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Old September 21st, 2009, 05:13 PM   #41
Alyosha
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Congrats SmileySk8s, those 1:4X times are great for a first timer. I was in a hotel that overlooked the off-ramp before the finish line and was watching people come in at 2.5 hours and beyond. Glad you had a good time and didn't get too banged up.

I have to agree about the roads. I haven't done this race since '06 and most of the first half seem downright treacherous with the bumps, cracks and tar snakes. From what I keep hearing, it seems like a lot of people took falls this year. I was happy to come away with only a slow speed belly flop.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 05:26 PM   #42
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I skated in my 5th Northshore Marathon this year and recorded a new PR by over 9 minutes. I was in wave 1 and tried to stay near the front of the pack the entire race. Lemon Drop hill separated most of the pack as it tends to do and there were 5 of us left in the lead pack. I was skating near the front, but the woman behind me was skating too close and kept kicking my skates. It wasn't just once or twice, but at least 10 times. Is this normal? Out of fear of crashing, I waved them ahead of me and couldn't regroup enough to catch up. The uphill ramp got the best of me this year which is frustrating because I train hills really hard and usually use them to my advantage.

I didn't see any spills this year, but I heard one behind me. I think it took out at least two people, maybe more.

BTW...I used the MPC Road War 100mm wheels this year and they performed as I expected them too. A touch too hard for the first half of the race, but amazing for the second half in the smoother section of the course. I was say they are the best I have used for the marathon so far. This includes, Hyper Bank Robbers, Matter Greens, and MPC Streetfights.

I also got fitted for custom Simmons skates which I am really excited about. They won't arrive until November/December so I will be using them at the Rollerdome this winter.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 04:21 PM   #43
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1.20.30, about 2 and half minute off last year's time. 7th in my age group. Stuck with the lead pack of wave B until the end, only 10 beat me to the finish line. Didn't have any ankle issue.

It took me 6 attempts to have a satisfying race here, because something always gone awfully wrong during the race (both my part and stuffs out of my control).
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 11:25 PM   #44
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Track postition is everthing....

2nd trip to Duluth, last year was my 1st.
The trip was there was long, 18.5 Hrs and 1300 miles.. I did get to stop in Minneapolis to pick up a skate bud.
Other than that, the drive was pretty boring. One end of I-35 to the other. I put 2750 miles on the 40mpg car I rented in less than 5 days.. Audio books are awesome for these kinds of trips. Truth be told though.. This was the last time I will drive it.

The race was very different than last year. Last years Advanced race seemed much calmer, even though it was faster.The weather this year was perfect. I was kinda hoping we would have the windy conditions we had the day before for obvious reasons... But we had to settle for 50s, and moslty calm all the way.
I agree with others who say that the course seemed rougher. The 1st 8-10 miles for sure, after that, it was smooth as a baby's butt. You just have to be very aware and keep your eyes open. The worst of it was clearly marked. I did not see any falls until the off ramp from I-35

For reference I was the guy wearing the black and grey suit with the State of Texas on it

At the start I found myself leading us down the long hill. I about tripped on those darn mats so I was totally surprised I was out front. I felt good, and tried to not set a pace that was too fast.I was pretty excited to be out front, so I'm sure it was fast. I wished I could've looked back, because I know the pack had to've been huge.

The first few miles were about what I expected. a few surges, some folks flying up to the front to lead for a bit. Seems like everytime that happened whoever got out front would start to slow down, this would cause folks to step out, and before you knew it you had 3 pace lines all jockeying for tar-snakeless road. We averaged right @ 20mph most of the time. My Garmin had my top speed @ 30.9 somewhere near mile 10. These surges, and 3 pace lines came and went the 1st 13 or so miles. Once we got to the really smooth pavement, the pace really started to get fast, and 3 pace lines were almost the rule. No one wanted to be caught in the back. I had to step out and move up front several times. This put me out front and pulling 3-4 more times. I was using up too much energy and this would hurt me at the end.

Just past halfway we caught the ladies pro pack. I had the privelidge, I guess, of pulling the lead portion of the advanced pack by them. So, we had like a 100+ skaters in three or more pace lines, a motorcycle, and the pro ladies pack, all running together. I hope someone caught pictures of this, I'd sure like to see them. The rules stated that there would be no cross drafting, so we had to try and keep our distance from each other. I had heard some complaing about our pack making it harder on them. I look at it this way, you guys started 5 minutes ahead of us, we should've never caught you. Not even close. I am betting that next year, they will start behind Wave A. It did make things interesting. Overall it had no effect on my race.

