The following is a 2007 race report from Team Rainbo's founder, Cale Carvel.
For those of you interested, the following is a report on our trip to Tampa for the Squiggy inline time trial and marathon. The weather was beautiful, low 80's, almost no wind, and smooth black asphalt. The race took place at the first rate Flatwoods Wilderness Park. In the park at different locations during the 4 days, were Adventure races, Mountain bike races, Canoe and Kayak races, Road bike races and something for everyone. Sat. at 10am 35 of the skaters took part in a 7 mile time trial. There were more strong racers there this year than last and the times were amazing. The fastest skaters were under 20 minutes for the distance.
Unfortunately, there was some confusion at the start with some skaters changing places and as a result, the times did not match the skaters. After much effort and time, it was decided that there was no way to confirm individual results and so none were given. It turned out to be a 7 mile warm up for the marathon the next day. Lois Kopis was there taking pictures of the team Rainbo skaters as they finished and the clock was in sight, so we were able to figure out our own times, thanks Lois. Margo and I beat our times from last year by over 30 seconds and Jan, Brian, and Guy had a great opportunity to see and skate the course for the marathon on Sunday. My sympathies for the volunteers putting on the event who really tried their best to solve the timing problems, but too many skaters continued to complain that their results were not accurate. Having run many events in the past, I know how difficult it sometimes can be. I am sure that they will have a better handle on things next year..........On to the marathon.......
Because the clocks were moved ahead an hour Sat. night, it was still dark when many of the skaters arrived at the course. By race time, the sun was coming up amidst a very dense fog. It was cool, no wind, and about 80 skaters were ready to go. The race began at 8am with a rolling start about 2 miles into the 7 mile loop. Once we got going, the pace picked up quickly. At first their were two pace lines side by side, but it soon strung out. I was sitting in around 12th place in a pack of about 20, and planned on just sitting in and hanging on as long as I could. I was not sure how my injury would affect things, but I had a great treatment just before we left to Florida, and so far there was no pain. Margo was sitting in the front pack for a little while, but numerous sprints broke thing up into separate packs quickly. In the second pack, with Margo, Guy was holding his own and looking strong. Up front there were numerous young, strong, skaters who just loved to attack. For the first of the four laps we were going to do, it was one attack after another, followed by a short recovery time and then they were at it again. I was really worried about my injury, but I was able to just barely hang on. After the first lap, things settled down a bit and got into a more steady hard pace. A couple of attacks left me about 200-400 yards behind, but I was able to get back on when the pack was recovering. As we went into the 3rd lap, one of the leaders took a sharp turn too wide and rolled off into the grass while rolling over and over. It was amazing, as he was quickly out of sight, but sure enough, he recovered and caught back up to us. His name was Niko, and he was the clear favorite to win the race. A little farther up the road and another skater clicked skates with someone and down he went, right on his rear end. I did one of my jumps, and went right over him. We were down to about 12 skaters in the front pack by now and we thought he was gone for good, but he to was able to catch back up, with the back of his skin suit gone. (I don't know how they can do that...we were reusing at 20mph) So now we are about to finish the 3rd lap, and Niko takes off like a jet plane. We were all taken by surprise that he would be down in a dead sprint, but as we turned the corner to do the last lap, we realized that he was sprinting for the finish line which was a straight away that went off the loop. Oops....so long Niko....he should have had a lap counter, he did try to make it back up to us, but we were just to far ahead. It was just not his day.
So now we are in the last 7 miles and everyone was waiting for the final sprint. We were crusing with about 2 miles to go when things really picked up. I was skating as fast as I possible could and was able to stay with the group, although I was really sucking for air and my legs were turning to jelly. We dropped the only female in our group (a 14 year old who couldn't have weighed more than 110 lbs) and another young man who couldn't hang on, but that was pretty much it, I had no sprint left in ;me. I finished ninth over all, 4 seconds off the winner. 1hr18min9sec, good for 9th place. Considering it was the first race and my recent injury problems, I was thrilled.
The next pack came along about 5 minutes later. There was a group of at least 15 skaters sprinting, and sure enough, there was Margo skating like champ she is. She passed numerous skaters with one of her best sprints ever and finished third in that field sprint, good for 2nd women overall in 1hr 23min 29sec. She was being chased by a really quality, young women who was well over 6 feet tall, but you know Margo. That steely determined look was on her face, and she was not going to let that girl get by her. Way to go darlin'!!. Guy finished about 10 second back having passed a bunch of skaters in the second pack. He has much to be proud of. It was a great kick off to a new season. John S, who was struggling with a nasty cold, pulled it together and finished strong, with Jan having a great sprint finish, and Brian following a minute later. Team Rainbo was well represented by us all and we all were really glad we made the trip.
That's it race fans, except to encourage any and all of you to join us next year. I would love to see 10 of us down there. It's a great race with a very relaxed atmosphere. I guarantee you will have a blast. It is a great bunch of people who put the race on, everyone was very friendly and put in lots of work to make our stay enjoyable. There is lots of things to do in the Tampa/St. Pete area, so put it on your calendar and make a mini vacation out of it. Come down early and enjoy some recreational time with us. Jan, Lois, Margo and I arrived on the Tuesday before the race and skated every morning and headed to the beach....... God it was Great!!!!
Thanks much to all the volunteers who put on the race, and the sponsors, and the families who cheered us all on, we can never thank you enough......Let the season Begin!!!!!!..........Cale