Run of the Mill
Tempe, AZ - April 11, 1999     T   P   S  
San Diego Street Elite

The Run of the Mill 8k in Tempe, AZ Sunday 4/11 was very similar to last month's Mayo Corporate Challenge since it was produced by the same event promoter. Once again the weather was perfect that morning -- sunny, light winds, with temperatures aroung 60. Close to 200 skaters lined up for the 7:50am start.

The key feature of the Run of the Mill is its start and finish in the commercial street-shopping district of Tempe right by the ASU campus. The course was modified due to road construction on Rio Salado, where most of last year's route ran. This year's course formed a rectangle, smooth and very fast on the way out, not as smooth with a slight headwind on the way back. Skating the course beforehand was a must to identify road hazards and the narrow finish line, past a set of railroad tracks and around a turn. Cones marking off the single closed lane were the biggest nuisance.

Anxious skaters false-started this race, but the whistle blew anyways. The U-turn 400m in and the slow return through Mill Ave. allowed skaters to get back into their usual positions. Tim Wright of Phoenix, who had been out in front, led all the way through Mill and part way down University Ave. From then on lead changes occurred frequently for the rest of the race.

Each turn was a challenge since skaters had to negotiate cones and construction signs. Towards the end of the race the lead pack was reduced to Aaron Johnson (Hyper/Ski Pro), Craig Garcia of Wichita, a friend of his (whose name I've forgotten), Michael Owen (Predator), Joe Prescott (SDSE), and me (Howard). I had met Craig from a race in St. Louis and at last November's Phoenix New Times 10k. I could tell that he and his teammate were up to no good.

Sure enough, about 500m from the end Craig made a break around his friend who had been pulling. I had called his move and had already sprinted around him on the other side to his surprise. He quickly caught up and passed me. Approaching the finish line, Aaron and I had intended to cut inside on the last turn, but unfortunately spectators on the course prevented this. Craig and his teammate outpowered us, taking 1st and 2nd. I finished 3rd, followed by Aaron, Mike, and Joe.

Nikki Diamantopoulos (Salomon/Ski Pro) won the the women's race as usual. Our own Pamela Chyba finished well within the top 10 with the new frames she had just acquired the same week. Since this race was a "non-scored" event, finishing times and positions were not recorded.

Thanks to Team Predator for hosting us every time we go to Phoenix for racing. Hopefully we'll be able to return the favor next month for the Skate Competition at the San Diego Velodrome, put together by SDSE and the Southern California Velodrome Association. Check the SDSE web site for details at

Also, space is still available for the Eddy Matzger Clinic coming to San Diego the weekend of 4/23. Check the SDSE web site for details or Eddy's home page at


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