Phelan Scorcher (NIMS #1)
Phelan, CA - May 22, 1999     T   P   R   S
San Diego Street Elite

For the Masters Cat 1 pro men sprint, the front was led out by Hernan Diaz the first 400 meters, followed closely by Stan Bunn, Jay Etheredge, then Dana Eads. The rest of the pack was there, just hanging on.

At the end of the first lap, we passed Hernan as he slowed. Then Tom Ashton went by Eads, and as he did, Eads jumped on, only to pass Tom and gap the entire field by about 30 yards at the start of the second lap. Any one could see that Eads was setting up to wear out the sprinters early, in order to have a better shot at the top 5. Eads led the entire second lap, and kept the pace furious as a 4 man pack (Stan, Jay, Hernan and Dana Bergman) hung on to the pacer, trying to set up for some kind of a sprint. The end result was that Stan led out the sprint about 50 yards from the line, followed closely and later passed by Jay at the finish. Hernan Diaz sat on Jay and followed to the line, but Stan held up well and hung on for 2nd, Hernan third, followed closely by Dana Bergman (4th) and Dana Eads fifth.

In the 15k event, Stan Bunn led out the pack off the line, and it was a slow start as skaters were jockeying for position. At the first turn, Jay and Hernan came around the outside and split Dana Eads from Stan. Dana Eads watched from 4th position as Dana Bergman went by the pack, about 200 yards into the lap, just before the slight uphill started.

As Jay came out to cover, Dana Eads went with him. When they got to Bergman, he slowed, so Jay went right on by -- as did Eads, joined by Stan. By now they were up on the high point of the course, and headed down the faster backside. Jay pulled, then moved over to let Eads work. As Eads moved to pull, he hesitated to pull hard, as it was early in the race. But Etheredge reassured him -- "c'mon -- we're away -- let's go!!" Sure enough, when Eads looked, the main field was already back by 40 yards.

So the race seemed to be set, with Etheredge, Bunn, and Eads off on an early flyer, and willing to work together, they slowly opened the gap. At one point Jay pulled over, hands on knees, saying -- "that's it -- let's rest, they're here." But when Eads looked back, all he saw was Hernan Diaz had bridged to join, no others. So Eads quickly jumped out and led off the pulling again, anxious to enlarge the gap. Trading off at an even pace, they did so -- with some help from Stan's relentless attacks to try to break from the pack some 5 times, and Eads bridging and covering him every time.

On Lap 2 of 6, Jay fell on the faster backside of the course, because his edge caught too much of the sand shoulder on the side of the road. In other words, he almost skated off the road. He went into a perfect 10 shoulder roll, and immediately came back up. When the dust cleared, he had jumped back into the road, and the chase pack hadn't caught him yet. On the 3rd lap, for some reason, Stan went back and helped pull Jay back into the original group. It's not like Hernan and Eads weren't trying to stay away -- they made them work to catch up, and eventually they did.

So with two laps to go, there was Jay with an injured back but still strong, Stan as strong as ever, and Hernan and Eads hanging on and frustrated that they hadn't gotten away from Stan and Jay earlier.

During the fourth lap, Stan finally figured out that Eads was the only one in the group capable (at that point) of covering him. He waited until Eads had taken his pull and was slightly winded, as he pulled off and decelerated to the back -- Stan went. It was a good jump, but by the time Jay had said -- "let's go!!", Eads' reaction time was just late enough and Stan was just strong enough to open a gap of 30 yards, and after numerous attempts at closing by Eads, with absoluteley no assistance from the other two (in spite of Ead's prodding), Stan eventually opened up a 50 yard gap.

At the end of lap 5, Jay took a power gel. Eads began trying to break from the non working skaters.In the process, he got the group to within 30 yards of Bunn, early on lap 6, but when he tried to give the pull to Jay or Hernan, no dice. Just as Bunn was about to give up to be caught, he looked back and saw the disorganization of the chase group, and realized he had it. He then dug deep and hammered all the way to the finish.

Amazingly, Hernan and Jay were able to find enough energy to hang on for the draft and cover the breaks, but not to pull towards Stan. Eads realized at this point that he was being set up for the final sprint by two of the best masters sprinters in the U.S., and decided to try one last ditch effort. Halfway through the final lap he attacked with everything, including the kitchen sink. At the top of the backside, he hammered all the way down, forcing Jay and Hernan to work to stay in. As the three came to the finish, Jay led out the sprint past Eads, sealing up 2nd, while Hernan finished on his heels, 3rd. Eads fourth, about 5 yards back. Stan had finished in first about a minute earlier.

