|Run of the Mill
Tempe, AZ - April 11, 1999
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