Live Blog: 2012 NorthShore Inline Marathon
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Sept. 15, 2012
12:51 pm | Men's race
Oh, what a difference thirty years can make.
After 26.2 miles of racing, CadoMotus' Wesley Gandy, 21, beat Ezeefit's Carlos Luis Mejia, 51, in today's Northshore Inline Marathon by less than one second.
And this was not a slow race. The two finished the race in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
That's three minutes faster than Yann Guyader's winning team last year and many minutes ahead of most winners in the 17 year history of the Northshore.
Gandy says today's race was "very fast" from the start. Despite that, he and Matthew Walther were able to get ahead of the pack, and they stayed ahead for about three miles. "But then the pack caught us," says Gandy, who trains indoors with the Synergy Inline Racing team in Richmond, Virginia.
When the pack slowed down a little, Gandy went on another flyer. This time he stayed away for five miles before the pack reeled him in.
Then Mejia took off. Gandy knew the Colombian veteran was a threat. Despite his age, Mejia usually finishes in the top five at the Northshore.
Gandy followed him. The two of them skated together, trading the lead, until the final sprint.
Gandy, an alternate on the US. World Team, won the sprint to the line, finishing less than a second ahead of a man who started life 30 years ahead of him.
Il Peloton's Chistopher Fiola, 15, finished third, a minute back.
11:45 am | Briana Kramer interview
Coming around the final turn, Bont USA's Briana Kramer thought she had made a mistake.
While the other women flew around the corner on the inside, "I went in a little wide," says the 21-year-old from Orlando, Florida.
Kramer thought this might put the others in front of her at the start of the straigthway. But instead, it pushed them to the middle of the road, allowing Kramer to hold the lead on the inside.
"I thought maybe they were going to sit on me until the finish and that someone was going to get me in the end," she says.
That almost happened. Luigino's Julie Glass was right behind her, but Kramer held on in the sprint to win North America's biggest inline marathon for a third year in a row.
It was Kramer's first race since injuring her back after winning the Texas Road Road last April.
"I haven't been skating much, but I've still been training," she says. "But I haven't been able to inline much ... maybe once a week if I'm lucky."
Kramer credited her Bont USA teammate Janelle Cole with pushing the pace at the beginning of the race, which whittled away at the size of the pack.
But eventually, the breakaways weren't helping, Kramer says.
"Janelle kept attacking, and I kept trying to attack with her, and then I realized that the girls who were with us were going to stay with us no matter what. So then I started paying attention to what Julie [Glass] was doing. I realized she was the smartest skater out there."
From then on, the seven women in the lead pack stuck together. "I would lead now and then, and then Julie would lead for awhile. But we were definitely conserving our energy for that sprint."
Glass, 33, says she probably made a mistake by letting Kramer get a jump on her in the sprint. "But honestly, I didn't know what I could do because really I just hadn't trained much on inlines this year."
Glass last skated the Northshore in 2007 but says she's glad to be back. " I had a great time," she says. "I was thinking yesterday, How is it it's been so long since I skated this race?"
After today's race, Kramer heads back to Salt Lake City, where she trains on ice in hopes of earning a spot on the U.S. longtrack team for the 2014 Winter Games.
11:27 am | Men's top 10
- Wesley Gandy
- Luis Carlos Mejia
- Christopher Fiola
- Juan Najib Tabon
- Jimmy Blair
- Rob Bell
- Matthew Walther
- Julian Rivera
- Ryan Weiderhold
- Andres Guzman
11:13 am | Video of the women's sprint
Video of the women's sprint by Adam Bradley
11:10 am | Briana makes it three in a row!
Bont USA's Briana Kramer won the Northshore Inline Marathon for the third year in a row. Luigino's Julie Glass came out of retirement to finish second. Bont's Janelle Cole was third.
10:57 am | It was Wesley Gandy
The announcers were wrong. It was CadoMotus' Wesley Gandy, not Dustin Hebson, who held off Carlos Mejia in the sprint to win the marathon.
"Did I tell you he was ready!" a jubilant Kelly Springer said. Springer, the manager of the CadoMotus team, told us earlier this week that Gandy was ready to win.
Gandy is a 21-year-old from Midlothian, Virg.
10:50 am | Video of men's finish
Video of the men's finish by Adam Bradley
10:38 am | The winner?
We think the winner is Dustin Hebson, 16, of Weeki Wachee, Florida.
Ezeefit's Carlos Luis Mejia, 51, of Bogota, was second.
Hebson skated today as a member of Jimmy Blair's Pinnacle team.
He usually skates for CCN Sports, a clothing company.
"Dustin is a indoor skater who is starting to do more outdoor racing now," Blair told us in an email earlier this week. "We are taking him on to let him be part of the group at Northshore."
Hebson's time was in the neighborhood of 1:02.
10:27 am | Leaders on Lemon Drop
The two leaders just topped Lemon Drop Hill and have about two miles to go. The chase pack is way back.
10:23 am | Women's half winner
Alison Talley of St. Louis Park, Minn., won the women's half marathon. Her time was 48:22. She was third in the event last year.
10:08 am | Half results
Adams Inline's Bob Losby won the half marathon with a time of 39 minutes, 48 seconds. He was the first skater to finish the half in under 40 minutes.
Losby, of Eau Claire, Wisc., won the half last year in 43 minutes.
9:11 am | Beautiful morning in Duluth
It's a particularly fine morning for racing in Duluth, Minn. The temperature is 56 degrees. It's sunny, and there's a light south-easternly breeze (a tailwind for the skaters).
"The weather is ideal," said Adam Bradley, who skated the half marathon.
One of his skaters, Adam Inline's Bob Losby, won the half in record time, 39 minutes. "He took off at Mile 4, and we never saw him again," Bradley said.
Bradley said the number of half marathoners appeared to be much bigger this year. "There were maybe 500 skaters," he said.
Many of them were signed up for combined half and full marathons. So after finishing the half, they got on buses and headed to Two Harbors for the start of the full marathon.
Bradley said he found the pavement in the tunnels in downtown Duluth improved but still challenging. Grooves were cut in the pavement a few years ago to keep cars from sliding around in the snow and ice.
Planet preview of the Northshore Inline Marathon