Just a few days before the race I checked the weather for Apostle Island, Friday, Saturday and Sunday was rain, rain and more rain!! If you have ever been to this race you know the weather can change in an instant... As stated by Paul Sargenti "I wish I could get paid to be right only 50% of the time"! This statement came after a day of racing in perfect weather conditions. We could not have asked for a better day.... Thank you to all the skaters for bringing the sunshine.
The day before the race Team SAFE volunteered to sweep the race course. This also gave SAFE a chance to talk with the race director about moving the finish line further from the sharp right hand turn to the finish. I am pleased to say the advice was taken and the start finish line was moved around 100 yards up the road. This now gives skaters a chance to finish with a sprint to the finish line.
This year felt like the participation numbers dropped. In the first wave, Pro Mens division and Elite to age 49 there were only about 23 skaters. This was ok, because it was still a great race. At the start of the race Elias Hendrickson led into the first corner and pulled through the first hill. He was followed by Steve Meisinger. The pace was steady but not fast. Team SAFE had four skaters in the front pack, Rob Motta, Rainer Arnold (Germany), Uel Archuletta and Brent Leaman. Rainer Arnold and Rob Motta stayed towards the front of the pack and exchanged a few small attacks as the group of 23 was knocked down quickly to around 12. After about a quarter way on the first lap Rainer Arnold mounted an attack and was followed by Rob Motta, the two pulled a large gap on the rest of the open pros skaters and stayed away for an entire lap. Steve Meisinger (Team Rainbow) along with help from Elias Hendrickson (Adam's Inline) pulled the chase group back up to the breakaway. Meisinger immediatley mounted a counter attack. Arnold attempted to chase him down but was unable to close the gap. Meisinger was pulling away from the chase group quickly. The chase group now with around 11 skaters was not working well together. The only people that did strong hard pulls were Arnold, Motta, Hendrickson, Matt Kitzis...
By: Kimon Papahadjopoulos
Silver Strand Half Marathon 2016
My recollections as I wait for my flight...took the Ferry back with Ryan and Carly. Always end a race with a Ferry ride, and best start it by skating from the Hotel to the line.
Very exiting and challenging race today. Weather was a perfect 65 degrees with little wind. Pretty sunrise with a few clouds. Seemed like a big field at the start, and I started on the front line to the far left with Jens, Chris, Ryan and Rob.
It started off fast enough but not crazy, until the first right a minute or so in. Strong acceleration on the short downhill as I had been warned, and the extra breaths I took in anticipation seemed like a good investment. Then attacks by Team Simmons and Wes Gandy, with Ryan, Chris and Jens Bridging at times, or Gandy or Team Simmons (Fedak, Chrissler, Bell, Kirby) covering each other.
I was around 20 skaters back. Lots of attacks, but it was taking some time to get my motor going, and so I was more than happy to follow and be conservative. Though there were some questionable skaters in front of me, there were also some strong skaters like Kirby, so it didn't seem too risky.
It became clear quickly that the opposing fire power was enough that attacks by me would be dangerous and likely futile, so conserving energy and picking your spots seemed to me be a good bet.
Chicken Anderson ticked a skate and fell alone right behind me. Steady boys... Rob, who was getting over being sick and with half a lung was hanging tough up there. Peggy was still around I think as we...
Two skaters from Team SAFE (Ryan McGee and Jim McKee) made the journey to Berlin for an incredible race. Here is Ryan's take on this exciting race.
There were just under 5,000 skaters in total at the 2016 Berlin Inline Marathon. The weather was an ideal 70 degrees. There was some wind, but it was negligible along the entirely flat course. Jim McKee and I started in the first wave with all professionals including Bart Swings, the current course record holder. The start was intense - unlike any other race - the sheer density of skaters was intimidating as frames and wheels of approximately 200 skaters clashed during the start of wave A. It was a struggle to elbow for position and avoid tripping over others during the first 500 meters, though Jim and I managed to stick together. The next 2km was incredibly fast as we sprinted across the roundabout around Berlin Victory Column in the Tiergarten and onto a straightaway averaging about 28mph. Then, suddenly, came the turns. With dual pace lines, hundreds thick, it was hard to see the course direction and curbs of the street dividers. Many skaters feel instantly, causing others to fall. Jim straddled a fallen skater, nearly missing his head, and I was threading the needle on one foot to avoid running over others. The resulting adrenaline rush gave us a boost and we began to lead one of the packs for the next couple of km. Eventually we settled into one of the larger pace lines for the next 15km - still maintaining an extremely fast pace of around 23mph with several turns around historical east Berlin landmarks. It was around halfway that Jim took a wrong step and tripped - dropping out to the right of the pace line to fortunately avoid being run over by the masses. Luckily, he was wearing plastic hand protectors and was able to recover quickly. Though, he recollected that he was sliding so fast that he was actually still sliding when he first tried to stand up! I focused on conserving as much energy as possible for the last half of the race. I kept a solid middle position in a large pace line and prepared for the final 3km of sharp turns and the final 500m sprint through the Brandenburg gate. Being comfortable with high...