while it lasted. Great time, thats an awesome improvement on you personal best.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 06:39 PM   #8
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Jessica Birgit & Company just wanted to thank you for making this event happen and happen it did, absolutely excellent job. There is not one thing I would change, you guys are fantastic!


Regarding the segmentation of the starts between groups, I don't think there should be much of a delay. If anything make it as small as possible. The slower groups would not be catching up to anyone in front of them and for those who are just a little above there group this would give them an opportunity to catch a pace line more suited to their abilities. If the groups are too far apart there is no hope for those hoping to jump up a level.

On the other hand I would be concerned over making the delay too great and having the lead pack lap the lower groups one more time than they need to. I was a bit scared when they came up to me at the "Y" turn, praying I wouldn't get chopped to pieces.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #9
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I'm so glad everything went smoothly. If I looked a little preoccupied or nervous, it's because I was I really wanted to make sure everyone had a good time and that we made it a satisfactory racing experience for the locals and those that took the time and money to travel here.
.
.

We're hoping Squiggy will be even larger next year, so we'll most likely have the start divisions you see at other races.

And I know I've said it a million times but THANK YOU to everyone that skated and to the volunteers
Sorry Jessica, I have to correct you here (that's pay back for skating so fast this morning I spent 2 hours coughing afterwards )
The correction is:

We KNOW it will be bigger and better next year, take Squiggy Classic Inline 2008 as the "tester" - 2009 will be even better.

I did have a "chat" with the "volunteer" in charge of the wind. For whatever reason he was not able to get the wind-machine to "push" it got stuck on the "blow the skaters hard in their faces make them work"-mode...

And the same from me, THANK YOU, it has been a plesure to put this on, yes a weeeeee bit of work, BUT when so many show up, eager to have a good time, it is worth it!! So thanks for making this weekend so very special for me!

At the start, with the national anthem, so many skaters there eager to get going - I got totally emotinal (thank goddess for sun glasses!) - that moment was so huge for me, all what I had been working for the past half year, was there infront of my eyes, wauww thanks for giving me that!!

I have a billiontrillon pictures, but at the moment my camera is in one of the boxes. I had all of Squiggy-this-and-that in my car, empitied that last night and now it is sitting on my living room floor - if I find the camera before I the last box is emptied and gone, I'll take a picture

And now I have to get in shape, my first race of the year will be Texas Road Rash - less than a month to get in shape.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:41 PM   #10
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We want pictures! Birgit, what about the photos the professional-looking fella was taking? He seemed to be setup at the finish too - will those get posted somewhere?
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:48 PM   #11
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Consequently, I got caught behind a slower group while the guys I needed to be with skated away. The long and the short of it is I tried to shoot a gap to catch this disappearing group, and bit the dust. I don't know what or who I tripped on, but it was pretty much my own stupid fault. I went down hard on my right side and even my head scraped and hit. (Yay, helmets!)
When I looked at the clock I was floored... 1:33. I felt we were skating at a good pace, but I had no idea it was close to 1:30.
Ok Tom, I have an official complaint on you - take note!
If you make such a spectacular fall that give you all that rash (see your tegaderm post I made a comment to you) it is your obligation to fall where we can see it! Just like Wayne did, he fell like 20feet from the finish line and that we got on video

And what was it I was saying before the race, something along the lines of "yes we know what you are up too!!"

So - Great job man, you rock, making personal best on "first race of the year". Sorry about the rash, but well its just skin, keep the tegaderm on and you'll have fresh new pink baby skin in 4-5 days.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:51 PM   #12
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Hee hee - hey, there'd be nothing better to me than seeing a picture of me sliding 10 feet on my head and shoulder, that would've been great!

Apparently the only thing I was "up to" was doing a face plant. Nothing like embarrassing yourself. I'll take the lost skin for the PB any day
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Old March 10th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #13
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We want pictures! Birgit, what about the photos the professional-looking fella was taking? He seemed to be setup at the finish too - will those get posted somewhere?

