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Live Blog: Canada Day Marathon, 2012

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July 1, 2012

Planet report

Canada Day Marathon photo album

11:30 am | Fiola interview

2012 Canada Day Marathon


  1. Christopher Fiola
  2. Marc-Olivier Lemay
  3. Constant Montpellier
  4. Sergio Almeralla
  5. Johnnatan López
  6. Leo Frusteri
  7. Juan Diego Zuluaga
  8. Jesse Pauley
  9. Herb Gayle
  10. Morgan Williams
  11. Brian Oswald
  12. Martine Charbonneau
  13. Morgane Echardour
  14. Mike Murray
  15. Peter Doucet
  16. Alex Rudy
  17. Wilkis Correa
  18. Scott Pauley
  19. Shannon Hegarty
  20. Philippe Gagnon

full results link

Teenagers aren't supposed to have an advantage over adults in long distance events. But you wouldn't know it from the results of this year's skate marathons in Canada.

For the second time in a month, a 15-year-old boy, Christopher Fiola, has finished first in the men's division.

And right behind him today was 14-year-old Marc-Olivier Lemay.

But don't feel too bad, men. It wasn't all kids today. Finishing third, right behind Lemay, was 50-year-old Constant Montpellier.

Today's winner is a relative newcomer to inline racing. A student at College Danjou high school in Montreal, Fiola started inline skating two years ago to get in shape for ice skating, which he had competed in when he was younger.

He skated a few inline marathons last year, including the Ottawa Inline Festival, in which he finished 16th. And this spring, he surprised everyone by winning the Marathon Roller Montreal.

After Monteal, Il Peloton snatched him up. And today, with Fiola on board, it was pretty much Il Peloton's race.

Just before the start of the second lap, team members Sergio Almeralla and Marc-Olivier Lemay broke away from the pack and took a big lead.

For a while, Fiola and Montpellier did what they could to slow down the chase pack. But on the last lap, they gave chase themselves and, after passing a couple skaters in no-man's land, caught the leaders, Almeralla and Lemay.

About 1.5 kilometers from the finish, Fiola took over the lead. "I was feeling really strong," he says.

The four Il Peloton skaters sped up at the end of the race, but stayed in line with Fiola finishing first; Lamey, second; Montpellier, third; and Almeralla, fourth.

How does it feel to be beating the grown ups?

"It feels great," Fiola says.

And he loves inline. "It's more fun than ice," he says. "You see other things than just ice."

10:18 am | Charbonneau interview

Martine Charbonneau is feeling fine now. In fact, she says she's ready to skate another marathon ... right now.

But before today's race, she wasn't so sure of herself. "I was stressed," says the 34-year-old graphic designer from Montreal. "I didn't know if I was feeling right or if I was in good shape."

However, once the race started, she got down to business and once again, did what she needed to do to win.

As usual, her main nemesis today was Calvano's Morgane Echardour, the winner of the 2009 and 2010 National Roller Cup.

Once the race started, Charbonneau and Echardour started contending for the lead. On the first lap, it was often Charbonneau or Echardour — rather than any of the men — at the front of the lead pack.

But on the second lap, after several men had gotten away on a breakaway, the two women tucked themselves into the chase pack.

At the halfway point in the marthon, there was a surge in the chase pack. The skaters in front accelerated, leaving many of the skaters behind.

This was the critical point in the race, Charbonneau says.

Echardour pulled hard to keep up with the breakaway while Charbonneau, several skaters back, tucked in behind one of her VRAM teammates.

"I had to work hard, but I was able to manage it and stay with the pack," Charbonneau says. "At the critical point, I was able to make it."

But Echardour dropped back.

Charbonneau stayed with the chase pack for the rest of the race and briefly took the lead at the start of the field sprint to give a lead out to her teammate, Juan Diego Zuluaga. Then she coasted in, behind the furious sprint, to claim first place in the women's race.

"Normally, I want to sprint really hard and beat all the guys," she says. "But today I didn't try too hard because I was tired."

Charbonneau finished 12th overall.

Echardour, a 24-year-old student at the Ontario College of Arts and Design in Toronto, finished 13th overall, to claim second place in the women's race.

9:35 am | Charbonneau, again

VRAM's Martine Charbonneau is the only woman to finish with the chase pack, making her the winner of the women's race.

Calvano's Morgane Echardour finishes a couple minutes later, to claim second place. Several minutes later, Shift Racing's Shannon Hegarty takes third.

The men's field sprint was fast and furious. Among the leaders were Morgan Williams, Jesse Pauley, Herb Gayle, Juan Diego Zuluaga and Leo Frusteri.

But it was too close and fast to say who got there first. ... We will have to wait for the official results.

9:29 am | Christopher Fiola wins again

Il Peloton's Christopher Fiola takes the lead about 1.5 kilometers before the end of the race with his three teammates — Marc Olivier Lemay, Constant Montpellier and Sergio Almeralla — in line behind him.

And that's how they finish.

They pick up the pace before the end of the race. On the slight downhill, they are doing at least 50 k/h (31 mph), judging by the speedometer on the pace car.

9:18 am | 4K to go

It's still the four Il Peloton skaters all alone in front ... way out in front. The four are trading turns at the head of the pack, though it appears they are letting Christopher Fiola rest, possibly to set him up to take the win.

They are slowing down. But no one is anyone near them. "They will not be caught" Nathalie Larouche says.

Their pace is about 38 k/h (23 mph).

9:08 am | Il Peloton takes control

Il Peloton's Sergio Almeralla and Marc Olivier Lemay were alone on a breakaway for much of the second lap. But finally, near the end of the lap, their teammates, Christopher Fiola and Constant Montpellier caught them.

Fiola, 15, won last month's Marathon Roller Montreal.

The four Il Peloton skaters are all alone at the front. A couple hundred meters back is a South American skater (we don't know his name).

The pack is way back. "We don't see them anymore," says Nathalie Larouche in the pace car.

One lap to go.

8:46 am | First lap

Two women — Calvano's Morgane Echardour and VRAM's Martine Charbonneau — held the lead for big stretches of the first lap. They are the two top female skaters in Canada.

Charbonneau beat Echardour in last month's Roller Marathon Montreal. It appears that Echardour would like to keep ahead of Charbonneau today.

Shortly before the end of the first lap, Eric Gee of Toronto goes on a flyer and grabs a 100-meter lead. But going downhill, the pack catches him, and then Il Peloton's Sergio Almeralla takes the lead with teammate Mark Olivier Lemay right behind him.

8:33 am | Video of the start

Start of the Canada Day Marathon

8:20 am | They start.

A minute or two later, a race official gives the skaters their final instructions and then the horn sounds and the skaters start, immediately forming into two lines, with Calvano's Morgane Echardour going right to the lead. Echardour holds the lead for a minute as the two packs join and then splinter. Then Morgan Williams goes to the front before Constant Montpellier takes over.

The skaters will make three laps of the road course, which is a little more than 13 kilometers.

8 am | Heading to the starting line

"The weather is beautiful," says Nathalie Larouche from the racecourse in Cambridge, Ontario. "It's not too warm yet. It's sunny. Just a few clouds. Not too windy ... just a small breeze."

Larouche is in the pace car, where she will be observing the race and sending us updates.

The skaters in the 42K are on there way to the start of the race on Beaverdale Road. There are different starting points for the 10K and 21K. But all the races start at 8:15 am.

(If you would like to be part of our coverage, post your photos, videos and reports on the Skater Network.)

Planet preview of the 2012 Canada Day Marathon


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