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Minute to minute race report on Inline Planet

Squiggy race stories - first published at Inline Planet - each story links to the original

Ken aka LezSk8, Central Florida
I skated the Squiggy for the 3rd time yesterday and it was the best! Great weather and organization. Thanks to all for making my day.
On my first loop as I was passing the finish area, I was doing some crossover around the left 90 degree turn when the spectators began to cheer loudly. My first thought was they were being respectful of my advancing years. The cheers got louder. Then I thought my crossovers must be in better form than I'd judged them to be.
Then the ego baloon burst! A couple of youngsters, 9-10 years old, skated by me like I was standing still and I knew who the cheers were really for. A bitter dose of humility is hard to swollow, but good for the soul. Thanks for the Kodac moment, and ... LezSk8!

Thomas Stergar, II
Squiggy 2008 was my very first race, so this year at Squiggy was my racing anniversary, but this post is hardly about me. Most skaters that have ‘been around’ know Bob Harwell. We call him many things…but one name is ‘Awesome Bob’. Here is one example why.
I was barely hanging on to a great pack of experienced racers all the way up to finish. But with less than 1000’ to go, my right quad cramped big time (yeah, yeah I know. I can hear the pity party through my broadband connection…). Bob looked back and saw that I had dropped and he slowed down to let me pass. 50 yards from the finish he sprinted, passing me saying, “C’mon! This is what they’ll do to you in every race!”.
I guess you had to be there but it is a great Bob (and Squiggy) story. The folks I train with know how cool this is. I'm sure he takes just a little pleaure in waxing the younger guys, but down deep, he does this kind of thing because really is a team player and likes to share what he knows.
Many thanks to the Squiggy folks and the Planet, but especially Bob, Craig, Lin and all of the folks here in Indy (too many to mention) that love to go fast.

Hoffmonster aka Brian, TX
Squiggy 2009 was awesome!
1st, Let me say that it was a very well organized, well run event.
Improvements?? Everyone can improve, so making them in the case would just improve whats already pretty kick butt!
Great Job Birgit, Jessica, and all the great volunteers!
I'll be back next year.

Skate in the dark:
The skate in the dark was just that... It was very dark once the clouds came.
we set out with several in tow, at a pretty slow pace..
we did not even get to the main trail before we had... SNAKE!!!!
A two foot long cotton mouth decide to cross the trail at the worst possible time...Everyone managed to get by without issue. Excitement over.. Or was it?
We headed out on the trail, once again a nice easy pace.. 2-3 minutes in... a wild boar got spooked out of the bushes and decided to run along next to us for a moment, before hitting the gas crossing in front of us, and smashing through the underbrush.. OK, now that was interesting.. better keep your eyes open!!!
I saw no other animals after that because it was just too dark.. the crew I wound up with did not have a headlight, but that did to stop us from picking up the pace. It was B. Harwell, Brian Oswald, Tom G (I think) we wound up skating it pretty darn fast, quite exhilarating to skate that fast in almost total darkness.
probably not the smartest thing to do considering the animals we saw earlier. it was awesome and I would do it again!.

Time Trials.
Renee C, Brian S., Hernan D., and I skated together.
We had a great start running a 20 mph pace without issue (I posted the pic of the TT garmin data back on Sat)
the really fast kids went by us like we were sitting still pretty early on. So there was only one team to catch.
At some point we lost Brian S off the back, I had no idea as I was leading when all that happened.
We only needed three across the line together, so we pushed on.
We were running about 21/22 mph.
We did go by the Asphalt Beach team of Bob H. Jessica W, and Steve L. Still keeping a solid pace.
I finally had to roll out and let Renee up front.. Heran told me to tuck in behind and we'll push Renee, and skate as a big unit going in.. Well he and I tangled feet and he went down, and I almost went with him but saved it.. Rats, Renee kept going and I waited to Hernan to get up and we would just have to go catch Renee.
We did, and finished all in one piece with a time of 21:25 19.7 mph.. we lost some time with fall but not enough to change the outcome any... It was really, really fun, but it I had to do it over again, I would plan a little better to use or strengths, and weaknesses in a more efficient manner.

Props to Alex Fedak... Not only did he win it and set the record, he even beat that team of three young guns all by himself.

Race day:
There and ready to go...
I was glad to see them wave the start.. it would have been pretty chaotic had they mass started it.
Pretty routine, I tried to stay up front for the most part, the Akana Girls, Daniel M, and I led most of the race.
We picked up some of the Elite masters guys, they worked their way into the pace line.
For the most part I would let in anyone that wanted to, or who I knew was working. the asphalt beach guys got up and rotated
through a pull or two. a few others did short pulls, But for the most part it was those two Akana girls, Daniel and I that did most of the pulling.There were several (4-5) very young girls who were slapping, pulling, pushing and elbowing their way in, generaly causing problems.
A total distraction, and big part of why I lead so much.. that hurt me in the end..
Pretty uneventful, no big issues other than the slow pace and the girls fighting with each other..
I think we had another 3-4 minutes we could've shaved off had we gotten away from them but no one wanted to get up front and sustain a pace fast enough to drop the young girls. When it came to the last mile or so there were a lot of games being played, the pace went to crawl a couple of times.
then a couple folks dropped the hammer and it was on.. I was there but really was not in a good position to gain much.. I was tired and would have to settle for a half hearted pace and get across the line on top of my skates. 1:22:40 2nd in 40-49, 3rd overall Adv men. still got beat by all those girls though..:) I think it could've been a lot fast, but racing is not always going as fast as possible.

