Northshore Marathon
Duluth, MN - Sept. 18, 1999     T   R   S  
San Diego Street Elite

America's largest inline skating event just got even bigger with around 3,000 participants at this year's Northshore Inline Marathon 9/18 in Duluth, Minnesota. The course remained the same as the first in 1996, hugging the scenic Lake Superior shore the whole way. This year it was partly cloudy and 52 degrees for the 7:30am start. There was a slight headwind which eliminated the opportunity to duplicate last year's world-record time with a strong tailwind.

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.


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