A Duluth hotel (The Inn on Lake Superior) is promising $10,000 to any woman who can beat the ladies' mark.
That's the same amount that K2 has offered to any skater who can beat Chad Hedrick's course record of 57 minutes and 18 seconds.
Most skaters doubt anyone, even World Champion Joey Mantia, can beat the men's record without the help of a stiff tailwind, like the one that helped Hedrick. On the other hand, the women's bounty seems within reach.
The current record, set by Heather Elliot-Gunnin in 1998, is 1 hour 10 minutes and 26 seconds. In 2005, the last year the Northshore was a World Cup event, the women's pack finished in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds, just a little more than three minutes behind the record. Motivated by $10,000, a group of elite women could probably shave several minutes off that time.
"The Northshore Inline Marathon is an important event for our region” said Nikki Anderson, general manager of the Inn on Lake Superior. "Adding this incentive to the women’s side of the race will bring some of the best skaters in the world to the Northshore."
Here's the official announcement:
The Inn on Lake Superior offers a $10,000 Bounty for a New Women’s NorthShore Inline Marathon Course Record
When the gun goes off to start the 2007 NorthShore Inline Marathon on Saturday, September 15, women skaters will have an extra incentive for winning in record time. The Inn on Lake Superior announced today that is offering a $10,000 cash prize to the woman who sets a new course record.
The current NSIM course record was set in 1998 by Heather Elliot–Gunnin at 1:10:26. She averaged 22.32 miles per hour on the 26.2-mile course down the north shore of Lake Superior, from Two Harbors to Duluth.
“The NorthShore Inline Marathon is an important event for our region” said Nikki Anderson, general manager of the Inn on Lake Superior. “Adding this incentive to the women’s side of the race will bring some of the best skaters in the world to the NorthShore. The $10,000 prize for a new women’s record will add to the excitement for spectators and all race participants.”
With the addition of the $10,000 bounty for a new women’s record, the NorthShore Inline has the potential to have one of the largest payouts of prize money in the sport of inline skating. Earlier, a $10,000 bounty was offered by K2, a top skate manufacturer, for a new men’s record. Also, $11,095 in prize money will be presented to this year’s race winners in a variety of age categories in the elite divisions.
Interest in the course record challenge is already attracting attention of the world’s elite skaters.
“Heather’s record has stood since 1998. She is a tough competitor and one of the world’s best skaters,” said Debbie Rice, an elite U.S. skater for Team Bont. “Now, the incentive is there to take her record away.
“This bounty will bring in some of the best in the world to compete for this unprecedented prize.”
Copyright © 2007 by Robert Burnson