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10:55 am | Wrap up: For Jorge Botero, a 34-year-old former world champion and star of the World Inline Cup, today's marathon was something of a cakewalk.
The Powerslide skater led the way for much of the Great Midwest Inline Marathon, controlling the pace as teammate Tony Muse, a 19-time world champion, rolled behind him.
Simmons' Alex Fedak kept things interesting, frequently challenging for the lead. But Botero says he wasn't worried.
"We let Alex do some breakaways," says Botero, a Colombian native who lives in Florida. "But then we would catch back up with him. ... We kept the pace easy and set up for the field sprint."
In the sprint, Botero narrowly edged Bont's Norm Kirby and Il Peloton's Morgan Williams. The distance between the skaters was only a few feet. Botero's time was 1 hour, 16 minutes and 37 seconds.
"I did not come here to break any records or win any big championships," Botero says. "I wanted to win. But my main goal was to have a good race."
The women's winner, Bont's Debbie Rice, almost had her race spoiled by a late fall.
Rice was the only woman left in the men's lead pack when she fell at the start of the last lap.
"I hit a crack and did a superman fall," says Rice, 42, of Palmetto, FL. "I jumped right back up and started sprinting until I caught back up. Then we got to an uphill and I said, "Oh, my God!"
She hung with the lead pack until about the last few hundred yards before rolling across the line for an easy victory in the women's race. She finished a minute behind Botero.
Luigino's Peggy Girgenti dropped off the back of the lead pack on the third lap. She finished second among the woman, about seven minutes behind Rice. Girgenti was one of a group of skaters who took a wrong turn on the first lap.
The third woman was 14-year-old Megan Gillis, a member of the U.S. junior team from Springfield, IL.
Cado Motus' Zach Stoppelmoor, 11, of West Des Moines, IA, won the youth race with his best-ever marathon time: 1:22:49
About 100 skaters competed in the race in Elkhart Lake, WI. Skaters described the racecourse variously as "rugged," "hilly" and "beautiful."
Debbie Rice described Elkhart Lake as an "amazing resort area" with great facilities, not to mention a beautiful lake.
9:43 am | Steve Larios wins grand vets: Asphalt Beach's Steve Larios survived a fall on the last lap but went on to win the men's grand veterans division.
Larios, 59, of Nashville, fell off the back of the lead pack early in the race but stayed with a hard-driving chase pack that included teammate Ron Tucker.
On the final lap, Larios was pulling the chase pack when it passed the pack that included Team Rainbo's Cale Carvell, one of North America's top grand vets.
But when Larios finished his pull at the front of the pack, he fell after clicking skates with a young racer.
"I was cursing a blue streak," Larios said. "But Ron Tucker waited for me and he paced me back to the group and we caught back up."
In the uphill climb, Larios, 59, of Nashville, passed Carvell and went on to finish first among the grand veterans (55 and over).
9:35 am | Jorge Botero wins again: Powerslide's Jorge Botero wins the field sprint to claim another in a long, long series of marathon wins.
Bont's Norm Kirby, who won yesterday's criterium, is second. Il Peloton's Morgan Williams is third.
About five skaters, including Tony Muse, are in the field sprint.
9:30 am | Video: Lap 2: Big pack on the second lap. Video by Dawn Stoppelmoor.
9:20 am | Heading for the finish: A Simmons skater (Alex Fedak?) has taken the lead as the skaters finish the final loop and head for the finish line, about 4 miles away in downtown Elkhart Lake.
Right behind the Simmons skater is Powerslide's Jorge Botero and Tony Muse. Then Bont's Norm Kirby and Team Hoigaard's Herb Gayle.
They are all standing up. Not ready to charge yet.
Bont's Debbie Rice is the only woman left in the lead pack of about 15. She's about half way back.
The first junior skater headed for the finish is Cado Motus' Zach Stoppelmoor, 11, who has caught up with the third-place woman Megan Gillis.
9:14 am | Start of last lap: Powerslide's Jorge Botero and Tony Muse are still in front. And right with them is Team Hoigaard's Herb Gayle. About 15 skaters left in the pack.
Bont's Debbie Rice remains in the lead pack. But Luigino's Peggy Girgenti has fallen back.
It's getting hot.
9:08 am | Half Winner: Mat Larson of Eau Claire, WI, wins the half marathon.
8:50 am | Pack Splits: The lead pack has split into two groups. The world champions (Jorge Botero and Tony Muse) pull the lead pack of 16 or 17 skaters. The second pack is 15 seconds back.
The pace is still moderate. "They're not racing yet," Dawn Stoppelmoor says.
The race of the field is spread out. Soon the stragglers will be lapped.
8:30 am | Start of Second Loop: Not much change yet. Powerslide's Jorge Botero and Tony Muse are still at the head of the large lead pack of 32 skaters. The pace is moderate. "No one's booking it yet," Dawn Stoppelmoor says.
A chase pack of 10 skaters is about 45 seconds back.
The skaters will make five laps around the loop at the top of the P-shaped racecourse, then skate down the leg of the racecourse to the finish line.
8:25 am | Three Miles Out: Powerslide's Jorge Botero and Tony Muse sit at the head of the large lead pack of about 25 skaters. Also spotted in the fast moving pack are Bont's Norm Kirby and Debbie Rice and the 11-year-old wonder, Zach Stoppelmoor of Cado Motus.
8:15 am | Start: They're off ... about 100 skaters. Full marathoners will skate five loops of the road course; half marathoners, two. (Start photo: Dawn Stoppelmoor)
7:50 am Sunday | Scene: Beautiful weather this morning for racing: 70 degrees and sunny with only a slight wind (2 mph). The skaters are starting to gather.
(Special thanks to Dawn Stoppelmoor for race updates!)
Bont's Norm Kirby finishes victory lap as Herb Gayle, right, and Debbie Rice finish the criterium.
Saturday morning | Criterium: Bont's Norm Kirby won this morning's criterium in downtown Elkhart Lake, WI, dominating the race from start to finish.
"Norm took off from the gun, set a hammering pace and left everybody in the dust," said teammate Debbie Rice.
He eventually lapped most of the other racers in the 25-minute, plus two lap, criterium.
Midwest Skate Club's Danny Fredrick broke away from the chase pack to try to catch Kirby, but was unable to bridge the gap. Fredrick finished second.
Team Hoigaard's Herb Gayle outsprinted Debbie Rice to claim third. Rice was fourth, followed by Luigino's Peggy Girgenti and Simmons' Hernan Diaz. The third-place woman was Megan Gillis. (Podium photos)
The criterium was the first skate event of the inaugural Great Midwest Marathon and Endurance Festival. Skaters will compete in a NROC-sanctioned inline marathon on Sunday, starting at 8:10 a.m. (CDT), and in time trials on Monday.
Copyright © 2010 by Inline Planet