Nadine, Canada asked for advice for her first Inline Marathon - see all of it on her blog on Inline Planet

And here's her review of said:

If you are thinking of going to the Squiggy Inline Marathon in Florida, GO!
This was my first marathon that I ever participated in and it was a great experience. First of all the race directors (Birgit and Jessica) were so helpful. They answered every question I had leading up to the event. Birgit would return my emails within minutes of sending them!
The races went smoothly. The Time Trial was so efficient! No waiting around and absolutely no confusion. The same goes for the Marathon. I have been to many running and cycling events and this was one of the top most organized and well-ran competitions I have seen. The Squiggy event has set the bar high for my expectations for my next race (oh, yes there will be another race!).
The race site was perfect too. Lots of parking, shade (for us Canadians), and beautiful scenery in a State Park. I loved the fact that it was on a flat, smooth trail/loop. I felt very safe. The only thing I saw on the trail was my very first armadillo!
There were a lot of draw prizes and everyones spirits after the event were high. Skaters are a great group of people. Very friendly and everyone really gave me a lot of encouragement and helpful advice. I was blown away by Jessica on the day of the Time Trial. I thought she might know who could help me with my skate (one of my wheels weren't spinning). She said to bring in the skate. In the midst of all of her duties she proceeded to fix my wheel! What a wonder-woman! Snaps to Jessica! And thanks to all of the other volunteers for making this a great experience. I will be returning to this event next year!

More from Nadine can be found in her blog on Inline Planet

Race reports first posted on Skatelog:

Lenny Wilcox: A little Race Report rom the Elite Master Men's Pack
Squiggy 2009

Well at first I was little hesitant about the race because first I was pitted against the 35 and up masters group unlike Northshore & St. Paul where there is a 45 and up group. The other thing was they were going to start us off the young Elite Pros with the likes of Jorge Botero, Andres Guzman, Adam Miller and many other good Elite Skaters. Much to my surprise they made an announcement just before we headed for the starting line, they would start the Elite Men separate from the Elite Masters Men. Yeah!

Now the race took on a different tone but the three Simmons skaters Alex Fedak, Richard Cassube, and Ryan Chrisler had different ideas and decided to try and catch the Elite pack. With those three working their butts off we almost caught the Elite pack and of all the groups we turned the fastest time for the first lap; 14:53 almost 30 seconds faster than the Elite Men.

On the second lap Alex Fedak took off on a solo flier and Nikko got in front and kept a good distance between us and Alex but not letting Alex out of our sight. We finally reeled him in just before the start of the third lap. Our lap times had dropped significantly by this time.

Niko, Chris Rojo and the Simmons skaters all took turns pulling, they were looking for some of the rest of us to take a turn but to be honest I really didn't want too under those conditions. By those conditions I mean skating against guys 10 years younger than I am and against a team of 4 guys. All I would need to do is go out and pull and have them take off and drop me. I wasn't going to take that chance so I wheel sucked. At one point I had considered pulling with the wind at our backs but we had picked up 4 or 5 stragglers from the Elite pack and they decided to get out and pull. More power to them and I didn't have to work.

As we got closer to the finish there was a mini flier by the Simmons Team at which point we hit 29 mph and no it wasn't just spike we held that for about a minute. As we rounded the final turns the sprint happened with Team Simmons in front. Niko got in there for 3rd. I kept trying to get around Chris Rojo and Hernan Diaz but Hernan kept cutting Chris off who in turn was cutting me off. One of the Elite kids went down in front of Hernan, Hernan didn't fall, but Chris and I were finally able to get around him for 5th & 6th.

Rapidroller aka John Jerome: Another great Squiggy inline skating weekend
Way to go Birgit and also Jessica and the many volunteers (including yours truly who stuffed a few packets too slowly). It was a phenomenal weekend, thanks to excellent planning and attention to detail.

The grand finale was, of course, the marathon/half marathon. I was planning to join up with a large paceline destined for a finish time of an hour and a half, but it didn't happen. However I was very fortunate to have two extremely gutsy gals, Renee and Nadine, as my sole paceline partners for most of the marathon. I believe this was their debut marathon, but you wouldn't believe it by how well they pulled and held up in the windy conditions. In the early go, we had as many as five in our paceline on two separate occasions, but lost them (all males) to the mega-paceline that was about 3 minutes behind us (we had no idea that there was this freight train on our heels). It was a great bonding experience and I was very happy to help them achieve a sub- 1:40 for their first marathon (they also helped me as I couldn't have done it alone - our pace was a couple seconds per mile faster than my all-out time trial the day before). I was also happy about my geezer age group victory in the advanced category and also for Nadine's and Renee's placing in the 30-39 age group. Kudos to the other Renee (of Jon & Renee) for winning the same age group

Buzzinghornet aka Hong: A more detail of my race report.........
Before the race, I was somewhat concern about the race as my skating was going through a slump in the last few weeks. To make things worse, my knees were hurting badly, either from overtraining or the multi falls I took on my knees. The left knee especially, hurt badly if I try to squat low. As a result, my back started to hurt too as I was trying to get low but my knees won't let me and I ended up bending my back more than I supposed to. Then, I was sick for the entire week, and was coughing really bad 2 days before the race and lost my voice.

