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Old August 19th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #1
MN_Mike
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Default 2007 Saint Paul Marathon - Reports and Photos

Let's hear the race reports from everyone!
I didn't get to see many of you after the race, so how did it go? How did you hold up in the rain?

I'd give my report now, but I'm extremely exhausted and MUST nap first, more later.

Michael
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Old August 19th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #2
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The racers will have better reports, but here is a quick overview of what I saw (sorry I missed PM (Dave) and probably others).

Dry at the start of the pro & advanced men, light rain thereafter until everything was pretty wet.

SEARCHABLE RESULTS: http://www.pttiming.com/raceresults.php

Speedy was with the Pro Masters and seemed quite pleased afterward with his performance. He hung with his pack until fairly close to the finish. He agreed he was doing a whole lot better early in the race than with a quarter mile to go: http://gallery.blissfulidiot.com/dis...lbum=44&pos=18 **

Haven't met The Major yet, but recognized him from pictures and the Team Rainbo uni. He looked good early and nearer the end of the race, when he looked like he was in good striking position. I guess he was - he finished 2nd in Pro Vet Men. Way to go Major!

Saw Tom Grossp. but can't tell you much about his race other than he I saw him a couple of times in a paceline with other Pro Masters &/or Vets and he seemed to be doing well.

Gopherfan (Brian) was in the lead Advanced pack and was doing well at 11 & 15 miles. He said later his pack got split and he could not bridge the gap. This looks like just before the finish: http://gallery.blissfulidiot.com/dis...lbum=44&pos=38 **

Luke was in the 2nd Advanced pack which got caught by the 3rd paceline. MN_Mike hooked up with 4 other RollerDome guys and as planned they led the 3rd paceline at a steady pace. Did not see Michael finish, but he stayed with the group and also seemed pleased (1:30 per the timed results). Luke finished immediately ahead of Michael. http://gallery.blissfulidiot.com/dis...lbum=44&pos=53 **

The General (Don) was doing well in Advanced and was in such fine condition he waved as he went by at 15. Finished in 1:32 per the results.

Speedsk8r (Jan) seemed pleased to been able to race and was doing some nice pulling out there.

The Pro women was a fractured group as I heard some Bont women missed the start while they were warming up. Kara Peterson lead 3 women, apparently including the 2 stragglers, by about 1/3 mile after 11 miles. At 15, the 3 had caught and passed her. Kara must have caught back up, because she finished second, with the 3rd & 4th women no where in sight.

Rebecca George (she goes by Becky according to Mom) was in 6th, behind Kara, the group of 3 and a 1/3 mile or so behind a Toronto ISC woman at mile 15. By the finish Becky had 10+ yards on her. Becky almost lost her position as she stood up, thinking the finish was 50 yards prior to the actual finish.

Due to the combination of all Pro women, Carvell (Margo) was in "no-man's land" for a good chunk of the race. She was with only 1 other woman one time I saw her (mile 11). http://gallery.blissfulidiot.com/dis...lbum=44&pos=40 **
Guess it did not hurt her too much as she placed 1st in Pro Vet women!! Way to go Margo!

In Advanced women, Jessica was looking very strong in the lead paceline. She was near the front & pulling at 11 & 15 miles. [Lots more info below from Tigger]. At the finish, who did we see sprinting at the front but Jessica and one other woman. Jessica finished 2nd in Advanced! Way to go Jessica! I don't know why you were concerned, you look just fine in this picture Jessica! http://gallery.blissfulidiot.com/dis...lbum=44&pos=50 **

My friend Jerry was 5th in the 10 mile tour in about 46 minutes. It was his first race and he got some experience drafting, including Speedsk8r and some other Team Rainbo guys for a bit. Wouldn't you know his time is not posted!

Just caught Pepper Montana's daughter Zoe at the finish - good to see her looking happy at the finish!

Great races everyone!

It was nice to see everyone and meet Luke, Speedy, DMorg & Zoe, Gless and others on Friday/Saturday. You're a fine bunch.

