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Brainerd Dispatch Online Inline Half-Marathon
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   - Baxter, MN
   Saturday, June 14, 2003

Team Hyper's Jim Larson Takes Top Honors in Half Marathon
Photos: Photo Staff of The Brainerd Dispatch
Story: Jim Larson

The Brainerd Dispatch Online Inline Half Marathon took place this past weekend in Baxter Minnesota. Skaters came from all over the country to help promote and make the race quite a success. Team Bodyglide was in attendance along with Team Rainbo, Flanders, Hyper Racing, Bont, Reidell, and I apologize if I missed your team name.

The event couldnt have been held on a better day, not a cloud in the sky, no wind, just sun all day long. The course was smooth pavement, long straights, some nice corners and some tight ones, rights, lefts, and a couple inclines. The race took off by this funny sounding gun at apprx. 7:30 am. well it was a whistle that went off. The race was underway. The Pro Advanced Men was lead out by David Rabin of Team Rainbo on the first long stretch of the Half Marathon and later taken over by Hypers Jim Larson. Jim took a strong pull, only to be attacked on by Randy Plett. He went on a strong break only to be brought back to the pack by the entire field. There were a few attacks but none to get away. Larson countered every attack and covered the attacks so no one was sure to get away. Cale Carevell of Team Rainbo took us all th way up to the half way mark as he bridged the gap on the front two skaters. Into the sharp culdesac(sp), Larson was going to make his move and on a miscalculated step he went off the edge of the course and was upended by his own mistake in the gravel. He was passed by the entire field in the culdesac and before the next turn, he had managed to put himself up in the top 5 at the half way mark with a little less then 6 miles to go.

Coming down the back side of the course with Home Depot in view, tension starting to grow thick and skaters making their moves seemed to be the right time to move up towards the front of the pack. Larson of Team Hyper took control of the pack followed by Stefan Ronchetti of Little Falls, MN, followed closely as to counter on any mistake made by the fellow from Illinois. Rounding the final left hand turn and about 200 meters to the line, Larson made his move on the rest of the field and on Ronchetti. Larson known for his indoor sprinting ability took the corner as if he were lining up a corner and took it it to the rest of the field. Ronchetti was not going to let him get away, with 100m to the line Ronchetti took the lead and as those two closed in on the finish, Larson pulled out and went right on by the man from Little Falls and took top honors in the Pro Advanced Mens field.

Larson comically stated, Wow! What a hard race! Im not coming back next year you all can have it! He, Larson, also commented that, this race was great and the course was fantastic, a lot of great racers out here today, I had a great time. I would like to thank Terry Holm for making this event happen and to all the skaters that participated today, with out, Terry would not be able to have an event of this caliber. Stefan skated a strong and smart race today, I thought he had me there at the end and I knew if I wanted to win I wasnt going to stop and settle for 2nd best, I had to grit my teeth and reach way down and stay focused and do what I do best and that is sprint. Good Job Stefan, look forward to it next year. Larson also stated that he was glad to see that we as a pack and skaters were able to beat the time of last years mark by apprx. 30 seconds. Great Job!

 

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