10K recap: Joseph Izquierdo of Colombia and Bont's Debbie Rice won today's 10K in Tampa, FL. The race replaces the inline marathon as the NROC event for the Squiggy Classic Inline. The marathon was canceled due to course flooding.
In the 10K, a large lead pack of men and women pros formed at the start and stayed together — with some skaters dropping off — until the end of the race.
Izquierdo won the field sprint by about a yard. Bont's Justin Stelly hawked for second. Powerslide's Andres Guzman was third.
Debbie Rice skated in with the lead pack of 12.
1:40 pm | Debbie Rice interview: It might have only been a 10K. But it seemed pretty long to the women's winner, Bont's Debbie Rice.
"It was fast and furious ... and very windy," says Rice, who last year won the world masters marathon championship in Europe.
"It was a narrow course, so positioning was critical. Once you got out of the paceline, no one would let you back in. You had to either go to the front or the back.
"I got dropped once into the second group," she says. "But we pulled back up to the lead pack."
Once there, the 42-year-old Texas native kept her eye on the young Powerslide skater, Barbara Navas of Colombia.
"She was in front of me," Rice says. "Then (going around the final turn), everyone started scrambling. And I went by her and tucked in behind Norm (Kirby) and kept my head down and skated as hard as I could."
Rice says she wasn't upset about the race being changed from a marathon to a 10K. "I was just happy they were able to do something."
1 pm | New winner declared: Colombia's Joseph Izquierdo was the actual winner of today's 10K. An apparent chip problem dropped him from the initial results.
Izquierdo, 19, of Cali, Colombia, won three medals in the junior division of the 2007 World Championships. He won gold in the 500 meters, silver in the marathon and bronze in the 1000 meters.
Talking through an interpreter, he described today's race as "hard." He said there were lots of stumbles at the beginning, but that later the skaters got organized and things went smoothly.
He plans to skate in the United States this summer, both indoors and out.
12:45 pm | The race: Bont's Justin Stelly says there was a little confusion on the racecourse. "No one knew exactly where the finish line was, so there was a lot of waiting and breaking."
When the pack approached the final turn, Jarrett Paul started his sprint, Stelly says. But it was too soon.
The finish line was a ways beyond the finish line, and before Paul could reach it, he started to fade and the leaders of the pack passed him.
"I was third at the start of the field sprint and then took second," Stelly says.
12:30 pm | Stelly says he didn't win: Justin Stelly says he finished second, not first. The winner, he says, was a Colombian skater.
The race officials have Stelly finishing first but say it is possible the Colombian's timing chip wasn't working. They are checking now.
12:15 pm | Bont wins: Bont's Justin Stelly wins the men's race while teammate Debbie Rice win's the women's.
Stelly, 23, of Lafayette, LA, finished about a yard ahead of the lead pack of 12 skaters. His time was 16 minutes and 27 seconds.
"They were cruising," says Jessica Wright. "They were all sprinting across the line together."
Powerslide's Andres Guzman hawked for second place. Drew Valinsky was third, followed by Jarrett Paul and Bont's Norm Kirby.
Debbie Rice, 42, of Palmetto, FL, was tucked into the lead pack. She crossed the line two seconds behind Stelly.
Finishing second among the women was Powerslide's Barbara Navas. (Powerslide skaters finished second in both the men's and the women's race.)
The third woman was Suzanne van Praet, followed by Samantha Brown.
Noon | Race is underway: Jarrett Paul took the lead at the start and led a pack of about 30 skaters around the first turn. Squiggy organizer Jessica Wright is at the finish line, waiting for the skaters to arrive.
Ferrying skaters over flooded road.
photo: Squiggy Classic Inline
11:20 am | To the start: The skaters are rolling to the line for the start of the 10K. "It's a beautiful day," says event organizer Birgit Holme. "Blue, blue skies and just a little wind."
The skaters will race on a section of the Flatwoods Park road that has dried out. The road (where the Squiggy marathon was to be held on Sunday) is "bone dry," says Birgit, except for a 100 meter stretch that is still under water.
The 10K has attracted a good crowd: 76 skaters signed up; 123 skaters had registered online for the marathon before it was canceled.
A part of the Squiggy racecourse on Friday.
photo: Birgit Holme
10:30 am | Race scene: A tropical deluge on Friday flooded the Sguiggy racecourse with several feet of water.
As a result, county officials canceled the scheduled Sunday races, including the inline marathon in Flatwoods Park in Thonotosassa.
Squiggy organizers revised the plan, adding a 10K on Saturday morning that will serve as the NROC points event.
Copyright © 2009 by Inline Planet