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Recap | With the top young pros off at the World Team training camp, two veterans stole the show in today's Skate of the Union inline marathon. Ezeefit's Luis Carlos Mejia, 49, of Colombia, hawked at the line to narrowly defeat Twincam's Eddy Matzger, 43, of Floyd, VA.
In the women's race, Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour was the only one able to stay with the big men's peloton for the full length of the race. That gave her the win and a finishing time more than five minutes ahead of second-place Karin Gabriel.
This was the first year that the Skate of the Union included a full marathon. In years past, its longest race was a half marathon.
Dawn Stoppelmoor, whose son, Zach, won the freshman boys division, was pleased with everything about the event. "It was great race on an awesome track, and it was well run," she said.
12:20 am | Newcomer wins advanced marathon: Congratulations to Jeremy Moore, 27, of Pasadena, MD.
Skating in his first inline race, he won today's advanced division in a very respectable time of 1:18:51.
Moore, a pro cyclist, only began skating last winter after a chance encounter with skater Sheldon Caplan.
Moore was cycling on a Baltimore-area multi-use trial when Caplan started drafting behind him. The two started talking, and Moore became intrigued with inline speed. Now, he's beating Caplan, and, according to Caplan, is likely to become one of America's top skaters.
11:05 am | Video of final sprint: Courtesy of Dawn Stoppelmoor:
10:57 am | Mejia wins: The four leaders — Devin Firek, Peter Doucet, Luis Carlos Mejia and Eddy Matzger — are all together coming around the final corner with a quarter mile to go.
Mejia and Matzger take the lead in the final straightaway. They're neck and neck, sprinting for the line.
It's a photo finish. The timing chip gives the win to Mejia by seven thousandths of a second.
The winning time is 1 hour, 9 minutes and 46 seconds.
Firek is third; Doucet, fourth
Norm Kirby arrives a little later to claim fifth.
Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour finishes with the chase pack to claim first place in the women's race.
10:55 am | Bell lap: With one lap to go, Bont's Norm Kirby drops out of the lead pack.
Simmons' Devin Firek is leading. Peter Doucet is 10 yards behind him. Luis Carlos Mejia is another 10 yards back with Eddy Matzger right behind him.
10:50 am | 3 laps to go: The lead pack is now more than a half a lap ahead of the chase pack ... with the veterans in front: Twincam's Eddy Matzger, 43, is leading. Ezeefit's Luis Carlos Mejia, 49, is right behind him.
Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet is in the third position. "They are standing up now ... taking a little break," says Bob Albanese.
The chase pack has fallen apart. Only about 10 skaters are left. Cado Motus' Chris Springer leads the group.
K2/Empire's Luis Moreno comes by with a bloody knee.
Apparently, he fell.
10:35 am | Video of the start: Courtesy of Dawn Stoppelmoor (Zach's mom):
10:30 am | 10 laps to go: The breakaway group increases its lead. It is now 1 minute and 10 seconds ahead of the main peloton. Norm Kirby is at the front of the group as it finishes lap 14. But then, he peels off the front and another skater takes over.
There are now seven skaters in the lead pack. Cado Motus' Wesley Gandy is the new member.
K2/Empire's Francisco Ramirez is leading the chase pack.
Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour is drafting in the chase pack. That makes her the lead woman.
10:15 am | Strong break: With 15 laps to go, a strong breakaway of six skaters has formed. The skaters are Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet, Bont's Norm Kirby, Johan Moliny, Simmons' Devin Firek, Twincam's Eddy Matzger and Ezeefit's Luis Carlos Mejia.
They are 32 seconds ahead of the main peloton now.
"It's a strong group," says Bob Albanese. "This breakaway could stick."
Cado Motus' Chris Springer is leading a chase pack of about 10 skaters.
The breakaway group is close to lapping the women leaders: Abigail Cusak, Abby Bloomer and Jordan Olinger.
9:58 am | 3rd lap: A chase group of Cado Motus' Chris Springer and Wesley Candy and K2/Empire's Herb Harbison catches Eddy Matzger. ... Then Luis Gomez goes on a flyer.
9:54 am | 2nd lap: The large peloton of 45 skaters catches Devin Firek and Keith Carroll. And then Twincam's Eddy Matzger takes off, taking a lead of 60 yards.
9:50 am | 1st lap of 24: Simmons' junior skater Devin Firek goes on a flyer on the first lap, followed by teammate Keith Carroll.
9:47 am | Start: About 150 skaters take off together in the mass start of the combined full and half marathon.
9:30 am | Scene: A good turnout on a beautiful day for racing in Chantilly, VA. On-site registrations this morning have brought the number of skaters to more than 200, said Bob Albanese, organizer of the Eastern Seaboard Series.
Among the top racers are Twincam's Eddy Matzger, Bont's Norm Kirby, Hoigaard's Herb Gayle and Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet. Cado Motus has brought a large team, including Chris Springer, Devin Firez and Luis Gomez.
The temperature is 70 degrees and sunny with low humidity and no wind.
The skaters are just finishing the 5K. The 10K went off earlier this morning.
The full marathon, a major race in the 2010 National Roller Cup, starts in about 15 minutes.
Copyright © 2010 by Inline Planet