Craziness In Paradise:

Police Chief Prohibits Road Racing at the Last Minute; Marathon Moved to the Crater of a Volcano

Holy Krakatoa! It's the 2004 Tahiti Black Pearl Inline Marathon Race Report

(Business as usual is not what a skater should expect from the Tahiti Black Pearl Inline Marathon. One year there was a hurricane. Another year a search and rescue mission. This year the new police chief banned road racing and Sunday's race had to be moved to a 1.7 kilometer loop inside a volcano. Yet, according to race director Christopher Pierre, it was the best Tahiti Inline Marathon ever. Here's his report.)

We had a great race. I had to change the race course at the last minute, because our new Chief of Police on Moorea (who has only been on the island for three weeks), put a complete stop to all races on the island road, saying we cannot stop traffic.

My only possibility was to move the race to Opunohu Bay on a stretch of Road of 1.7 km.

So we had a loop course in the middle of the volcanic crater. The beauty of the towering volcanic peaks and lush green fields surrounding the road was awesome. The  nicely paved road was completely closed to traffic.

It worked out really well, as we had a small contingent of 50 skaters. Seventy had signed up, but about 20 got discouraged by the rain through the night and did not show up at the start of the race.

As usual the skies cleared for the race. The sun dried the course in minutes which created a greenhouse effect. It was hot and humid. Hell in Paradise.

The loop course gave much opportunity for skaters and the public to cheer themselves when crossing up and down the road. At the start/finish line we had a powerful local band who pounded on the Toeres (wood drums) with the dancers shaking their bottoms alongside the road.

In the men's race, Eddy Matzger came in first.  Navaai Tetuani (from Tahiti) out sprinted Bruce Belden for his second place. 

Kim Ames took first and two twin sisters from Tahiti took second and third.

For the award ceremony, we had a full Tahitian dance show. Skaters had to give a few more pushes when invited to dance the Tamure.

The local TV crew made a star of all the skaters on the podium.

Flower leis, shell medals, tropical fruits and just outrageous fun made this the best race we have ever had.

See you next year on the island of Raiatea for the 7th Tahiti Inline Marathon.

Cheers from Moorea

Christopher PIERRE


Related Reading:

Tahiti Black Pearl Inline Marathon Preview

The official site of the Tahiti Black Pearl Marathon


Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson

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