a2a Champ Says She Is Ready to Move on to New Challenges But Will Continue Coaching Skaters
After a late-blooming career that catapulted her to the top ranks of ultra-distance skaters, Athens-to-Atlanta champ Kim Perkins announced today that she is retiring from inline racing.
"I think it's unlikely that I am going to return," Perkins told the Planet. "The focus for me has changed."
Perkins said that after taking some time off this winter, she no longer felt motivated to get back in shape for racing.
"And basically, if your heart isn't in it, you won't race well, no matter how good a shape you are in," the 38-year-old Oakland resident said.
"And just knowing myself, I knew that if I wasn't able to do well, that I would not want to return to competition.
"I admire those people who can do that," she added. "But I don't think I am one of them."
Perkins started inline racing in 1999 and won her first Athens to Atlanta Road Skate in 2002.
Last October, she won the grueling 87-mile ultra marathon for the third straight year.
The win capped a brilliant season for Perkins. Early in the year, she won both the Walt Disney Inline Marathon and the Texas Road Rash.
"I wanted my last year to end on a high, happy note rather than with me just doing something halfway and trying to hang on," Perkins said.
"And to have a2a as my last real race was great because it was on the day before my 38th birthday. And to get my third silver platter as my 38th birthday present ... well, I'm pretty happy with that."
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Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson
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