** Courtesy TommyJ at http://www.inlinepics.com/

Last edited by MNGreene; August 23rd, 2007 at 03:01 AM.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 06:13 PM   #3
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Thumbs up SPIM race report

I just got home after the St. Paul Inline Marathon. Wow, what an event!! It was misty when we started, and turned to rain during the race. But everyone was being careful and helpful, and there was only 1 mishap that I witnessed.

I did the "Advanced" race, which I didn't want to mention ahead of time in case that turned out to be really stupid of me -- it wouldn't be the first time. I saw when we lined up that this was a fit, dedicated group, and I wondered (yet again) if I had gotten in over my head. The group started fast, and I found it hard to keep a handle on my nerves. Had I warmed up enough? Was I being safe in this pack? I tried to follow the example of those around me.

Early on, 2 young women (in "Wolf" jerseys? ... hot pink jerseys, pretty sure these 2 aren't American) went off the front. I stepped out of the paceline to close the gap, and for some reason nobody else went with me (they probably realized I didn't have a chance ). I caught up to the 2 Wolf skaters, but then they gapped me shortly afterwards, and I skated about 7 miles on my own. Stupid, stupid me. I thought I could catch them, but it wasn't happening. They hovered ahead of me like a mirage.

I finally woke up and realized I was killing myself on my own, so I swallowed a gel energy packet, and grabbed on as the main pack caught me. Now this is where the race really got exciting and educational for me. I found I could relax some and follow the example of the more experienced skaters. We stayed together in this group for about 13 miles, with everyone skating carefully, pointing out puddles, potholes, etc.

To our excitement, we caught those 2 young women with several miles to go, and then the race got a lot more strategic. They attacked any time we slowed down, and on the one big hill a decisive move was made. I followed Jessica (yes, skatelog's very own!) as she made the break, then did my best to come around her and provide *some* draft as we closed the gap. This is a lot more fun to visualize if you know how much shorter I am than Jessica.

The last few miles were a punctuated with very short intervals of frustration, when those 2 skaters were cross-drafting (they didn't realize it was against the rules) and when they skated a little erratically when passing skaters a lot slower than us. But generally that part was really thrilling, as we blazed along and responded to each move. By the final corner, I was nearly worn out, and it was all I could do to hang in there and watch Jessica blaze up the hill ahead of me. I could hardly maintain traction, and there she was, flying along!

So, today was a fantastic experience for me. Some things I learned:
  • Skating in the rain is not quite as sketchy as I had feared
  • I was an idiot to hang out in 'no man's land' when the pack was going to catch me anyway
  • I'd like to work more in the pack next time. I did several pulls and closed gaps, but not enough. I was a little confused by the team skaters who pulled in a couple spots ahead of me in the pack rather than coming all the way back. I guess it's safer than drafting behind an unknown? But I do want to pull my share.
  • Don't rely on the chip system for timing or placement. Check results carefully! My initial results were wrong, though I *think* they were fixed in the end. The final results had one woman ahead of our group of finishers, but I don't know where she came from, because I was sure nobody had gone off the front except the 2 young women we caught.
  • Jessica is a damn good skater -- in technique, fitness, skill, and sportsmanship -- and it was my privilege to learn from her and others today.

I think the race organizers did a fantastic job given today's weather challenges, but there is one thing I would recommend to them: back up the timing chip system in some way, even if it's just someone with a clipboard recording time elapsed since the very first race started and the number of each finisher across the line. Everything else can be calculated by subtracting out the competitor's wave start time. (I assume I'm not the first person to suggest this )

Again, thanks to all of you for your support and suggestions, from which I benefited hugely!! Now I'm hoping to do Duluth -- who's in?
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Old August 19th, 2007, 07:45 PM   #4
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I started in dead last in advanced, as us five guys (none of whom are skateloggers) were the last group and I was the fifth spot.

