12:25 a.m. Recap
Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero marked his return to racing today by winning the Squiggy Classic Inline Marathon. The win put him in first place, after one event, in the 2009 National Roller Cup.
Briana Kramer, 18, of High Point, NC, won the women's race for the second year in a row.
Team Simmons' Ryan Chrisler won the master men's race (35 and above), putting himself in first place in NROC's master men's division.
Bont's Debbie Rice, last year's women's NROC champ, won the women's master's marathon.
In all, 154 skaters participated in the Squiggy Classic Inline.
Today's race was the first marathon in two and a half year's for men's winner Jorge Botero (Tru-Rev).
His last race was the 2006 Berlin Marathon.
But, the 33-year-old Colombian said after today's race, he found it easy to come back.
"For me, it is like swimming is for a fish," he said. "I have been doing it all my life."
The former World Inline Cup star described today's race as fast. He said most of the time there was a large pack of elite skaters bunched up behind him.
"Everyone had their eyes on me. All of the good skaters were sitting on my back. So the best thing for me to do was to slow down the pace and then do breakaways."
He broke away several times. Each time, the lead pack regrouped behind him.
Finally, with 400 meters left in the race, Botero started his sprint. Andres Guzman and Adam Miller, last year's NROC champ, went with him. But Botero was able to hold onto the lead, finishing more than a tenth of a second ahead of Guzman.
Botero said he has returned to racing in the hopes of inspiring more people to skate.
"I want people to be excited. I want people to enjoy the sport. I want to show them that you can do this, too; you just have to be committed, you have to train, and you have to race.'
"I keep myself in shape because I want to use the experience I have to bring people into the sport."
Last year's NROC women's champ, Debbie Rice, won the master women's race and posted the fastest women's time of the day by drafting with the master men's pack.
Her time was 1:15:47.
Master women were allowed to cross-draft; elite women were not.
Powerslide's Briana Kramer wins the women's race in another tight finish.
Gyro's Erin Jackson is second; Brooke Lochland of Australia is third.
All three finish with a time of 1:19:25.
Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero outsprints Andres Guzman and last year's NROC champion Adam Miller to win the 2009 Squiggy Classic Inline.
Guzman is second; Miller (Simmons Racing), third. The three finished in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 12 seconds.
Five other elite men cross the line one second later, lead by Sander BeGraaf.
Dustin Hebson, 12, of Inverness, FL, wins the half marathon with a time of 41 minutes and 29 seconds.
First female is Francesca Bell, 11, of Performance Inline. She finishes in the same time as Dustin.
Renee Coffman of Houston finishes fifth in the half marathon.
Tru-Rev's Jorge Botero is in second place near the front of a large men's pro pack of about 15 skaters. The men have finished two laps of the racecourse.
The pro women are skating together in a pack of about 10 skaters. They started a minute behind the men.
It's a perfect morning for racing in Tampa, FL, home of the Squiggy Classic Inline: 72 degrees (F), partly cloudy and only a slight wind, 8 mph.
The 26.2-mile inline marathon is four laps around the Flatwoods Wilderness Park. The loop is 6.88 miles with the first lap shortened to 5.56 miles.
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