Ooooooooooppppppppppppps those links I forgot to post last night - yes he has taken some very nice pictures of you guys (to be bought from him) or enjoyed online until June 2008. www.photos-by-shack.com

Marathon pics

Half marathon

Time Trials
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Old March 10th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #14
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Great job by Birgit and Jessica for the event. From the big picture to the small details everything was just well thought out and ran smooth. Many thanks.

Sat Time Trials
24:06 3:26 pace 17.5 mph

I knew it was going to be fun as I was driving up and the wind was blowing my car all over. The back wheels of tractor trailers were 2 ft over from the front at times which can give you an indication of how stiff it was blowing. Undeterred I continued on.
After getting to Flatwoods I grabbed my race packet, put my skates on and started loosening up. Soon after I continued my now tradition of biffing while warming up. I was kinda screwing around, got sloppy, clicked my skates on recovery and fell on my ass for the 2nd year in a row. Once again I lucked out and no footage was taken. Ended up with some rash under my knees so I didn't get completely away with it. I hopefully will drop this habit next year rather than myself.
As for the time trial, the first 2 miles was a real treat into the wind. I had a tough time finding my rhythm and cooked myself a bit. Then Mark passed me and gave me a little more incentive. I picked it up but I couldn't quite match him so I satisfied myself with slowly reeling in other skaters to keep my pace up. I ended up with a pb for that distance so I'm happy with the result especially in those conditions.

Sun Marathon
1:28:46 3:23 pace 17.7 mph

Brrr, cold morning. At least it wasn't too bad when the sun came out.
At the start of the race I got stuck again behind some slower skaters. I thought I was in a good place but there were some skaters up to the right of me that moved over and squeezed me off of where I wanted to be. I had to skate hard solo for the first 2 miles until I could find a group that was keeping a good pace. I joined up with them (John, Brian and Tom)and we caught up with Dom and Wayne a couple of miles after that. We all worked together well and set a good pace slowly picking up other skaters that fell off the lead open group until we had a line of about 10.
As for the finish, I muffed both my A and B plans. Live and learn. Plan A was waiting for a kid skating with us who I guessed would try to make a break and follow him out. Unfortunantly he took off sooner than I expected with 3.5 miles to go. I was waiting towards the back saving up some energy and didn't move up quick enough. I sprinted up, just missed him and got hung out. I had a good lead but not enough in the tank to continue by myself. The line caught up and I jumped on again to recover. Plan B was to take off at the last culvert before the finish line which was close enough to go all out and cross before dying out. I waited, recovered and got myself into good position being led out by another skater. I passed the culvert, slipped through and made a clean break off the front. I looked behind me saw I was clear and started to smile when I came around the bend and saw..the last culvert. Nooo! I had miscounted and took off almost a 1/2 mile too soon. My legs filled with lead, slowed down and I got overtaken by the pack again. It was all I could do to barely hang on the back and struggle across the finish line.

Still, I had a fun race, enjoyed myself, learned more and knocked 6 min off last years time for a new pb. Learned or reminded myself of the importance of a good start, a properly excecuted plan for the finish and the importance of every stroke you take in a race.

It was good meeting people again, seeing new faces and and just plain enjoying skating. Looking foward to next year which I'm sure will be even better.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #15
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What an awesome Event! Kudos to Birgit, Jessica and the staff of volunteers who worked for peanuts... literally. This being my first full marathon, I had a few modest goals: I wanted to get a good start and tag on to the fastest paceline, bring my training parters with me, and push myself to good finish. A few lofty goals that I had was to finish under 1:30 hours, and place in my age group.

The Start: This was my biggest worry for this event; so much so that I was even jockeying for postion on the mile skate up to the start line, much to the dismay of a couple of skaters (my bad), but I knew the start would be essential if I was going to tag on to a fast paceline. I did catch on to the tail end of the Elite paceline but by the first turn about a mile into the race they took off and I couldn't keep up with their speed. I settled into a group of skaters in the same boat as me which ended up being the first organized open marathon paceline and the second paceline overall (about 10 skaters).