We quickly passed most groups and according to MNGreene, halfway though we were the 3rd pack. By then we were down to four guys and we were rotating the lead in a pack of about 12. At mile 16 I couldn't hang on with the leading 3, I dropped to about the 6 spot and let the 3 of them take leads. It was also at this time that the rain was getting to me and my boots felt much heavier as they filled up with water. A mile later 3 guys from the back of our pack were nice enough to hop up front and take leads for the next 4 or 5 miles. They took us up to the 2nd pack and we formed a big group at about 23, heading into the finish

At this point, I couldn't get too low or my back would seize up and I couldn't stand up because my right quad would seize up
tough spot to be in, but the lack of endurance skating since Montreal will do that.

Everyone slowed down, heading into downtown so I led out up the first stretch of Sibley hill. Quickly I was passed by about half of the group. I didn't want my leg to stop functioning, so I just concentrated on making it through, and I am hoping that starting in the back will jump me up in the standings by my chip time.

Great race! but plenty of water in the boots.
Congratulations Jessica!! and also to Brian for skating with the lead pack!!
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Old August 20th, 2007, 12:03 AM   #5
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Just got back home, this was my first marathon - what an event. See my post on the storm surge wheels - worth every penny. Agree that skating in the wet isn't as feared with good form and good wheels

I went off in wave 7, so I was in the rain the whole way, but as mentioned people were nice and helpful, I saw no mishaps. Boots got heavy with the rain - we were soaked to the bone! I also got caught in no-mans land for much of lap 1, but caught on to a great group at the end, and when I couldn't keep up, found another that worked, and finally one more at the end to bring it in.

HOLY COW the hill at the Finish line, are they kidding?! As I said - skater abuse! Skater abuse!

I met lots of nice people, not sure who is from here at the forum or not (never got a chance to post my pic either). We may have a niche sport, but everyone seems to be super friendly.

Edit: Found my time: 1:52:16.44

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Old August 20th, 2007, 12:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Just got back home, this was my first marathon
Congratulations on your first marathon, Tom!
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Old August 20th, 2007, 12:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Just got back home, this was my first marathon - what an event. See my post on the storm surge wheels - worth every penny. Agree that skating in the wet isn't as feared with good form and good wheels

I went off in wave 7, so I was in the rain the whole way, but as mentioned people were nice and helpful, I saw no mishaps. Boots got heavy with the rain - we were soaked to the bone! I also got caught in no-mans land for much of lap 1, but caught on to a great group at the end, and when I couldn't keep up, found another that worked, and finally one more at the end to bring it in.

HOLY COW the hill at the Finish line, are they kidding?! As I said - skater abuse! Skater abuse!

I met lots of nice people, not sure who is from here at the forum or not (never got a chance to post my pic either). No idea what my time was yet but I think close around 2 hours. That was a ton of fun. We may have a niche sport, but everyone seems to be super friendly.

Tom
Tom,

A good day to get your feet wet (pardon the pun) doing your first marathon. don't worry, it only get's harder and more competitive. I knowyou're up for the challenge. See you at practice.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 12:56 AM   #8
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Thanks Mike, and Thanks Greg - wished I could have seen more of you guys race, but you guys looked like you were going pretty well the one time I saw. Yeah, I can see it getting tougher if I want to compete with the next group! See you this weekend.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 05:59 AM   #9
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Here's a link to my report:

http://www.inlineplanet.com/2007-08/stpaul.html
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Old August 20th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #10
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Sounds like some great, wet, racing. Congrats to Jessica and Greg on their 2nd place finishes and to everyone else who finished the course.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #11
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Congrats on 2nd Greg! I had no idea... and Peter and Margo too. Excellent report, looks like there was some good action going on up there. Boy "running" up that last hill wasn't a bad idea considering the slippery slope.

We all saw the Bont girls go by a minute late too LOL - we were all scratching our heads! They were flying to catch up.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 01:57 PM   #12
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The racers will have better reports, but here is a quick overview of what I saw (sorry I missed PM (Dave) and probably others).

You just needed to be patient! I was coming, just not very fast!

Just caught Pepper Montana's daughter Zoe at the finish - good to see her looking happy at the finish!

Great races everyone!

It was nice to see everyone and meet Luke, Speedy, DMorg & Zoe, Gless and others on Friday/Saturday. You're a fine bunch.
Congrats to Jessica on her outstanding finish! I want to say that she is a fine role model for young and aspiring skaters such as myself.

