Duluth, MN - Sept. 18, 1999
The men's pro race was different this year, since the best in the
U.S. were away at Worlds. Right from the start, a French Solomon
skater took off. Troy Atwell (Mountain Dew) was the only one to
chase, but dropped after several miles. The chase pack wasn't taking
it easy, either, completing the first 10k in under 15:00.
That strong Solomon skater managed to stay ahead of the pack for
the entire race! I disappointingly dropped after 7 miles of the
difficult pace and later suffered from leg muscle cramps that set
me further back at the finish. However, that gave me the opportunity
to yelp without embarrassment through the I-35 tunnels in Duluth.
There were more competitors this year in the women's pro race, lured
by the new Master's prize purse. The ladies skated as a pack for
most of the race with few breakaway attempts. In the end, Julie
Glass (Verducci) won the final sprint.
The advanced men and women started together as usual. This year,
there were over 50 skaters in the lead pack the entire race. The few
breakaway attempts were disorganized and unsuccessful. This led to a
very huge group crossing the line together at the finish. That pack
included SDSE's Andy Pele and Bob Minami.
Congratulations also to Leondra Baker, Pamela Chyba, Alice Eads, and
Jake Jacobs of SDSE who made the long trip to experience America's
favorite inline marathon again.