NROC is powered by:






National Roller Cup

Live Blog: 2012 Apostle Islands Inline Marathon

Bell, Dalhmann Win Island Marathon

Refresh your page to get the latest updates.

Share your race photos, videos and stories on the Skater Network.



June 16, 2012

Planet report

1:50 pm | Melissa Dahlmann interview

2012 Apostle Islands Inline Marathon (unofficial)

Men, overall

  1. Rob Bell
  2. David Sarmiento
  3. Andy Kostka
  4. Alex Fedak
  5. Bill Numerick
  6. Hernan Diaz
  7. Ron Marfori
  8. Paul Dyrud
  9. Steve Meisinger

Women, overall

  1. Melissa Dahlmann
  2. Kara Peterson
  3. Sarah Brown
  4. Rebekah Dyrud
  5. Candy Wong

full results link to come

Melissa Dahlmann says she is just as surprised as everybody else about winning the women's division of today's race.

Last week, in the Baxter Inline Marathon, she got trounced by teammate Kara Peterson.

"She dropped me half way through the race," says Dahlmann, a 29-year-old bike saleswoman, who lives in St. Paul. "And that's what I expected her to do to me this time."

But today things were different.

Last week, at Baxter, the roads were rough, and Dahlmann, a long-track ice skater, found she could not maintain the long strides of her ice form. Instead, she had to take "short, choppy strokes, like a hockey player."

"I found it very tiring," she said.

But on today's smooth road course, Dahlmann found she could return to form. She and Peterson — both members of Adam's Test Team — were skating together, in the lead, when they caught up to a pack of veteran men on the last lap.

They started taking turns pulling the pack. Dahlmann was in front when they approached a bend in the road.

"I took a couple of crossover steps to make the turn," she said, and after just a few steps, found herself out ahead of the pack.

"I was apparently quite a bit ahead, so I stood up and waited," she said. But when no one was able to bridge up, she decided to go on.

"I saw there were about two miles to go, and I knew I would be able to maintain my pace and then I went into 'ice mode.' I got down and started doing more arm swing."

She kept going like that until the finish line, which she crossed with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes and 20-something seconds. (We don't have official times yet.)

Peterson, who had won the marathon in each of the past two years, finished a few minutes later in second place. Sarah Brown was third. Rebekah Dyrud, fourth. Candy Wong, fifth.

Remarkably, it was only the second inline marathon — Baxter was the first — for Dahlmann. But it won't be the last, she said.

"It's great training for me," she said. "I already feel like am getting stronger as a skater because of this."

1:04 pm | Women's race?

We haven't heard much yet. But here's the suprise: the winner was apparently Melissa Dahlmann, not Kara Peterson.

Dahlmann and Peterson — both members of Adam's Test Team — were skating together, several minutes ahead of the other women, at the end of the first lap. What happened after that, we don't know.

Dahlmann, a long-track ice skater, is a relative newcomer to inline racing. She started inline skating two years ago and won the women's division in the 2011 Roseville Oval Inline Series.

11:21 am | Rob Bell interview

The winner of today's men's race says the confusion at the finish line slowed everybody down but probably didn't effect the order of finish.

On the final turn, "I took David (Sarmiento) on the inside," says Simmons Racing's Rob Bell. "It's only 50 meters to the finish line from there, so whoever was ahead at that point was pretty much assured of winning the race."

The win vindicates Bell, who last year was beaten, by Sarmiento, in the final yards of the Minnesota Half Marathon.

Bell said he and his teammate, Alex Fedak, 46, of Oklahoma City, modified their strategy for today's race. Instead of going out hard and trying to wear down Sarmiento with lots of breakways, "we decided we were going to kinda lay low for a while."

Early on the second lap, Pinnacle's Bill Numerick went on a flyer and built a lead of about one minute.

But the pack didn't give chase in a serious way until the last lap. With about three miles to go, "Alex and I put in some really hard effort" at the front of the lead pack, Bell says.

The fast pace was too much for most of the skaters in the pack, and many dropped out, leaving a pack of about eight. The pack quickly caught Numerick, and "then one of the Twincam skaters attacked," Bell says. "He got away, probably about 10, 15 seconds ahead." Then the Hoigaard's skaters went to the front of the pack and reeled him in, catching him 200 meters before the finish.

On the final turn, Bell took the lead on the inside. "I think David tried to come around my right side. But I was just going full out, and there was no wayfor him to catch me."

The motorcycle stopped in front of the finish line "caused some confusion," Bell says. "But I think the results would have been the same anyway."

Today's win is probably the biggest ever for Bell, who regularly finishes in the top five in outdoor races but hasn't won a marathon since the 2008 Badger Inline Marathon.

It is also vindication for the Simmons Racing Team, which took first and fourth in today's race despite fielding only two skaters.

"We were definitely outnumbered today," Bell says.

