Las Vegas Inline Skate Challenge
Las Vegas, NV - Dec. 5, 1999     T   P   S  
San Diego Street Elite

The Las Vegas Inline Skate Challenge on December 5, 1999 was one of the few outdoor races ever to be held in that city. It was comfortably cool that morning, with temperatures warming from the upper 40s to the mid 50s. The strong desert wind the day before had calmed for the sunny start. Still, only about 50 skaters lined up to go.

The race was held in Summerlin, a suburb northwest of downtown and the Strip. The 3.7mi course started with a long but gradual uphill climb followed by a long and gradual downhill. The return to the start/finish was another long but gradual uphill climb. You can't find asphalt smoother than this course.

Skaters quickly formed a single paceline coming out of the first turn in the mass start of the half marathon. Knowing that most Vegas skaters are indoor skaters, Dana Bergman decided to test their outdoor skills by taking off as the first hill began. I chased and the two of us formed a gap from the pack. But we didn't let up there. We kept hammering the first of four laps, including the fast long downhill.

Our gap kept lengthening to the point where we were out of sight. Dana and I worked together all the way to the final sprint. Unfortunately, on the last turn Dana slipped, allowing me to cross the finish line standing up.

In the two-lap 10k, we played the same game, except this time a young indoor skater tried to keep up with Dana and I. We helped him along by not allowing him to drop. It was nice, but I knew it was not strategic for me. Dana outsprinted the both of us at the end and I settled for 3rd.

Julie Glass (Verducci) won both women's races, followed closely behind by Peggy Tillinghast.

Andy Pele, the only other member from SDSE, beat out competitors from Predator Speed of Phoenix. Not bad considering that we had watched the sun rise both mornings in Vegas, one of which was not after a night of sleep.

This race was well-organized with timely results and lots of prizes. Police support from the city was excellent. SDSE will definitely be back next year for another opportunity to race in Las Vegas.


Copyright © 1999 - San Diego Street Elite