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Live Blog: Minnesota Half Marathon, 2011

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Aug. 6, 2011

Planet report

Minnesota Half Marathon slideshow

Wrap up

Minnesota Half Marathon

Elite Men

  1. David Sarmiento 36:23.91
  2. Rob Bell
  3. Geoff Ash
  4. Matt Meyer
  5. Ty Fidler

Master Men

  1. Jeffrey Neal 36:22.44
  2. Gary Blank
  3. Brian Oswald
  4. Tommy Peterson
  5. Brent Bovitz

Vet Men

  1. Hernan Diaz 36:24.17
  2. Alex Fedak
  3. Randy Plett
  4. Jeff Terwilliger
  5. Gary Johnson

Elite Women

  1. Candy Wong 40:59.04
  2. Leah Flanagan

Master Women

  1. Kara Peterson 40:21.35
  2. Nadine Currie-Jackson 41:51.25

full results

David Sarmiento's strategy today was simple: Stick with Simmons' Rob Bell, then beat him in the sprint.

Sarmiento, a 30-year-old Colombian transplant, followed his strategy to victory today, avoiding the lead in the half marathon until the last second when he passed Bell with a dramatic hawk.

Both Sarmiento and Bell spent much of the race tucked away in the big men's pack. Sarmiento's teammate, Adam Inline's Ty Fidler regularly pushed the pace in the early goings. So did Bell's teammate, Alex Fedak.

Several times, Fedak, a 40-year-old accountant from Oklahoma City, accellerated away from the pack. Then, when the pack caught him, Bell would take off, trying to take advantage of the packs' tired legs to get away.

But Sarmiento wouldn't let him go. "Every time he would go, I would get behind him," he says.

"He had me marked really good," says Bell, a 27-year-old FAA computer scientist from Oklahoma City. "He was on me like glue. He was just my shadow."

Bell hoped to shake Sarmiento, known for his fast sprint, before the end of the race. "It's the worst case scenario for me to have the best spinter with me all the time during a race."

Midway through the race, Bell and Sarmiento broke away together. But the pack quickly caught up. On the hilly racecourse, it was difficult to break away. "You could get a good gap on a climb," Bell says. "But on the way down, you have 30 guys in the pack behind you, and they are going to catch you every time."

With a mile left to go, Sarmiento and Bell were positioned in the back of the lead pack. Then Fedak jumped to the outside and started gradually increasing the pace.

Bell got behind him and Sarmiento followed.

Bell stayed behind Fedak until 100 to 150 meters before the finish line. "I thought that if the sprint was late enough, I could hold (Sarmiento) off," he says.

Then he started his sprint.

Sarmiento stayed right behind him and, finally, with the finish line in sight, he jumped to the inside and beat Bell with a huge hawk.

Women's Race

Adams Inline's Kara Peterson is one of those rare skaters who likes to skate alone, out of the shelter of a pack. And that's what the 42-year-old Minneapolis police officer and mom did once again today.

The women's pro pack got off to a slow start. "No one wanted to take the lead," says Asphalt Beach's Nadine Jackson-Currie, 40, of Frederickton, NB.

Peterson attacked a couple times and the lead pack quickly thinned out. One of the women who dropped early was Max Muscle's Rayna Meyer, who is dealing with a leg injury.

Currie-Jackson was taking a pull several miles into the race when the rest of the pack took off and left her behind.

That left three women in the lead pack: Peterson, Asphalt Beach's Candy Wong, and Leah Flanagan of River Falls, WI.

Flanagan quickly dropped back, unable to maintain the fast pace. Then "Candy gave the universal symbol of fatigue. She put her hands on her waist," says Adams Inline's Adam Bradley, who talked to Peterson after the race. "So Kara just went ahead and pulled."

She skated the rest of the race alone, finishing along with some of the pro men from the first wave of skaters.

Wong, 34, of Richmond Hills, ON, finished 38 behind Peterson, having skated the rest of the race alone.

About a minute later, Currie-Jackson beat Flanagan in the sprint to claim third.

(Dale Larsen's Minnesota Half photo album)

9:22 am | Hernan Diaz

Outdoor racing is clearly a great sport for "mature" athletes. Asphalt Beach's Hernan Diaz, 51, of Shawnee, KS, hung with the lead pack throughout today's half marathon — and sprinted in with the leaders to claim third place overall!

8:24 am | Another Win for Kara

Adams Inline's Kara Peterson wins the women's race, finishing far ahead of two Asphalt Beach's skaters: Candy Wong, in second, and Nadine Currie-Jackson, in third.

From the video, it's clear that Adam Inline's David Sarmiento won the men's race. It's probably Simmons' Rob Bell second. But there's no confirmation yet.

8:20 am | Men's finish video

Men's finish


8:12 am | Sarmiento, Bovitz?

The men's finish was very close. "It looks like (David) Sarmiento got it. Brent Bovitz was second." ... More to come.

8:06 am | Video of lead pack

Pro men after first third


7:55 am | First third

A young skater sponsored by Pierce Skate and Ski had a lead of 50 feet as the pro men came past the starting area, having finished about one-third of their half marathon. We don't know his name.

The pack didn't look too worried, apparently confident of catching the breakaway.

Three of the pro women — including Adams Inline's Kara Peterson and Max Muscle's Rayna Meyer — appeared a minute and a half later. Asphalt Beach's Candy Wong (or possibly, Nadine Currie Jackson) was chasing, about 30 seconds back.

7:40 am | Video of the Start

Start of the half marathon


7:36 am | Starts

The pro men get off to a smooth start. Then the pro women go.

They make one loop of the racecourse on the bank of the Mississippi River and then finish not far from where they started, going the other way.

7:05 am | Scene

The forecast calls for thunderstorms, starting at 9 a.m. But at this point, the weather looks good, says Adam Inline's Adam Bradley at the starting line near Upper Landing Park. "It's cloudy, nice and dry, nice and cool, and no wind."

If it does rain, it will come later, he predicts, after the inline half marathon. "Maybe during the runners half marathon."


Preview of the Minnesota Half Marathon


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