The Fall and No Man's Land: Around the second lap during a paceline shuffle my skate and the skate from the guy in front me had a territorial dispute, and my skate lost and it took me down in fantastic fashion. By the time I struggled to my feet, recovered mentally and physically and got skating again, the paceline was too far off to rejoin with my fitness level. As I pressed to catch backup unsuccessfully, one thought came to mind "I need more 'Lap the pack' in my life."
No Man's Land is one loooonely place and the only way I got through it was by encouraging some half marathoners that I passed. At times I couldn't see anyone in front or behind me, but I pressed on.

Recovery: I skated alone for almost one lap until I was caught by the second open marathon paceline, another good paceline with Don, Quang, Rich amongst others. We worked together until pack sprint at the end.

No Regrets: In all I had a wonderful time, I have no regrets and I'm happy with my time 1:28.36, 8th place in the Open Marathon Divison. I have learned a few things though. Next time I will use Sunglasses; my eyes were drying out and the glare from the Sun was pretty significant. Bring a water bottle; there were two water stations, but a couple times we were just moving too fast to get some. Another time I dropped the cup and got no water. The few times I got water I had to hustle to get back in the paceline. By the end of the race my muscles were trying to cramp up and I couldn't respond to surges the way I wanted to. And fiinally, The Start Is Important!

Thanks again to everyone who helped this be a great experience.

Now it's time to get back to work! My new goal is a sub 1:25 marathon.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #16
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We want pictures! Birgit
My camera materialized!! Soooooooo as you wish Master

Mine and Diane's (she was at four corners, got some great cross-over photo's) are up at http://www.squiggyclassicinline.com/...togallery.html

I added the links to Tom's and Jessica's pics from the officialSquiggy-site.

Any more that have uploaded pics from Squiggy to share??

I have 10-15 video-snips that I'll do-the-doing with so that 15 sec. does not fill up too much - so stay tuned for that!
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Old March 11th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #17
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please give us yours also. You won't hurt our feelings We're new to this, so we want to know what could make it better.
One suggestion I have is for the water stations. It's really tough to grab a cup of water skating by at x mph. I tried once with no luck, and have seen a couple other comments about it. It's much easier to grab one of those small 'half' bottles of water.

However, I realize that adds to the expense of the race, so I can understand if that's tough to get. I carry my own water anyway, but if it were hotter I probably would have needed more. So maybe categorize it as a "nice to have" if possible. Bottles are much easier to grab.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #18
Birgit
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What an awesome Event! Kudos to Birgit, Jessica and the staff of volunteers who worked for peanuts... literally.

Thanks again to everyone who helped this be a great experience.

Now it's time to get back to work! My new goal is a sub 1:25 marathon.
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Great job by Birgit and Jessica for the event. From the big picture to the small details everything was just well thought out and ran smooth. Many thanks.
Thanks Sekou and Bryan - plesure having you there!!

Sorry about your falls, I did not even know that. If you have road rash I - and a lot of others - are suckers for good pics
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Old March 11th, 2008, 03:10 PM   #19
Birgit
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One suggestion I have is for the water stations. It's really tough to grab a cup of water skating by at x mph. I tried once with no luck, and have seen a couple other comments about it. It's much easier to grab one of those small 'half' bottles of water.

However, I realize that adds to the expense of the race, so I can understand if that's tough to get. I carry my own water anyway, but if it were hotter I probably would have needed more. So maybe categorize it as a "nice to have" if possible. Bottles are much easier to grab.
Yes we will find a solution for that next year.

It was not as much as the expence - water is not that expensive and there's a limit to how much a skater can chuck down at a race - I was in contact with a local "bottled water" company, but that deal fell through, and with little time left and the knowledge that we could get all the water we wanted from the park - we settled on that.

One experience richer!
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Old March 11th, 2008, 07:16 PM   #20
Birgit
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I've ulpoaded the promised "films" - just a few seconds each, but they are there! Some of them are quite a big file - so have patience!

http://www.squiggyclassicinline.com/...togallery.html
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