Nelson, Eldridge Win What May Be Last Cactus Classic

Good Weather, Modest Turnout, and a Question Mark for 2005

By Robert "Likes His Cactus Shaken, Not Stirred" Burnson

Jordan Nelson of Colorado eked out a victory in Arizona's Cactus Classic inline marathon, finishing one second in front of Norm Kirby and Randy Bowman.

Stacey Eldridge of Florida won the women's race for the second year in a row. Lizzy Loeb was second.

Ed Wachter, the race director, said the three top men finishers broke away from the lead pack about seven miles from the start. "They stayed away from us, and they ended up having a sprint finish at the end," said Wachter, who finished seventh in the pro master's division.

The next group of skaters crossed the finish line three minutes later.

A total of 152 skaters competed in the race, 35 fewer than last year.

Wachter said skaters were dismayed about news that next year's Cactus Classic may be canceled. "They want the race to continue," he said. "I told them that we are looking for new sponsors so we can continue to do this, but that otherwise it will be a no-go if we can't get that money by March."

The race committee has set a goal of raising $15,000 by then.

Wachter said racers were enthusiastic about this year's racecourse, which made four laps around a 6.5-mile loop. "Everyone liked the course, which is pretty surprising because I had some pretty good hills in it," he said.

The weather was great for racing, Wachter said. Partly overcast with temperatures from the mid-50s to the mid-60s.

Residents from the retirement community of Oro Valley hauled out chairs and tables cheered on the skaters from the sidewalks.

Top Finishers in the Cactus Classic VIII ...

Pro Men:

  1. Jordan Nelson, 1:11.19
  2. Ryan Chrisler, 1:11.20
  3. Randy Bowman
  4. Dan Christman

Pro Master Men:

  1. Norm Kirby. 1:11.20(second overall)
  2. Dennis Humphrey
  3. Scott Swaney

Pro Women:

  1. Stacey Eldridge, 1:23.20
  2. Lizzy Loeb

Pro Master Women:

  1. Conny Strub
  2. Sandra Miller


Related Reading:

Cactus Classic May Roll Into the Sunset

The official site of the Cactus Classic


Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson

Planet Extras!
Beginner's Guide to Outdoor Racing
10 Ways to Avoid Getting Hit by Cars
Subscribe to the Planet RSS News Feed
Skate Coach Columns
2006 Skate Previews
Event Photos
News Archive

The Basics
Beginner's Guide to Inline Skating!
Top Seven Mistakes of Inline Skaters
Protection From Mr. Bumpy
First Time Buying Guide
Skate Safety
News Departments
Product News
Skating Events and Updates
Racing News
Skate Industry News
Skate Governing Bodies
Skaters in the News
Olympic Inclusion

Skate Trips and Travel
Skate Seminars
Where to Skate
Race Previews
Race Reports
Racing Skates and Equipment

Inline Marathoning
Advanced Skating Skills
Skate Previews
Product Reviews
Buyers Guide
Skate Maintenance
Speed Skating
Ice Skating
Roller Hockey
The Inline Edge!
If You're Injured
Skating Laws
Inline History