Planet Preview: The Greg Levien 50 K
The Event Is the Start of the 2005 Dan Burger Race Series
Ultra-marathon skate champ Kim Perkins is a big fan of the funky inline race series that begins Sunday, April 10th, with the Greg Levien 50 K in San Mateo, Calif.
Of course, it helps that all five events of the Dan Burger Race Series take place within 40 miles of Perkin's home in the East Bay of San Francisco.
It also helps that the series is the only outdoor road racing of any kind for skaters in Northern California.
But if you ask Perkins, she'll tell you that the reason she is a fan of the racing series -- at least, one of the big reasons -- is that the series gives her plenty of hill climbing, and as the reigning champ of the nearly mountainous Athens to Atlanta Road Skate, that's what she likes.
All but one of the races of the Dan Burger Series are held on a hilly road course that rolls along the redwood groves at the Crystal Springs Reservoir in San Mateo.
The hills provide racers (in the 50 K events) with about 1100 feet of climbing.
"It's like a mini a2a," Perkins says. "If you like climbing, and you like hills, you'll love these races."
Aside from that, the races provide the rare opportunity to compete in distances longer than 42 kilometers, the standard length for marathons. And that's a good thing if you are training for the Athens to Atlanta, which is an 87-mile (140 kilometer) bone-grinder.
The first three races in the Dan Burger Series are 50 kilometers a piece; the fourth is the Godfather's 100 K Challenge.
Only the last race of the series, the Napa Valley Inline Marathon (Aug. 7th), is the standard marathon distance.
Due to the series' tough reputation, it attracts some of the best ultra-distance skaters in the country. Aside from Perkins, Eddy Matzger often laces up for the races.
Other notables who have lined up for the series include: Dennis Humphreys, Randy Bowman, Dana Eads, Stacey Eldridge, Barrie Hartman, Jenni Armstrong and Kim Ames.
But then again, you never know what to expect. "Sometimes a lot of heavy-hitters show up, sometimes almost none do," says Perkins.
Participation in the event has been spotty. The Crystal Springs events often attract no more than 30 skaters, althoough the the less-daunting Napa marathon attracts considerably more.
The 2005 Greg Levien 50 K Memorial Road Skate
inline marathon and 10 K
Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson