Simmons Hopes to Turn the Tables on Adams Inline
Aug. 5, 2011
Start of 2009 Minnesota Half Marathon
Mike DeZellar/Tour de Photo
Saturday’s Minnesota Half Marathon is shaping up as a battle between Adams Inline and Simmons Racing.
Last year, Danny Frederick — then skating for Max Muscle, but now with Adams Inline — came from behind and hawked to beat two Simmons skaters at the line.
But this weekend, Frederick won’t be skating. He’s moving his family to Washington State, where he is starting a new job. That leaves it up to his teammates — David Sarmiento, Ty Fidler and Matt Meyer — to carry the Adams Inline banner.
Trying to erase the memory of last year's loss will be Simmons Racings' Rob Bell. The 27-year-old FAA computer scientist from Oklahoma City thought he had the race in the bag when Frederick surprised him in the final meters.
Bell has been skating well this year. In his most recent outing, he finished eighth in the highly competitive Chicagoland Inline Marathon, ahead of the Adams Inline skaters: Sarmiento, 30, of Sleepyby, MN, finished 13th while Fidler, 29, of University City, MO, was 15th.
Meyer, 29, of St. Paul, was sidelined by a shoulder injury.
Working with Bell will be teammate and training partner Alex Fedak, 40, of Oklahoma City. Fedak finished second in the half marathon in Montreal last month behind Olympic gold medalist Olivier Jean.
Adams Inline’s Kara Peterson is once again the skater to beat in the women’s race. The 42-year-old Minneapolis police officer won the race on a solo breakaway last year and is coming off a big win in the Apostle Islands Inline Marathon.
Trying to hold her wheel will be Asphalt Beach’s Candy Wong, 34, of Richmond Hills, ON, and Nadine Currie-Jackson, 40, of Frederickton, NB; and Max Muscle’s Rayna Meyer, 29, of Blaine, MN.
Last year, Peterson set a grueling pace in the half marathon. One by one, the other women in the lead pack dropped back. Finally, with five miles to go, Peterson picked up the pace on a hill and left the three remaining women behind.
One woman who won’t be in the pro pack this year is Sarah Oftedahl-Brown. Instead of registering for the half inline marathon, she signed up for the new duathlon.
Participants in the duathlon will skate a half marathon, then rip off their skates and run 2.8 miles.
The event organizers added the duathlon this year in response to skaters who said they wanted more than a half inline marathon, said Mike Cofrin of Podium Sports.
This is the third year of the Minnesota Half Marathon. Previously, it was the Saint Paul Inline Marathon, but declining participation forced the organizers to shorten the distance and open the event up to runners.
As of Thursday, 1200 runners and 400 skaters had registered for the event, including 70 for the duathlon, Cofrin said.
The Minnesota Half Marathon is a major event in the 2011 National Roller Cup.
Live blog coverage starts at 7 a.m. Saturday (CDT) on the Inline Planet. (Share your photos, videos and reports on the Skater Network.)