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NYC 100K National Championship & Marathon
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   Prospect Park New York City, NY
   Saturday, September 20, 2003

The Empire crew was tracking hurricane Isabel all week and we were inundated with emails forecasting impending doom.  Additional tents were secured to keep our new top secret weapon secure: The AMB matless timing system.  Extra city trucks were dispatched to clear the many fallen trees and branches that had littered the course.  The NYC Parks department came through like the champions that they really are, who is better in time of crisis than NYC employees?

100K AwardsAfter setting up for the race all day Friday and well into the night we returned Saturday to the dawning of a beautiful day.  Steve Novack and I ran into each other at 4:55 am driving the course and to our amazement the course was clean and ready to go!

The race was delayed half an hour due to the many "day of" registrations, next year this race will be run like The Central Park Marathon so we shouldn't have that problem. Once all the info was downloaded into our spiffy new lap counter we were off to the races.

Many of the past 100K winners were on hand including the course record holder Philippe Boullard and Levallois-Perret teamate Matthieu Barrault, fresh off an impressive European win himself. There were also another 20+ French countrymen to cheer on their ultra distance super star. Italy was well represented by Verducci's Mauro Guenci who took second in the Athens to Atlanta race last year as well as America's premier distance skater Eddie Matzger. Fourth Lacey, himself a past winner, was present but on a bicycle to offer support to all of the 100K contestants.

With over 15 different countries represented and 40 Canadians in town nobody knew what would happen. Empire suffered a huge blow when its top distance skater Gus Naula was held up by a visa problem. Gus just captured his first overall medal in the Pan American games, after medaling in the marathon the year before in Cartegena, Colombia.The locals were slightly disheartened by the loss of our only teammate that had actually beaten Eddie Matzger in the 100K.

When the starting bell rang it was like the running of the bulls, you have to see how these skating gods treat a 100K. If it wasn't Eddie attacking the hills, it was Philippe and Mattieu hammering right on through.  And then there was Juan Naula and Luis Carlos Mieja and Bret Whitman all of Empire letting people know they wouldn't be in for an easy day. Of course Peter Doucet or should I say Clark Kent. You never know when he will turn into superman and go on a 35K breakaway with someone (Mattieu). The empire crew had been burned the week before in Duluth when a little floating flyer leaked off the front and became the decisive break of the race. Juan, Bret, Luis, Eddie put the hammer down and closed a 1:30 lead over a 3 mile stretch, which in retrospect was too much too quickly, many other skaters were dropped at this point but the chasers spent too much energy, only Eddie was left to do battle with Philippe after this monster chase. As has been the case in recent years the last 2 or 3 laps will come down to Eddie and 1 or 2 other survivors to battle for the win. This year it was Philippe and Eddie with the Philippe coming out on top with a very impressive win.

100K Winners, Men
100K Men's Podium
1st Place Philippe Boulard, 2nd Eddie Matzger, 3rd Matthieu Barrault

The women's field had Julie Glass the most dominant female skater in the world in attendance as well as Jilleane Rookard, Verducci's new rising superstar.  Empire was represented by Naomi Shecter a past 100K and A2A winner. As we have come to expect the finish saw Julie blasting over the line with Jilleane Rookard striding alongside her for a very impressive second place finish. Julie was heard to say the one girl in the USA at this distance she had the most respect for was the young Verducci skater. Of course if past 100K winner Cherryl Ezzell makes another comeback look out.

Matthieu, Julie and Phillippe
Matthieu Barrault, Women's 100K Winner Julie Glass, Men's 100K Winner Philippe Boulard

The NYC marathon 42K was won by USA JR World team member Chris Creveling and followed closely by his Empire teammate Darren Kauffman

The girls marathon was won by Empires Daniella Martinez closely followed by teammate Helen Havam, then 12 year old Briana Kramer of Team Florida. Could this be coach Rennee's next Britney Bowe?

There was a great show of support by the Skate Industry with Nike, Rollerblade, K2, Salomon, Powerslide, Twincam, Canarium Skates and others in attendance. We think this bodes well for the future.

Also a special thanks to our main sponsors VERDUCCI who gave so much product for the kids as well as the great people at Hyper that allowed people to walk away with armfuls of product. Labeda gave us 50 sets of wheels that the kids were clamoring over, as well as the mountians of Transpacks & snowboard bags.  Fourth Lacey, Steve Krawulski and Jay Sep were seen fighting over the red bags or was it the yellow ones? ITOEN Teas and juices who gave us truckloads of healthy sugar free teas and juices, Michelob Ultra who allowed us to celebrate with a light, low carb beer that tastes great!! Twincam, Rollerblade, K2 you name it the best of the best were on board to support our races. Bont, cliff bar,balance bar gave tons of stuff as well.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU THAT WENT OUT OF YOUR WAY

Please go to www.empirespeed.com for full results.

- Doug Fessenden 


Past 100K Winner Naomi Shecter Pulls the Pack

 


Finish Line Anticipation- Thanks to All Our Sponsors!

 


100K 2nd Place Finisher Jilleanne Rookard Pulls the Pack

 


Powerslide Customs? Hey, is that Joey Flesher?

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