Cactus Classic
Tucson, AZ - Nov. 7, 1999     T   P   R   S  
San Diego Street Elite

The Cactus Classic III Marathon took place in Sahuarita, 20 miles (30km) south of Tucson, on November 7, 1999. About 100 skaters competed in the marathon and half-marathon races. The weather was comforatble -- mostly cloudy with temperatures in the upper 60s (20C) throughout the race.

This year's course was the most challenging in the race's history. The first half of the road race climbed gradually with lots of up-and-down dips over moderate-to-rough pavement. This included a screamer rough downhill with a curve. Then we turned onto a straight, gradual decent on smooth pavement that was fast. The race finished with a killer 3-mile gradual hill climb.

The starting line was moved up past a rough railroad crossing. After the initial crowd thinned out, the lead pack settled into a single paceline. Chad Hedrick (FILA/Verducci) played around taking several solo flyers and then settling back into the pack. The race slowed even more as skaters turned onto a rougher road about 5 miles into the race.

This rough section broke the pack into several groups as Chad took off. A group of skaters from Colorado gave chase. Andy Pele (SDSE) and I dropped from the second chase pack formed by Dana Bergman, Dana Eads (Bont), Ed Wachter, and Michael Weitze (BSI). That second chase pack eventually caught some of the stragglers from the first pack.

Chad finished well ahead the chase packs. Andy and I maintained a high pace to keep our position secure, taking 10th and 11th. Bob Minami finished first in his age group. Jay Smith and Joe Prescott also took the challenge, finishing respectably.

Julie Glass (FILA/Verducci) took the women's marathon in a separate pack from the rest. Our own Sandra de Bruyn finished 3rd overall female. Alice Eads also finished first in her age group. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to see Nikki Diamantopoulos (Salomon) in action, out due to a crash a few days earlier.

Thanks also to Debbie Rangel, on the DL, for going out to support our team. SDSE was the largest out-of-state team represented, with almost as many skaters as Predator Speed (Phoenix) and the Tucson In-Line Sk8 Club.


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