For the most part the same 4-5 people pulled most of the race. I was one of those people. I wanted to stay in the top 10-15 as much as possible. The farthest back I found myself was when we were about 2 miles from Lemon Drop. I was way back .And I knew I was not where I needed to be, so I pulled out on the left, and hammered back to the front. I got to about 10th at the base, and was I think about 5-6th making the turn onto I-35. That push, and all the pulling previous to that really took a lot out of me, and I quickly started to get flushed back again. I was skating on the left close to those grates just trying to hang in there and stay close to the front. I knew postitioning was going to be key to get a good finish. But I was not where I needed to be. When we came off I-35 I found myself closer to the back than the front. I gave it all I had from this point foward to try and catch up. I managed to make up some ground, but not near enough. If you're not in the top 8-10 @ the top of the overpass ramp taking that left, you have no chance to get the win. I managed to pick up a few spots after that left turn heading to the line. I crossed in 1:17:24.. 43rd overall, and 5th in my age division. I wanted more, but considering I had a bad rib injury 3 weeks out. I suffered no falls, and gota decent finish, I'll surely take it.
I've already registered for next year. I'll be in racing with the Pro Vets next year. Should be exciting. This is our marquee race, if you can find a way to get there, do it.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 01:43 AM   #45
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The elite pack took off from the gun. We averaged 28+ mph for the first 4 miles, and it didn't slow down after that. I made it into the final 7, but at mile 13 they popped me. Justin Stelly took off down one of the hills while I was sitting 2nd wheel. We got a gap on the field, but it didn't last long. When the pack caught, I moved to the back, but even in the draft I couldn't recover from that effort Justin made. I dropped off a few minutes later.

I needed the pace to slow down for about 15 seconds so that I could stretch out and bring my HR below my AT again, but the pace never slowed down. It just stayed fast the whole time. It was the kind of racing I've been looking forward to for years, and I was pretty disappointed in myself for not being able to hang.

The highlight of my weekend was playing with the Power Balance bracelet. I still can't believe I bought one. I'm the cheapest guy in the world. With all the other top pros wearing them, I couldn't just NOT buy one. If I didn't have it on and got dropped, I would have always had it in the back of my head that it MIGHT have been the bracelet. At least this way I new we were on a level playing field, but the 6 guys that got away were simply stronger than me.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 02:14 AM   #46
Bill in Houston
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Awesome race, Brian.

Rob, maybe you need a couple more bracelets... Wish you could have gotten that 15 second break. Would have been great to see you right in the mix at the end.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 02:12 PM   #47
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What's a power balance bracelet?
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 04:26 PM   #48
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My race report:

Before the race, my training has gone pretty well, considering the knee injury I have to deal with. However, my previous 2 races didn't live up the expectations. I did Chicago in 1.33 and St. Paul (half) in 42, and I place pretty low as well. Also, this is my first time starting in wave B. Even though I had done other marathons in advance wave before, but this is a first for Northshore. Also, I had never had a troublefree race here for the last 5 years, somethings always gone wrong really bad. This is a race that I always have high expecations (because it seemed so easy).

My primary goal for this race is to have a time good enough to place myself in wave A next year. Secondary goals are, top 3 in my age group and finish under 1.20. I think I know what went wrong in the last 2 races, so I have softer wheels for this one.

Eventhough the temperature was around mid 50's like 3 out of last 5 years, I didn't find it necessary to wear long sleeves and tights like I always did. While I was moving slowly during the warm-up (in between sprints), a tar snake caught me and I fell. I had a cut on my calf, and some road rash. It was painful enough that I didn't get up immediately and took a few minutes to shook it off. That pretty much cut my warm-up time short.

Start of the race, I was at the front of wave B, was able to get near the front of the paceline pretty easily. Things were going well for the first 2 miles. However, I started to feel something in my ankles. It's very similar to what happened to in the last 2 races before my ankles gave out. The rough road was very difficult to tolerate, even though I have Matter green. I was very nervous and cautious about it, and couldn't push hard. I started to struggle just a little bit in the paceline, but was able to stay in. I kept reminding myself that the discomfort will go away once my muscles were warm-up and the road smoothens out later in the race. I was confident that once we hit London road I should be able to pick up my place.

Like any long paceline, there're some serious slinkying all the time, which was annoying to some skaters but not me (already used to that). The average pace wasn't too great at all. The lead pro master women skaters (started behind us a few minutes) actually passed us and pulling away because we're monkeying around too much. Slowly, I was shoved towards the back of the paceline. I tried a few times to get back to the front, but it wasn't easy because despite the inconsistent pace the paceline was actually pretty tight (hard to find places to squeeze in).

After we got on London road, some of the guys finally had enough of the slinkying, and picked up the pace. That slimmed the pack down significantly. Eventhough I was fully recovered from the ankle discomfort, I found the pace actually hard to keep up with. When we hit the Lemon Drop hill, we dropped more skaters, so we're down to about 20 skaters going into the Interstate 35.

