Inline racing is full of surprises, and nowhere was that more evident than the 2nd Annual Walt Disney World Inline Marathon on May 2, 2004.
Breaking away solo from the women's Pro Elite/Masters pack at mile 17, TEAM SAFE Masters skater Kim Perkins was the first Pro woman across the line in 1:29:40. TEAM SAFE's Sara Sayasane finished 7th and Aimee Sanderson 10th in a highly competitive field sprint; Scott Wolf, like most of the Pro Men's field, took multiple tumbles and still finished 12th; Dana Eads took 12th in a Men's Masters field packed with talent; in the Advanced, or Open, division, SAFE skaters Christine Van Hunnik and Donna Shelton handily won their age groups, with Dennis Cummings taking 2nd in his.
With more than 2000 skaters, The Disney Marathon is one of the top US marathons, attracting Pro skaters from all over the US and South America. So if! the times seem slow, it's for good reason: the Disney course is built for challenge, not speed, with the wide, smooth road straightaways of the start/finish areas giving way to narrow brick and boardwalk paths full of tight turns as the course winds through the theme park.
Though skies were clear at race time, the previous night's thunderstorms had left the twisty boardwalk sections of the course as slippery as greased ice, and in tight packs, one falling skater can take out several competitors.
The Pro Men's Race
Joey Mantia won the field in 1:19.35, followed by Dane Lewis and KC Boutiette. Within the first few miles, the pack took a wrong turn, causing them to double back through a narrow area and crash into skaters going the other way. KC Boutiette and BONT's John Howe got in some early attacks, and a huge portion of the field went down at least once in the slippery boardwalk areas. In the final sprint, as the pack threaded through a minefield of in! dividual recreational skaters going half their speed, there wasn't much room for passing, so, as Wolf put it, "Wherever you were in the lead up to the sprint, that's where you were at the finish."
The Pro Women's Race
At Disney, as at Long Beach and other highly competitive marathons, the Pro Masters women start in the same wave as the Pro Elite women, and share teammates, tactics and pacelines.
As the Elites waited to duke it out at the end, most of the attacks came from the Masters group. Peggy Girgenti initiated a flyer on the first lap, chased only by BONT's Debbie Rice, but the pack reeled them in. On the second lap, as the group hit the curvy park section, Perkins sneaked off the front. With TEAM SAFE skaters Sanderson and Sayasane helping to hold the pack back, Perkins quickly got out of sight. The gap closed in the straightaways of the final miles as Perkins fought the headwind alone. The pace motorcycle disappeared during the first lap, leaving bot! h Perkins and the pack to make wrong turns. Perkins lost time doubling back after a wrong turn, while a quarter of the field also took a wrong turn in the final sprint. Nonetheless, Perkins finished solo in a chip time of 1:29:40. The women's Pro and Masters field arrived 24 seconds later, with Elite skater Cecilia Baena winning the field sprint in 1:30:04; followed by Kelly Gunther and Heather Elliot. BONT-sponsored skaters swept the women's Masters' podium, with Debbie Rice 2nd in 1:30:06 and Conny Strub one second later. TEAM SAFE's Mechele Busby finished with the leaders to take 5th in 1:30:13.
The Pro Masters Men's Race
If the crazy first lap through the park whittled the lead pack, the second lap put the hurt on, with Chris Adams, Norm Kirby and Patrick Naylor all attacking hard inside the park, Dennis Humphries and Max Ivenitsky chasing them down. TEAM SAFE skater Eads attacked in the final straightaways, but Adams would eventually win the field sprint! in 1:22:23, with Kirby and Naylor close behind.
TEAM SAFE skated on BONT's new Invasion Generation 2 wheels -- visit www.bont.com.
ABOUT TEAM SAFE Team Safe is a professional inline skating team sponsored by SAFE Financial Corporation and Bont Skates. TEAM SAFE's 2004 roster includes Arica Armitage, Dan Christman, Critter Crittenden, Dennis Cummings, Dana Eads, Nastassia Hamor, Haley Galbraith, Paul Lomangino, Tom McCue, Kim Perkins, Aimee Sanderson, Paul Sargenti, Sara Sayasane, Donna Shelton, Brian Talley, Christine Vanhunnik, and Scott Wolf.
L-R: Conny Strub, Kim Perkins and Debbie Rice
Donna Shelton and Chrisy Grudzien
Tracy Hall, Christine Van Hunnik and Jacqui Studley
TEAM SAFE RESULTS
DISNEY INLINE MARATHON
12. Scott Wolf 1:19:39
27. Dan Christman 1:23:28
39. Brian Talley 1:31.11
PRO MASTERS MEN
12. Dana Eads 1:22:35
28. Paul Lomangino 1:29:10
7. Sara Sayasane 1:30.06
10. Aimee Sanderson 1:30:09
25. Arica Armitage 1:34:25
PRO MASTERS WOMEN
1. Kim Perkins 1:29.40
5. Mechele Busby 1:30.13
1st, Women 25-29: Christine Van Hunnik 1:32:20
1st, Women 55-59: Donna Shelton 1:32:23
7th, Men 45-49: Glenn Crittenden 1:32:24
2nd, Men 55-59: Dennis Cummings 1:33:34
7th, Women 13-18: Nastassia Hamor 1:36.10
12th, Men 55-59: Tom McCue 1:47.53
5th, Men 55-59: Paul Sargenti 58:02 (half marathon)
For more information about Team SAFE, cont! act Dan Christman at [email protected]