After the race, Hernan told Eads that he was about broken several times during the chase after Bunn, and if they had been sustained a little longer, he would have dropped.


It was a great day for racing at Gordon Hall's outdoor track in Phelan 5/22. Temperatures were in the 50s in the morning and only rose into the 60s. Winds were unusually light, and shifted directions late in the morning. This fun track had many turns and was gradually sloped.

Unfortunately, attendance was very dismal for the Open races. This was the inaugural race for the National Inline Masters Series. You would think that people would go to see the nation's top Masters skaters and have the opportunity race in several events themselves. Nonetheless, the series organizers handed out all awards as promised, despite the low turnout.

In the Open races, the 15k was 6 laps along the long course. Half way into the race, the lead pack was reduced to Anthony Weiner, Matthew Berk (Empire), and me. It was a slow race since we were all sick. My shoelace came undone on one lap. Anthony crashed off the course in a huge dust cloud when he wasn't paying attention to where he was going on another lap. In the final stretch, Anthony had more energy than I did and edged me at the line. Matthew came in 3rd.

The Open 5k was 5 laps along the short course to make it more exciting to spectate. A prem was offered on lap 2. Knowing my competitors now, I didn't fool around with this one. Right from the start I took off, creating a gap which I eventually held for the entire race.

The last event of the day was the Last Wo/Man Out competition with the Masters and Open skaters combined. This is an exciting race for both the skaters and the spectators. There weren't enough women for a separate race, so Helle Carlsen (Kryptonics) joined the men. The race was run on the short course.

One by one skaters were eliminated until there were 4 left: Hernan Diaz, Stan Bunn, Dana Eads (SDSE), and me. At this point it was just 1 lap to the final placements. Having raced the entire morning, Dana and I knew were wouldn't be able to break away from Hernan and Stan. So we mostly kept together until the final sprint. Stan outsprinted me with his explosive power. Hernan and Dana finished 3rd and 4th, respectively.

I helped officiate the Masters races, so I can't provide a summary of those races.

This was the inaugural NIMS race, a new series founded by skaters for skaters. Based off the cash awarded, it will prove to be a great series. Don't forget that all NIMS events will have both Masters and Open races. SDSE had the most skaters of any team at Phelan. Hope to see you at #2 in St. Louis 6/13.


From: "Ashton, Thomas V" 
Subject: RE: NIMS #1
Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 11:55:47 -0500

> Fellow Masters:
> Our website should be updated by tomorrow with the results of NIMS #1 "The
> Phelan Scorcher".  We won't have pictures for a bit as we evaluate the
> ones we receive from various photographers, and hopefully one of them will
> be put on the cover of the next FaSST.  For those that have not sent
> scanned pictures to me do so as soon as possible.  There is a stipend for
> any picture chosen for the cover of the FaSST.
> Well, the race was successful in terms of payout and points.  We gave away
> $2457 of cash and prizes.  The new NIMS sweatshirt and t-shirt is a hit
> and will be available in St. Louis on June 13th for the "Tour De St.
> Louis".  Congrats to our overall winner Jay Etheridge!  He took home $400.
> Stan Bunn did well also taking home $250 for 2nd and an additional $45 for
> the Last Man Out.  5 Master men took home money!  Zero Drag bearings were
> plentiful and appreciated by many as well.  Even though we only had 30
> skaters show for the race we lost less than $100, due to the success of
> the sweatshirts, t-shirts, and raffle.  However, it's time to analyze
> where we are going.  We need more skaters to make this a successful
> series.  We cannot lose money at each race.  We said at the beginning of
> the year that we need at least 30 skaters at each race to break even.
> Well, we didn't have an overall sponsor at this race so we had to pay for
> things like the track and insurance etc. that normally the overal sponsor
> would pay.  We simply need to get more skaters at these events!  We
> promised cash and we have given cash!  Now, bring on the skaters.
> I am attaching the financials so that everyone understands that I am
> spending the money we collect wisely.  I will be held accountable for each
> and every dollar in entry forms.  So please take a moment and make plans
> to come and race in St. Louis.  Also, what happened to the masters from
> Northern California?  Critter? Dennis? Brian?  <>  
> <>  <>  <> 
> "Who's gonna drink from THE CUP?!?"
> Thomas V Ashton
> 972-797-3304
> 314-298-1799
> fax 314-298-0079

Additional race summaries can be found at USA/IR's web site at <>.

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