Despite the confusion at the end of the race, Bell says he plans to return next year.

"This course is so fun," he says. "This is definitely one I will come back to do."

10:28 am | Rob Bell, the winner

Simmons Racing's Rob Bell, 32, of Oklahoma City won today's Apostle Islands Inline Marathon on Madeline Island. ... At least, that's how it looked to David Sarmiento.

Sarmiento was part of a breakaway of about 10 skaters that caught Pinnacle's Bill Numerick on the last lap, about six miles from the finish line.

"I was feeling good," says Sarmiento, who was unbeaten this year before today's race. "I was kinda worried about my back. I started feeling some pain, but that was OK."

The pack stuck together for the rest of the race and started its sprint before the final turn.

"We took a turn to the right, and then Rob (Bell) was on the outside and I was on the inside," says Sarmiento, a 30-year-old Colombian transplant who lives in Sleepy Eye, MN.

"I start to speed it up, but with about 40 yards to go, I have to slow down to go around the motorcylce, and then I have to slow down again for the car."

Bell may — or may not — have been less obstructed on the outside of the track. Sarmiento says he also had to slow down.

At the line, Bell finished "about one skate in front of me," Sarmiento says. Behind Bell, finishing in third place, was Hoigaard's Andy Kostka.

"If I had a clean sprint, maybe I could have speeded up more," Sarmiento says. "But it's OK because I didn't fall or have anything else really bad happen.

"If we didn't have the motorcycle or the car or the kid, maybe something else would have happened. We never know."

10:10 am | Kids happen

We don't know who won yet. But we've gottten an explanation of what happened at the finish line.

The lead car arrived at the finish line just behind a boy who had another lap (or two) to skate. The boy dropped his water bottle and stopped to pick it up. The lead car stopped to avoid hitting the boy. When the motorcycle driver saw the lead car stopped, he stopped himself, and so was in the middle of the road when the lead pack rounded the corner for the final sprint.

9:45 am | Confusion at the finish

Something went wrong at the end of the race. The pace car stopped just past the finish line, and the lead motorcycle, behind the pace car, stopped 30 feet in front of the finish line.

When the pack of about 30 skaters came around the corner for the final sprint, it had no where to go, says Adam Bradley.

"Everyone was trying to squeeze around (the motorcycle driver)," says Bradley. "Poeple were shoving, tyring to get around him. ... David (Sarmiento) was in second around the corner, but then they all bunched up, and I don't know what happened."

9:29 am | It's Bill Numerick

The mystery skater is Pinnacle Racing's Bill Numerick, a 32-year-old from Traverse City, MI. Numerick is a member of Pinnacle's new marathon racing team. Other members are Ty Fidler and Steffen Howard.

Numerick, who works in the computer field, returned to racing two years ago after a 10 year layoff. He used to be one of America's top outdoor skaters.

9:23 am | Not Sarmiento

It wasn't Sarmiento leading on the first lap. And no one knows yet who it is. (I guess he knows?) ... We're trying to get the name from the timing company.

Whoever he is, he has extended his lead and has a Rudy Project logo on his skinsuit.

9:19 am | Video of Pro-Advanced Men, 50 and above, start

Pro-Advanced Men, 50 and over, start

9:04 am | After one lap

Adam's Test Team's David Sarmiento has a lead of about 200 yards at the end of the first lap. Steve Meisinger and another skater come next.

"And then the big mob," says Adam Bradley.

The big mob consists of about 50 skaters.

The first women to complete the first lap are Adam's Test Team's Melissa Dahlmann and Kara Peterson. They are skating together.

"They are way ahead," Bradley says.

Next come Asphalt Beach's Candy Wong and Adam's Cheri Uelmen. They are about five minutes back.

8:45 am | Away

All seven waves of the skaters are out on the racecourse. First was pro/advanced men, then pro/advanced master men, pro/advanced women, two wave of rec/fitness, half marathon, and mad skate.

In all, there are 409 skaters on the racecourse, says race organizer Mary McPhetridge of the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce.

McPhetridge is very pleased with the turnout.

"Weather-wise, this is going to be one of those perfect days," she says. "This is the best weather we've had for the race, and the course is absolutely beautiful."

The skaters make three loops — clockwise — around the island before finishing in downtown La Pointe.

2012 Apostle Islands Inline Marathon photo album

8:25 am | Lining up

The racers are getting ready for the start of the third annual Apostle Islands Inline Marathon. They are assembled at the starting line in downtown La Pointe, WI, which is the tiny town on the west side of Madeline Island.

"It's a very good day," says Adam's Inline's Adam Bradley. "There are a lot of people here. I'm going to say 400. ... It's just ready to start."

8:00 am | Current weather

Couldn't be better: 63 degrees and sunny. But Accuweather says there is a 75 percent chance of thunderstorms, around noon.


Planet preview of the 2012 Apostle Islands Inline Marathon


Racing News and Reports