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Live Blog: Skate of the Union, 2011

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Sept. 11, 2011

Planet report

11:39 am | Howard Bernett photos

Photo album: Skate of the Union

10:59 am | Truck drafting in Thailand

Skate of the Union


  1. Eddy Matzger 1:15:32
  2. Francisco Ramirez 1:17:06
  3. Amrit Singh
  4. Herb Harbison, Jr.
  5. Hernan Diaz
  6. Joel Roop-Eckart
  7. Brian Oswald
  8. Vincent Henry
  9. Joseph Webber
  10. Herb Harbison, III


  1. Elisabeth White 1:24:15
  2. Jenna Sweeten 1:28:42
  3. Abigail Cusac
  4. Kayla Didawick
  5. Carole Ollinger
  6. Alana Collins
  7. Maureen Harrington
  8. Jackeline Soto

full results to come

How is it that a skater can show up for his first race of the season and win on a solo breakaway?

"It's all the training in Thailand," Twincam's Eddy Matzger said after winning today's Skate of the Union marathon.

Matzger, 44, of Floyd, VA, spent much of the summer in Thailand, where he organizes an annual Skate Farm training clinic.

He says he has been training in Thailand this summer by drafting the two-stroke vehicles, mopeds and trucks that populate the roads.

Today's race was a "perfect test of my fitness," he said, and a good warmup for the New York 100K in two weeks. Matzger won the 100K last year.

Matzger was apparently suffering from jet lag this morning, said race organizer Krista Schreffler. Race volunteers found him sleeping in his car before the race.

10:43 am | Eddy wins

Twincam's Eddy Matzger wins the Skate of the Union with a time of 1 hour, 15 mintues and 32 seconds.

He hawks as he crosses the line, even though he finishes the race one and a half minutes ahead of the chase pack.

The three skaters in the chase pack start sprinting a few hundreds yards before they reach the line.

Excel's Francisco Ramirez wins the field sprint to claim second place; Armit Singh is third; Herb Harbison, Jr, is fourth.

A minute later, Asphalt Beach's Hernan Diaz crosses the line to claim fifth place. Next is Joel Roop-Eckart and Skaters Quest's Brian Oswald.

Asphalt Beach's Elisabeth White wins the women's race. She finishes in 19th place overall with a time of 1 hour, 24 minutes and 15 seconds.

10:30 am | Eddy going for the win

Twincam's Eddy Matzger has taken control of the race. He finished the 20th lap a full 55 seconds ahead of the chase pack.

"He's looking great," says race organizer Krista Schreffler.

The chase pack is made up of three skaters: Herb Harbison, Jr., Francisco Ramirez and Armit Singh.

They've been on the racecourse for one hour now. Four laps to go.

10:15 am | Eddy breakaway

Twincam's Eddy Matzger breaks away on the 15th lap and builds a lead of nearly 20 seconds.

A chase pack forms but doesn't appear to be bridging the gap.

After 16 laps, Matzger leads by 18 seconds.

Armit Singh leads the chase pack. Behind him is Francisco Ramirez, Herb Harbison, Jr., Hernan Diaz and Joel Roop-Eckart.

Elisabeth White continues to lead the women's race. She is in 17th place overall. Abigail Cusac is second.

Eight laps to go.

9:55 am | First quarter

After maintaining a leisurely pace for the first five laps, the leaders picked up the pace on the sixth. Lap times went from 3 minutes and 15 seconds to 2 minutes and 56 seconds.

Asphalt Beach's Hernan Diaz led the pack as it crossed the line to finish the seventh lap.

At that point, the pack spread apart with no one wanting to lead. Then Eddy Matzger, 44, of Floyd, VA, and Simmons' Devin Firek, 17, took off on a breakaway.

Excel's Francisco Ramirez gave chase while the pack lost ground.

Elisabeth White dropped out of the lead pack but was still the first-place woman. JLK Racing's Abby Cusac, 16, was second.

The full marathon is 24 times around the road course.

9:37 am | Start

The race starts right on time. Twincam's Eddy Matzger goes to the front and a big lead pack forms behind him.

They skate around the 1.1-mile Emergency Vehicle Operations Course with Matzger at the head of the peloton.

At the end of two laps, it's Matzger in first, Gary Johnson in second and Asphalt Beach's Hernan Diaz in third.

Tucked away in the 25-skater peloton is the first-place woman, Asphalt Beach's Elisabeth White, 20, of Fort Wayne, IN.

9 am | Scene

It's a perfect morning at the Fairfax County Emergency Vehicle Operations Facility in Chantilly, VA. The sun is shining, the temperature is in the mid-70s, a slight breeze is blowing, and the track is dry, despite a week of torrential rain.

The 5K is underway. Among the participants are 30 children from the DC-ICE youth skating program.

Eddy Matzger is one of the skaters warming up for the marathon. He finished second in the event last year, a wheel behind Ezeefit's Luis Carlos Mejia.

Planet preview of the 2011 Skate of the Union

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