Doug,
We enjoyed meeting you and your family too! Skaters are good people. Thanks for the note about Zoe. It makes me misty and I wish that I could have seen it for myself. It will be a good thought to keep me bouyant in the future. Zoe is pumped for the Norfshore race in Duluut and she is aiming to do the full 26 solo. I can't put in words how happy that makes me. Thanks for looking for her in St. Paul. I really appreciate that!

A big thanks to Cincinnati Mike and his son Bryan for making sure my girl was ok after the race. It was a huge help for me. I could just think about skating. Again, the skaters are good people!

I skated on the MPC gold VTs that I've been skating on all summer and it was a mistake. I had storm surges in my bag before the race but it was dry at start time so I didn't load them up. Oh well... It was a character building exercise. I finished in 1:39. Next time I know that I will do better.

Congrats to all the skateloggers on their races!
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Old August 20th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #13
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Despite the rain, I thoroughly enjoyed the race. Congratulations to Saint Paul for putting on another great one - my second at Saint Paul!

This was the second race in which I found packs for most of the race, the first being Squiggy at Tampa. I had just under 2 miles of skating on my own but the rest was with one pack or another. Of course, it was all advanced men through the first lap. About 3 miles into the second lap is where I lost my pack and skated on my own for what seemed like more than 26 miles (but then we only skated 26; it was really more like 1 or 2 miles). But I found another pack and went into the final right turn with a good mix of advanced men and open division skaters. About 3 miles from the final left turn, I began to assess who was going right for a second lap and who was going left to the finish (open skaters or advanced men). It appeared that there was at least one left turn skater ahead of me, so about 1.5 miles out, I got out of the pack to make my move. I think the advanced skater ahead of me -- from Team Rainbo -- saw my move and was coming out to join me or get in behind me. We clipped skates briefly but neither of us went down and we were able to keep our momentum. I lost track of where my fellow advanced skaters were but a cyclist on the side of the road was keeping pace and encouraging me with "get low" (which I did) and "now pour it on" (which I did). I looked around with about 20 feet to go and didn't see my fellow pack skaters near me so I coasted the last 10 feet over the finish. It turns out that a good friend of a lot of us from Florida (and pretty much anyone he meets) -- Ken Huss -- who was in that last pack, as well, actually finished only 4 seconds behind me. How I missed such a tall skater when I turned around I'll never know. I may be experimenting with a helmet mirror for the next race.

Again, despite the rain, I had a great time as did most of those I spoke to after the race.


Happy Trails . . . and see you all at North Shore!

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Old August 20th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #14
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Some pictures......



That's me chasing the pack after my first spill.




Me at halfway point, and that's how wet it is.

More pictures at http://s62.photobucket.com/albums/h1...t/SPIM%202007/
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:33 AM   #15
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This will be short because I just got home and I'm beat. Despite the rain it was a great weekend. I may not look happy in that pic, but I felt great and was in fact very happy with my performance. With my training very hit or miss and skating about once a week I was expecting to be a disaster. Factor in never skating outside on my 4x100 and I was really nervous. I had tried it once for about 3 miles and had used it successfully indoors, but to throw it on and expect to race in it was completely against all racing logic. Everyone knows that you don't try new things on race day. This one defied the odds and worked pretty well. After a successful performance, the lack of mileage caught up to me about two miles out and the pic shows me trying to loosen up my legs before the climb. Not getting caught by the vets was cool, but capitalizing on all of my available resources and using them well was what made this a great race for me. They always say it's not about winning, it's about doing your best and my race is the perfect validation of that. I skated my legs off, literally.
I got to meet Birgit, Mn's Greene and Mike as well as gopherfan. This was the best part. I was introduced to gopherfan as JT and then it was clarified that I was speedysktr and his smile trickled away and he said, "oh, you're him" What'd I do? What'd I do? dMorg and Zoe were there and I saw the Maj at the start. Way to go Greg. Buzz, El General, Luke, Gless and last but not least: Online Inline!