However, I wasn't in a panick mode, as my last year's time of 1.37 means it's easy to set a personal best in this race. Judging by the previous week skate at Flatwoods, my prediction is low or high 1.20's. My goal is, to stay with the lead advanced pack until the end.

Start, I got a good start and slot in behind 4 girls. First lap pace was rather quick, and it's a little bit tricky to follow the rapid strides of the girls in front of me, but no big deal. We picked up a few elite and elite master skaters on the way, and had a sizable paceline. Bryan Herrick was also in this paceline.

Second and third lap, the pace got really erratic. As the girls in front tried to slow way down and sprinted to drop others (and some slapping too). I played a long, but other skaters behind me started to complain about that. But the sprints were not long enough to drop anyone. Finally, a couple of the adult skaters got fed up with this game and starting to move to the front and took control of the paceline. However, the top speed wasn't high enough and sustained long enough to drop the girls, so we're back to status quo again. Also, because of that I got slowly moved back in the paceline. I had to move up a few times to get back in the better spots I occupied earlier.

Our time for 2nd and 3rd lap were pretty bad, because of all the slinkying. It didn't bother me though, as this is the reality of pack racing, and I had seen games like that played in bigger races like St. Paul and Northshore. A few skaters weren't too happy about this game, because we could have shaved at least a few minutes off our time.

With 2 miles to go, finally everyone got serious. The pace picked up, and I was almost out of juice coming to the finish line. I was in a sweet spot just before the final sprint, but couldn't make use of it, so was completely overwhelmed. I really need to improve my finishing sprint, both mentally and physically. Also, my crossover was a bit scary for the skaters right behind me (sorry......).

My finishing time was 1.22.42, which is not only my best result at Squiggy, but also my best result at any marathon (beating my Northshore time by half a minute). This was a bit of a surprise to me. Also, I shaved about 15 minutes off my last year's Squiggy time. Not bad for a sick man. I gonna need a full week of rest after this.

The race was ran well, and I think everyone enjoyed it, thanks to Birgit, Jessica and the volunteers.

BHerrick Sun 3/15 Squiggy Marathon 1:23:09 18.9 172/188 89%
I made things interesting for myself this year by skating Pro Masters. I knew that I probably had no chance of hanging for the duration. I was hoping to stay on for a lap or 2 if I could get past the first mile and they didn't keep the hammer down the whole time. I basically wanted to see where I was at and how much farther I needed to improve to be able to race at that level. I also knew I would have no trouble staying with the advanced group and they would pick me up after I dropped off. Short version-need some more work.

I took off from the line strong, sprinted up to speed and jumped in mid-pack. The pace quickly picked up to about 25 mph and stayed there. That's about my all out fastest I can go, practically sprinting and it isn't pretty at that speed. I started getting shuffled to the back of the pack on any little gap I left in front of me. The pace dropped off some, I thought I was safe, then it picked up again and I threw in the towel before I blew myself out. After speaking to Lenny later, I made the right choice. They kept that pace for the whole first lap and at one point had the Pro men in sight before they pulled away. At least now I know where I need to be, what to work on and hopefully someday I can reach that level..

Skated by myself until the advanced group picked me up at mile 5. I jumped in behind Hong and 2 girls on my team at the front of the pack and tried to recover. Once I was on though, 2 girls from another team started throwing attacks right away. I stayed with them but it cooked me pretty good. I never did fully recover after that so I didn't try to go up front and take any leads. I made it my job to protect a 3rd team member with us. He never does marathons, just mainly 500m races. He's a really strong sprinter so the plan was to stay close to the front, keep him behind me, cover any breaks and lead him out for the final sprint. Worked until the last few miles. There was a lot of jockeying for position at that point with lots of attacks. I moved up one side and he dropped back a little on the other, neither of us noticed in time, there was an attack and he couldn't make the gap. After that I moved up close to the front for the final sprint and came across in 6th. I could have moved up for a better position, but I was 30 sec behind from starting with a different wave so it didn't make much difference and I was happy enough with it.

It wasn't a very cooperative group in front for most of the race.We easily could have knocked off at least a couple of minutes off the time if everybody worked together. Some didn't like it, but for me, I found it was much more competitive and fun. More a race than a fast group skate.

If I had entered in the Advanced category I would have placed 1st in age group and at least 2nd overall male. No regrets though. I took 5 min off my time last year for a pr and learned far more in this race than in all my others combined. Had a great time.

Thanks to Birgit and Jessica for another great event!

And congratulations to all that skated and to those that set pb's.

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