I knew if I want to finish ahead of the pack, I need to be the first person to get to the first turn (at the end of off ramp). I tried hard, but I was so exhausted that I could only manage 4th or 5th. I had barely any steam left for the final sprint, and lost a couple of spots before the finish line.

I finished at 1.20.30, 30 seconds off my target time. I placed 7th out of 117 in my age group (14 out of 114 last year), and 99th out of 2194 overall in open (228 out of 2288 last year). Despite not achieving some of my goals, I am very happy with the result because only 10 skaters in my wave got ahead of me, and for the first time in 6 years, I didn't have ankle melt-down (almost had a scare in the early stages of race though).

There're a few things I learnt, first, if I want to skate with wave A I would have to skate quicker than I am now because I was struggling to keep up with the lead wave B skaters. Need to get faster and stronger for next year. Also I need to be a little bit more aggresive in getting into positions near the front of the pack. Often I waited too long before making the move, therefore wasting a lot of energy riding at the back of the train (suffering the most from slinkying).
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Last edited by buzzinghornet; September 23rd, 2009 at 09:18 PM. Reason: had to go back to work
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 05:04 PM   #49
johnny
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Default Power Balance bracelet

Quote:
Originally Posted by sxevegan View Post
Power Balance bracelet.... If I didn't have it on and got dropped, I would have always had it in the back of my head that it MIGHT have been the bracelet.
Not sure if I'm cheaper or just skeptical.
I wore the free sticker version of Power Balance during Hotter n Hell bike ride.
When I got dropped, I was thinking maybe the stupid sticker slowed me down.

Rob,
Can you actually feel any effect from that voodoo product other than the extra weight and germs?
Maybe David would make a carbon version.

Making it to final 7 was no small achievement that day. You're still my hero.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 05:14 PM   #50
hoffmonster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny View Post
Not sure if I'm cheaper or just skeptical.
I wore the free sticker version of Power Balance during Hotter n Hell bike ride.
When I got dropped, I was thinking maybe the stupid sticker slowed me down.
I took a little video of Stelly demo-ing being able to bend over farther with it on Vs. off.. I think the 30$ pricetag made me more skeptical than if it would've been 5$... I'll upload it and share when I get to the home computer.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 06:00 PM   #51
SmileySk8s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
What's a power balance bracelet?
Think magnetic bracelets, only these have holograms... and after the race you can say "Beam Me Up, Scotty!!"... and then wait while nothing happens. Ok, call me a skeptic.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
from their website, this is how they describe their technology:

Power Balance®, after years of research and development, has produced a system to safely restore and optimize the electro-magnetic balance within the human body… IMMEDIATELY.

POWER BALANCE’S Mylar Holographic Disk (the same substance used to keep static electricity from damaging electrical components) has been imbedded with an electrical frequency that restores your body’s electrical balance, promoting a free exchange of positive and negative ions and align your body’s energy pathways.

The high density Disk acts much like a switch, resonating within your system and turning on your energy field while it clears the pathways so the electro-chemical exchange functions like the well-tuned generator it was designed to be.

When the static Power Balance Hologram comes in contact with your body’s energy field, it begins to resonate in accordance with each individual’s biological, creating a harmonic loop that optimizes your energy field and maintains maximum energy flow while clearing the pathways so the electro-chemical exchange functions like the well-tuned generator it was meant to be.

Results Are Almost Immediate… & Truly Phenomenal
Unlike many other ionic electro-magnetic devices, the Power Balance Holographic Disks begin to work almost instantly, restoring optimal electro-magnetic balance and promoting free flowing energy pathways… NO PROMISES, JUST RESULTS.

The benefits are clear: faster synaptic response (brain function), enhanced muscle response (in both fast and slow twitch tissues), increased stamina (better oxygen uptake and recovery), more flexibility (faster recovery) and vastly improved gravitational balance.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 10:09 PM   #52
buzzinghornet
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http://s62.photobucket.com/albums/h1...hshore%202009/


Uptown Minneapolis


sculture garden


state animal of Minnesota, tar snake


picking up bags


race as seen from the skywalk


Duluth


Finally I am on the first page of result!


Mall of America

Pictures taken during the trip.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 02:27 PM   #53
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Great racing Toon! I always love your reports and pics. Thanks, and...

LezSk8!
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Old September 25th, 2009, 01:26 AM   #54
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The bracelet does increase your balance in the tests they tell you to do. It does increases your strength (very slightly i.e. about 5 lbs on my bench press). Does it make you skate/bike faster? Probably not, or at least not enough to measure. Will I still be wearing it at the 100k this weekend? Heck yes. Why wouldn't I...especially if Jorge is wearing his.
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Old September 25th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #55
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Here are pics and video:

Pics

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