Matzger, Perkins Win the 2004 Athens to Atlanta Ultra Marathon

By Robert "Wishes He Coulda Been There" Burnson

Skate legend Eddy Matzger won the rain-soaked 2004 Athens to Atlanta Road Skate, making a solo breakaway 20 miles from the finish and outlasting the one challenger who caught him with three miles left.

It was the eighth win for Matzger in the grueling 87-mile ultra marathon. His time was 4 hours, 53 minutes and 39 seconds, about an hour more than he needed to finish the race a year earlier in dry weather.

Kim Perkins won the women's event, outlasting Kim Ames, who had challenged for the lead. Her time was 5 hours, 27 minutes and 51 seconds.

"It was dry an hour before the race, and then the skies opened up and it rained cats and dogs," Kim told the Inline Planet a few minutes after the race.

Kim said the women's race developed differently than she had expected. "Usually the way it works for the women is that whoever stays with the lead men's pack the longest, gets way out ahead, and then all they have to do is hold their position.

"But this time it was different," she said. "At first it was just me and Martine Charbonneau with the men's pack. But around the first check point, we started falling back a little. Then Martine said she was going to drop, and I told her to hang in a little longer, because I thought we could catch the pack again.

"Well, we did catch the pack. But then Martine had to drop off, and I was there by myself with the chase pack for quite a while. But then they accelerated, and I couldn't keep up so I dropped off with a few other guys.

"Then another pack came up from behind with about 15 people, and they caught us, and that pack contained Kim Ames. That was at about 45 miles out. Kim was skating a very gutsy race. She was attacking and she got out in front for a while.

"But when we came to the last part of the course, through the city, we accelerated in the front of the pack, and I got away from her. And then I didn't see her again, and she finished a few minutes behind me."

Kim Perkins described the men's race like this: "Eddy was doing his thing: right from the start, you could see him setting everything up. He was doing lots of little attacks."

Here are the top finishers:

Men:

  1. Eddy Matzger, Calif., USA,: 4:53.39
  2. Mauro Guenci, Italian
  3. Randy Bowman, Ohio, USA
  4. Luis Carlos Mejia, Columbia
  5. Aaron Arndt, Canada
  6. Louis Beaudoin, Calif., USA
  7. Scott Swaney, Calif., USA
  8. Bruce Belden, Georgia, USA
  9. Miguel Patino, Georgia, USA
  10. Dennis Humphrey, New York

 

Women:

  1. Kim Perkins, Berkeley, USA: 5:27.51
  2. Kim Ames, Oregon, USA
  3. Monique Mansoura, Wash. DC, USA

Links:

The Athens to Atlanta Preview

The Official Site of the Athens to Atlanta Road Skate

Peter Doucet's report on the A2A

...

Copyright 2006 by Robert Burnson

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