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2009 NorthShore Inline Marathon
Live updates from Two Harbors to Duluth, MN

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By Robert Burnson
Sept. 19, 2009


Julian Rivera approaching the finish line.

Wrap Up: Note to Chad Hedrick: Your NorthShore record is toast.

No, not this year. But it won't be long.

NorthShore Inline Marathon (unofficial)

Master Men

  1. Tony Muse 1:13:30.9
  2. Norm Kirby
  3. Grant Foster

Veteran Men

  1. Jeff Terwilliger 1:12:59.2
  2. Herb Gayle 1:13:07.5 Buckaloo 1:22:42.68
  3. Hernan Diaz

Grand Veteran Men

  1. Cale Carvell 1:13:08.5
  2. Alan Marcosson
  3. Larry Griffin

Master Women

  1. Kara Peterson 1:18:20.8
  2. Marcy Turek
  3. Tracy Yde


full results

Several years ago, when K2 first offered the $10,000 bounty on your 11-year-old record, it appeared doubtful that anyone would ever collect.

But today upended that calcuation. Now, we know it's just a matter of time. Tru-Rev's Julian Rivera posted a time of 59:35.3, just two minutes behind your record ... and he did it without benefit of the stiff tailwind that made your mark possible in 1998.

While Rivera, 24, of Bogota won today's race, it appeared that much of the credit for the blazing pace belonged to Powerslide's Jorge Botero. The 33-year-old Colombian pushed the pace from the start and never let it sag.

Several skaters took turns at the front of the lead pack (Rivera, Bont's Justin Stelly and Bont's Luis Carlos Mejia). But Botero was the prime mover, taking over the lead, it seemed, whenever the tempo started to lag, and then driving hard, his right arm swinging across his chest, and putting the pack back into hyper-drive.

It was an amazing performance.

Within the first few miles, the torrid pace had shed all but eight skaters ... and then there were only six. "At first, it was my kind of race in that there was a consistent speed," said Simmons' Rob Bell. "But once people got pretty tired ... I needed a 30 second break and I couldn't get it."

Bell was one of the last skaters to fall off the back of the lead pack, which finally contained six skaters: four Colombians (Rivera, Botero, Luis Carlos Mejia and Mauricio Sierra) and two Americans (Bont's Justin Stelly and Harry Vogel.)

Botero and company kept charging until they reached the tunnels about two miles from the finish line. At this point, Botero checked the time and saw that 54 minutes had elapsed since the start of the race. He said he realized at that point that even with an all-out final effort the record was out of reach. "We could have made it in 57 minutes and something — but not under 57."

So, for the first time, with the exception of one downhill, the men in the lead pack stood up and let the pace slow. They played cat and mouse until the sprint, at which time Harry Vogel jumped first and Julian Rivera followed and eventually beat Vogel for the win.

Botero finished third. After all his hard pulls, "I was spent," he said.


Isabel Bernier, right, wins, followed by Daniela Sandoval Vega and Sarah Hopkins.

11:15 | Women's Race: The women's race was nothing like the men's. Instead of fast and constant, it was slow and stop-and-go.

Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour shot out from the starting line to grab an early lead. But it didn't last. After a mile, the pace slowed down, "and then nobody wanted to lead," said Sophia Buckaloo, 20, of Harrisonburg, VA.

The lead pack was made up of 10 women, including Bont's Debbie Rice and Il Peloton's Sarah Hopkins.

"No one was willing to work," says Echardour, 21, of Toronto. "So we were going nowhere. It was just Sarah and I who worked. ... The bad thing was the men caught us. There were three long lines of men. And we had to yell when we wanted to pass them."

Echardour and Hopkins tried several breakaways but they could not shake the pack. "The Colombians were chasing, so they would bring the pack back to us," says Echardour.

At the top of the overpass, just before the finish line at the DECC, Echardour was on the inside of the racecourse, separated from the rest of the women by a men's pack. She started sprinting. So did the women on the other side of the racecourse, led by two of the Colombians: Isabel Bernier, 16, and Daniela Sandoval Vega, 15. The third Colombian, who had pulled the other two for most of the race, dropped back.

The area in front of the finish line was crowded with skaters from men's packs as the women sprinted for home.

"There was a lot of confusion," Buckaloo said.

Echardour said, "There were a few guys I got stuck behind, so I stood up."

The two Colombians, Bernier and Vega, found a clear path and finished first and second. Sarah Hopkins, 28, of Burlington, Ontario, was third.