Thanks for the support Doug and it was nice to meet all families and see all the friends old and new as well as put some faces, Brian , with the names on the board.

Good times. Awesome times. Anyone that wants to join the fun, NSIM is just a few weeks away.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 03:34 AM   #16
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This is going to be a long report, as it turned out to be a very eventful race for me.

Saturday morning, my reaction to the weather was "Oh @#$%!" It's wet the cold. I guessed I was too busy days before departure that I didn't realize the shift in weather in the last 2 days. I was expecting a hot and dry race, like the last 2 years. I brought MPC wheels with me this time, but it was the wrong color (VT pink), and I couldn't get any 90mm SF gold at the expo. But I was still very upbeat about the race since my records in wet races were much better than the dry ones.

I & my college buddies went to have some Dim Sum in the morning (Twin Cities have many nice Asian restaurants), and then went shopping at Mall of America. Then we went to IKEA home furnishing store (we don't have one in Florida, yet). Couldn't buy all the stuffs I wanted, but got some smaller stuffs and great ideas for my new place.

Afternoon, went to the expo, saw Carol, Don and other familiar faces. Bumped into JT, Jessica & gang when I was about to leave. Had some nice Cantonese for dinner and came back to downtown, found out that the elimination race was postponed.

Sunday morning, got to the starting area, and I was the first person to have skates on! Also changed my warm-up routine for the first time. I had always done warm-ups that were fast but too short, or slow but too long. Based on the fact that I always did poorly in short races, I decided to make my warm-ups sort of like a race simulation of 5k. The bike path was wet mostly, but there's a short stretch which is concrete and dry so I can do some sprints there. I did a couple of repetitions, starting with hard but constant pace and ended with a sprint. Then reverse, sprint first and hard constant pace for the rest. Did that for 6 times, each repetitions may be shorter than 5k, but should be enough.

Then watched the pro and adv men zooming by the start line for their second lap. We all had the pleasure to watch Nikko launching a daring breakaway in front of the crowd.

My strategy for the race was really simple. Try to jump on the first pack, and if I struggled to keep up, settling for 2nd or 3rd pace. Don't launch any major attack until halfway. It wasn't raining when the adv women and the rest (me in open 1) took off, but the pavement was wet. I was near the tail end of the first paceline formed (and it's a looooo..........oooong paceline). 2 or 3 miles into the race, the front of the pack broke off slowly and pulled away. So, now I was in the 3rd pack. I was really cautious about my ankle, so I didn't give chase, and it's still a long way to go. And the rain started to fall, making it miserable for everyone.

There weren't any major problem with me for the first third of the race, excpet my toes were numb due to the coldness. I was always in a paceline. When I got to the first turnaround, I felt like I was going a little bit too slow, decided to bridge the gap (there're couple of skaters ahead dropped by the first 2 packs). Coming out of the turnaround, I accelerated, and caught the mini pack with no problem. But the pack that I left behind had so much momentum (plus it's downhill from that point on), they eventually caught up with me. No big deal, and that's just part of the plan to test the pack. 7 or 8 miles into the race, the pack grew into pretty decent size (over 40 skaters) as we picked more individuals. Did another breakaway, but had to scrap my plan because I realized I couldn't bridge the gap.

8 or 9 miles in, that's went I had the first sign of trouble, lost balance twice after caught by the grooves (the pack was weaving in and out of the road shoulder, which has nicer pavement that the road itself). Saved it. Then one of my skates suddenly slipped out and I slided on my butt. Lost the pack, and I furiously gave chase, and it was in striking distance at first, but after the 2nd turnaround, it just got further and further...... I tought I might have to finished the race by myself, as there's no one else in near sight. But I was still pretty upbeat, coz when I look at my watch when I cross the timing line at halfway point, it's 49 min, and I could still beat my last year's time (that's set in dry condition) even if I had to skate solo for the rest of the race. I had a 55 min last year at halfway.

