Photos of the Silver Strand Half Marathon (Nov. 13, 2005)
Assembling on the Silver Strand
(Click photo for larger image)
Before the Start - Skaters wait for the start of Sunday's Silver Strand Half Marathon in San Diego, Calif. Larry Quimby of Long Beach took the photo before lining up for the the race.
So how did Quimby do? ... Here's his report on the race:
The weather was great for the race: a bit cool and foggy before sunrise and then warming up nicely with clear blue skies.
The start of the race was delayed for maybe 20 minutes as the police tried to clear some confused motorists from the course. The start was a bit of a surprise. I am still not sure that the siren was meant as the starting gun, but the front row went off and the rest of us followed.
Shortly off the line my right toe-wheel was clipped from in front in a way that almost stopped my forward progress. As I got going again, my left toe-wheel took a similar hit. I could only watch as the people I wanted to draft pulled even farther ahead, and then the girl on rec skates (who clipped me the second time) cut in front of me, stood up and looked at her watch. ARRRRGH!
I went around her, sprinted in behind Wendy H. for a bit and then went wide and chased the crowd ahead. I got some good speed on the downhill and caught up to a couple of young ladies, one of whom took a long strong pull that helped us bridge the gap to the next group. I took a hard pull and then let the next skater have a turn. At about 3 miles we had worked our way up to the pack that I wanted to be with in the first place, but I was pretty well toasted in the process.
For most of the race to the hill on the base our group of 1520 skaters alternately sprinted a bit and coasted a bit and when we coasted I was getting a strong push from behind. So I got to catch my breath a bit. Some of the skaters, would pull out to the left or right and skate up to the front of the pack, but they were merely trying to improve their position rather than to push the pace. I didnt see the point in expending all that energy 5 miles into a 13 mile race. So thats the way it went along the highway: sprint, churn, coast.
As we skated onto the base and made the sharp right turn the leaders slowed down and Brandon commented that everyone was taking a rest before the hill. The vying for position increased as we approached and began to climb the hill. Then we saw the lead pack on its way down. We climbed and slowed a bit on the bad pavement, rounded the U-turn and started back.
Last year I got dropped here. Those in front of me reached the good pavement and began to sprint while I was still dealing with the rough stuff: a good tactic to drop those behind you late in the race. I was ready for something like this to happen again this year, but this group was a bit more mellow.
The downhill was fun and we swooped down and around the corner and then left onto more bad pavement and off the base. The pace quickened and we made our last turn. I tried to gain on those ahead but the pavement was a bit rough. If only there was some way that it could be smooth for me and rough for them. Yeah, right. ... I got passed briefly and then I made a strong effort and was able to pass several skaters on my way to the finish. I was fourth in my age division (men, 55-59) behind Scott Swaney, Bob Mirabal, and Elliot Gordon.
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Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson
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