9:30 | Pro Women:

  1. Isabel Bernier, Medellin 1:22:09.6
  2. Daniela Sandoval Vega, Medellin 1:22:10.7
  3. Sarah Hopkins, Burlington, Ontario 1:22:11.0
  4. Sophia Buckaloo, Stafford, VA 1:22:12.0
  5. Mariah Richardson, Clinton Township, MN
  6. Darian O'Neil, Clinton Township, MN
  7. Jessica Wright, Tampa, FL
  8. Mary Hirt, Hartland, WI
  9. Debbie Rice, Palmetto, FL
  10. Addison Shepard, Harrisonburg, VA
  11. Morgane Echardour, Mississauga, ON

9:20 | Men's Finish Photos: Photos by Sports Management Associates


Julian Rivera (left) charges toward the finish line. Harry Vogel (right) in front of Jorge Botero.


Julian Rivera about to cross the finish line.


Photo finish camera

9:10 | Exciting: It came down to a wicked sprint. About two miles out, going through one of the tunnels before reaching downtown Duluth, the six men in the lead pack figured out that the record was out of reach.

"After we crossed the second tunnel, we were at 54 minutes," says Powerslide's Jorge Botero. "I knew we couldn't get the record so we stopped trying for it."

For the first time, they stood up ... but only briefly before Harry Vogel and then Justin Stelly tried, unsuccessfully, to break away.

Coming down the overpass, Harry Vogel took the lead. Tru-Rev's Julian Rivera tried to pass him on the inside. "But I couldn't get by. Then there was no room on the inside, so I went to the outside."

The skaters were doing over 30 mph on the final hairpin turn. On the final straightaway, Rivera put on a furious sprint, passed Vogel and raised his arms in victory as he crossed the finish line.

Last year, Rivera, 24, of Medellin, Colombia, was leading when he fell on the final turn.

"It was a very hard race," he said. "We were trying for the record all the way. ... I'm so happy to be here because last year I fell at the end."

8:57 | Fast but not quite fast enough:

  1. Julian Rivera 59:19.6
  2. Harry Vogel 59:19.8
  3. Jorge Botero 59:20
  4. Mauricio Sierra
  5. Luis Carlos Mejia (48 years old!)

8:30 | JULIAN RIVERA WINS: Time is about 1 hour!

8:26 | Little Breaks: But nobody can get away. We are coming to the finish.

8:22 | Working together: Jorge Botero is back in the lead and pushing the pace. It's the same pack: Botero, Justin Stelly, Peter Doucet, Luis Carlos Mejia, Julian Rivera, Rob Bell (?).

About three miles left to go and we're at minute 54. So it looks like the record is out of reach. ... And the pack seems to know this now. They stood up for the first time.

8:10 | Mile 15: Jorge Botero takes the lead again, his arm swinging for the record. Still six guys in the lead pack.

Much different race than last year, when there was a lot of hurry-up, slow-down. This is a hard driving pack that doesn't let up. But the speed has dropped a little. Right now about 24 mph. Not enough for a record. But they could speed up.

7:53 | First third: Bont's Justin Stelly takes a pull. Simmon's Rob Bell tries to go by him on the inside. But Stelly stays in front and the pack slows on a long incline. The speed dips to 20 mph. We're at about Mile 8. Six guys left in the lead pack.

  1. Stelly
  2. Botero
  3. Luis Carlos Mejia
  4. Peter Doucet

7:49 | Fast!: Tru-Rev's Julian Rivera is taking a strong pull and pushing the pace. Nine men left in the lead pack. Jorge Botero hanging in second place. Then he takes the lead. He's swinging his right arm hard as the pack climbs a rise at 25 mph.

7:42| The lead pack: About 15 men in the lead pack with three stragglers falling off the back.There's a slight tail wind.

Botero is going after the record. But he conceded at the starting line that it would be difficult to break without more wind.

The pace is fast. About 27 mph now. So the record is still within reach.

The skaters are trading the lead. One of the Bont skaters is now taking the pull.

7:30 | They're off: The race starts right on time. Powerslide's Jorge Botero charges to the lead. They're doing about 30 mph on the first straightaway. Then slow a little on the first rise.

5:40 | The Wind Changed: It's 52 degrees and the wind is out of the east southeast at 7 mph ... a head wind.









Copyright 2009 by Inline Planet


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