One mini pack finally went by, but I was struggling to get the most out of my push, so I couldn't latched on. Another mini pack went by, did managed to hang on, but barely. By the time we got to the 3rd turnaound, we actually had about 7 or 8 skaters as we collected more. It didn't look like the pack was going pretty quick, but I was struggling with my pushes. At first I tought it's because I suck at rain skating, made a poor wheel choice, and/or toe-flicked too much. Soon, it would be obvious why I was getting little push out of my strides. While going around the parking lot at the 3rd turnaround, the back of my right frame swang out and I fell.

I wasn't really completely angry (I had seen others' emotional outburst after frame came off), but was little bit disappointed because I made it so far (it's only 6 miles to go) and I never had a DNF in over 40 something races I did. Miraculously, one of the volunteer stationed at the corner found the missing bolt (how lucky was that, finding a black bolt over a massive asphalt parking lot). And I started asking any passing by skater if they have a wrench. An older skater slowed, and gave me his wrench. Perhaps this wasn't my day for a DNF at all.

I had to take the right skate off since it's tricky to get to the frame with a short wrench. And it's really hard to get the bolt back in, also my fingers were near numb from the coldness. Did get the rear bolt tightened, and then inspected the front bolt, and found out that the position was off. But because of the short wrench, I coulnd't loosen and adjust it, so I had to settled with what I had. Started skating, and also found out that the left skate was really loose (hmmmm..... need new waxed laces), but I decided to finish the race with what I had (plus at that point I wasn't thinking about going quick, I just want to finish the race).

I skated casually by myself for 1 or 2 miles or so, and a decent size pack zoomed by (couldn't believe my luck). I jumped on and stayed with them almost to the end. Under perfect condition, I would have waited until the last hill to staged my breakaway since my hillclimb is pretty decent. But since I had a hard time with my push-offs today, I decided to make the breakaway early, so by the time we started to climb the finishing straight, no one could bridge the gap. I took off furiously with one and half mile to do, stunning many in the pack. Almost had a quarter mile gap before hitting the last turn. The tactic paid off because after I crossed the finish line, the pack wasn't too far behind me.

It may sound weird when I said I am happy with my race, after 2 falls, an equipment failure and a near-DNF. But I am happy because I was able to stay in a paceline more than half of the time, and there's no ankle problem. I hope I had finally found the "perfect" warm-up. Plus, even after loosing 10 or 15 minutes in the parking lot, I still finished the race in less than 2 hours, and did better than my other marathon this year at Disney (it's mostly dry). This is my best race this year so far.

My finishing time, 1.54.33, 13th out of 29 finishers in my age group. Time at halfway 49.13. Could have a shot at the podium if I didn't fall. My last 2 years' time were 1.45 and 1.50 (in dry condition, but with ankle problem). Lesson learnt, I need to put Loctite on all my bolts next time.

Had a nice hot and spicy Szechuan meal after the race, went to the airport and found out that I had to make changes to my flight plan. Stayed for another day in Twin Cities, and chilled out with Jessica and gang for late afternoon and dinner.

And again, I have to thank the 2 volunteers and the skater in blue jersey (didn't get his bib number) for helping me finishing the race.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 09:32 AM   #17
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He agreed he was doing a whole lot better early in the race than with a quarter mile to go: ...
I'd just like to point out that if you look at the pics of my pack,
they all look about as "happy" as me!
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:23 PM   #18
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If no one else will bring up this topic...


What was the deal with all of the protesters on Sibley? All three years that I have done this event there have been people shouting at me on Sibley. The police even have to put up barricades to separate the protesters from the skaters! They yell and shout and apparently they are animal rights protesters upset about skaters having leather components on their skates. They ring cowbells and scream at skaters. I am concerned about the future of our sport if people are that against skating and skaters!
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:30 PM   #19
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If no one else will bring up this topic...


What was the deal with all of the protesters on Sibley? All three years that I have done this event there have been people shouting at me on Sibley. The police even have to put up barricades to separate the protesters from the skaters! They yell and shout and apparently they are animal rights protesters upset about skaters having leather components on their skates. They ring cowbells and scream at skaters. I am concerned about the future of our sport if people are that against skating and skaters!
Gee, I thought they were cheering me on!
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:37 PM   #20
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somebody called me a skinsuited weenie!!!
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