Apostle Island 2016
Once again the Apostle Island Inline Marathon has proven to be one of the if not the smoothest outdoor marathons in the United States. On top of that, it is also one of the most well organized races in the states also.
This years race weather was forecasted to be thunder and lightning with heavy rain. What we raced in was temps in the 70's, sunshine and very little wind (more like a breeze)... What an AWESOME day to race.
I am not sure what the total number of participants was this year, it did feel much smaller and if it was...what a bummer!! I know many people look at the logistics of this race (and yes it is kind of a pain to get to) but trust me, it is sooooo worth the effort to get here. Don't make this a 1 or 2 day trip, build yourself a skatecation and enjoy the island... You can thank me later.
The race started promptly at the 0830 start time. There where 18 registered open pro skaters and ten pro veteran skaters... Team SAFE planned early to make the initial jump with the open pro skaters attempting to get an early break away. Skating for Team SAFE in the pro and pro vet divisions was Ryan McGee (open pro), Rob Motta (pro vet), Chris Rojo (pro vet) and Kimon Papahadjopoulos (pro vet). All four skaters started on the left side of the course and had a few skaters in front of them on the starting line. When the race started a group of five skaters on the front right side of the course blasted the start. SAFE moved quickly on the the outside left into the first right hand corner and noticed the five already had a large jump on the field. SAFE joined the chase pack and Motta quickly attempted to get the pack to work together to chase down the lead pack of five. Papahadjopoulos took a hard pull then Motta but the rest of the skaters did not seem as agreeable to work. SAFE had to quickly move to "Plan B". Team SAFE was stuck in a pack of 14, 8 open pros and 6 pro vets. Plan B was attack, attack and then attack. With decent temperatures and a lot of humidity SAFE wanted to make sure we attacked at each water...
April 9th, 2016 was the 1st annual Menifee Half Marathon skate, held in Menifee, California. Team SAFE showed great support of the event with 9 skaters suited up and ready to skate.
Although the course was only a half marathon it was fun with hills to up the Challenge. This new race is a great opener for the outdoor season.
At 9:00am approximately 60 skaters hit the start line ready to go. As the race began the lead pack broke down to around 25 skaters which stayed together for most of the race. At the end it was Team SAFE's Jens Johansson finishing in first place overall. SAFE's Chris Rojo and Kimon Papahadjopoulos finished 6th and 7th overall.
In the women's division Team SAFE skater Brittney Schultz hit the podium with third place overall.
Team SAFE is off to a good start for the 2016 season and we look forward to our next race... See you at the start line!
Mia Zhuang has completed her first race as a Team SAFE skater. The Silver Strand half marathon proved to be a challenging race for her with wet roads but that didn't stop her from getting a 1st place in her age division and 6th place for overall women. Great job Mia!!