Capital Racing Series Race 2
Trade Zone— Upper Marlboro, MDSunday, June 12, 2005
Criterium: 30 Minutes + 2 Laps
It was a pity that the new Capital Racing Series second race didn't attract the same numbers as its first race. The day turned out to be near balmy, hot but not nearly as humid as earlier in the week, and with a modest breeze. For spectators there were well-groomed lawns and shady pine groves for staying cool and comfortable. Perhaps the lower than hoped for turnout was due to other regional races, or maybe due to the uncommon-in-US-skating criterium format. The club is considering not using criteriums for future events, at least until a larger more evenly matched group of racers can be fielded.
The race site at the Trade Zone office park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland was a triangular 1.35 mile loop on blocked off roads. It had some ups and downs, none too steep. The pavement was generally decent with only a couple of short rougher spots.
Ten skaters left the line aggressively, and the race stratified quickly. The lead group -- Jose Escobar, Mark Grabowicz, and Joe Webber -- pulled well ahead by the end of the first two laps. The next skaters were Steve Dawson and Ron Tucker, followed by Mike Carlos and Rico Boswell, then Chris Wilson, Kent Gunlicks, and Jim Sheperd. The heat took its toll in the later laps and skaters were gladly taking on extra water as they passed the officials tent. Unfortunately, a botched handoff left Jose dry until his next time around. Mark, right on Jose's tail, almost made a highlight reel catch of the dropped bottle, but he too had to wait another lap for a drink. Lesson learned: always have a bottle ready to hand off to skaters. Mark had been able to stay right with Jose until the last lap when Jose pulled away beating Mark by several hundred yards. Of course Jose hawked the line anyway!
Final order of finish: Jose Escobar, Mark Grabowicz, Joseph Webber, Ron Tucker, Kent Gunlicks, Steve Dawson, Rico Boswell, Chris Wilson, Michael Carlos, and Jim Sheperd.
The Advanced/Fitness race began smoothly as the five skaters were a bit unsure on how to approach this criterium. The pack stayed together for an easy first three laps, with racers coming forward to take the lead. Unfortunately, I fell off the pace quite soundly after that encouraging beginning. This left four in the lead group, with Bob and Maureen pushing the pace. Colleen came off the pack a lap later after developing some breathing problems. I caught her as she was standing up trying to get some air. She toughed it out and hung on to finish. One more lap saw Don standing up straighter and slowing down. I finally overtook him on lap five or six. But any hope of re-catching the leaders faded as Bob's and Maureen's by now 400 meters lead kept increasing. The finish had Bob edging out Maureen.
Final order: Bob Parillo, Maureen Harrington, Dan Radovsky, Don Oswald, and Colleen Allen.
Race series administrator Rodney Grabinski did a great job of marking off the few potentially dangerous spots and organizing race helpers. Diane Koher and John Fox helped guide and encourage racers at the corners. Michelle Brown and Flora got everyone registered in an efficient and good-natured way. Bob Parillo and Ron Tucker swept the course and placed cones. And Steve Dawson brought cases of water and free Red Bull for everyone. A special mention has to be made about the salty oat cookies brought by Michelle from her Teaism restaurant. Not only are they about the best tasting cookies in the world, they also seem to be about 100mm in diameter, for you big wheel fans. And they were free too.
Too many skaters missed out by not attending. Don't let the next Capital Racing Series event pass you by.
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