The 2005 Great Orlando Inline Marathon
Second Annual Event Draws 31 Skaters
Colombian transplant Edgar Mesa lapped the field Sunday on his way to winning the inaugural Great Orlando Inline Marathon in Florida.
Naomi Shechter won the women's race, edging out Stacey Eldridge by a wheel at the finish line.
The marathon and half marathon were put on by the Buttar event management company, a relative newcomer to the field of inline racing.
Mark Farnsworth, an inline racer and the owner of the new Gatorback Skate company, helped sponsor the event.
He commended Butter for putting on a "great event" and said the company runs the most organized inline events he has ever attended.
"Their staff is wonderful with great announcing, electronic chip timing, great food, drinks, and course management," he said.
"And the course itself was awesome."
The marathon was held on a 0.9 mile road course at the Orlando Veteran's Administration Center.
In the race itself, Lenny Willcox of Pompano Beach, Fla., led in the early goings, but lost the lead after three miles to Farnsworth.
Farnsworth held the lead for a few miles. Then Edgar Mesa, who lives in Tampa, caught him and attacked hard to take a 30-second lead.
The chase pack caught Farnsworth and together they tried to catch Mesa. But he only increased his lead and eventually lapped the field for an impressive win.
Fellow Colombian Hernan Diaz won the sprint for second place.
Farnsworth held off Douglas Szycher and Willcox to take third.
Cash prizes were awarded to the top three professional skaters.
After the race, Farnsworth demonstrated his soon-to-be-released braking system for inline speed skates, the GatorStop.
The event attracted a modest field of 31 skaters: 22 for the full marathon; nine for the half-marathon.
(Thanks to Mark Farnsworth of Gatorback Skate for providing details of the race!)
Full results of the Orlando Marathon on the Buttar site
Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson