Race on the Base 2008
I arrived early, and as in past years, this event was very well organized with plenty of signs and volunteers directing me to parking. Check-in went quickly and smoothly with no problems. I walked back to my car and relaxed for a while before getting my skates on and rolling down to the flight line to warm up. I did some warm up loops on a mostly deserted stretch of the flight line in front of the tower and around the helicopters with a few other skaters and then stretched a bit. This is a great course for my early season racing: it is on runways so it is very flat, very very wide, and very smooooth.
Okay, I was in the porta-potty when they called us to line up for the 10k. Huh? My watch said it was at least 25 minutes until the start time. As usual, it seems they want us to line up and get cold and stiff before we start. Oh well. We got the pre-race talk and warnings about the tie-downs. This year many of those were marked with red tape which helped make them easier to spot.
I placed myself several rows back from the front, behind and to the left of the large Desert Storm team. I had a few, uh, issues last week at El Dorado with my back and hip muscles that were just clearing up and I didn’t want to pop anything by charging too hard at first.
The start went very smoothly, from what I could see. I had to work my way around a few folks while being mindful of the tie downs and a couple of patches of water. The faster skaters were rounding the first corner while I was still trying to bridge a gap after I had gotten around the last of the slow traffic. I was feeling pretty good and closed in on two Beach Blader teammates, Nick and Bill. We began to work together, taking short pulls and after rounding the second corner I found that Bob, Trish, and someone else had caught up and joined us.
We continued to work together on the first long headwind leg and overtook Brandon. Somewhere along there Nick and Bill dropped off, and the rest of us kept up our pace with Trish playing the part of coach/cheerleader. For a while we were gaining slightly on the pack ahead, but they made the turn to the downwind leg well before us and increased their lead. I wasn’t in shape to contest that (hey it’s February and I’ve got a day job -- and that’s my story and I’m sticking with it!)
I knew we were all getting a bit tired, but some folks managed to save a bit of energy and once we made the turn to the finish and they felt the tailwind, they upped the pace and the pack spread out. I did manage to get a nice photo of the four ahead of me racing for the line. I slowed up a bit before the line as they told us to do and later saw my time was 20:01. Okay, no more slowing down until I’m across the line!
After the race was a fun time talking with friends and checking out the booths and stuff. SCS, Southern California Skaters, http://www.scskaters.org/scskaters/
, had part of a table with photos and flyers for the up coming Parkinson’s race and other stuff.
This event is always well organized (okay, there is often the usual screw-up of the finishing order and times, which just seems to be the traditional ending for all inline skate events) and there is lots to see and do there. This is a great event for families with young kids. There is a 1-k run for them plus activities and planes and helicopters to look at as well.
I look forward to doing this one again next year. Check out the photos by Mike Chevedden at http://web.mac.com/orangechevy/Formula1/Photos.html
. He took some excellent action shots!