Corporate Challenge 8k
Scottsdale, AZ - March 3, 2001     T   R   S  
San Diego Street Elite

This was the third year that the Corporate Challenge 8k on 3/3 has taken place at the now not-so-rural Scottsdale location. About 100 skaters lined up for the 10:00am start under perfect weather conditions: Sunny and 60 degrees with a slight headwind on the way out.

The course heads out on a divided road, detours for a loop around the Mayo Clinic, the race's primary sponsor, returns out for a long stretch to road's end and back. The road was completely closed to traffic and the pavement was very smooth.

Michael Harrington of Phoenix led us out nicely off the starting line with his fast sprint. Quickly the lead pack thinned out to just Jeff Neal (AIR), Chris Hansen (Predator), and me. Completing the loop around the hospital, we took turns taking pulls into the headwind until Chris dropped.

So it was Jeff and I coming out of the U-turn for the long return stretch. Although we both looked strong, in reality we were both very tired at this point. The psychology game at work. A ways before the finish line Jeff took a chance and was successfully able to break away from me for the win. I finished by myself. Chris took 3rd by outsprinting the pack that had caught him.

The lead women were in that pack and had spent most of the race skating together. Until the end, of course, when Katie Ellis (Hyper) took the race in front of Alison Sawyer (Rennoc). Michelle Gaylor (Predator), having just returned from her honeymoon, finished a strong third place.

Memorable highlights of this race include: an SUV which cut in front of our motorcycle cop, the pace vehicle, followed by the officer's 30 seconds of obnoxiously-loud continuous horn-honking; and the guilt trip I gave Chris by yelling "Cheater!" and "Course-cutter!" after he had cut inside a cone on a tight left-hand turn.

As with most Raceplace Events productions, this race was fun, well-organized, and on-time. Results were especially fast. Overall, a great local race!


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