Corporate Challenge 8k
Scottsdale, AZ - March 4, 2000     T   P   R   S  
San Diego Street Elite

The day was perfect if not just a little warm. The course was mostly the same as last year with the exception of the U-turn being moved a little further down the street. This was done so as to eliminate the sharp right turn just before the finish. I was the sole representative of the SDSE team and was to defend the teams victory of last year. This was an uphill battle even before the event started because of the sheer numbers of the "Predators" racing that day. Howard who was still recovering from his broken foot was the man hoping that I could once again bring home the victory to San Diego. Eric Kraan from Texas was out here alone and also knew the feeling of anxiety by not having any other team members to work with.

The race started out fast with Jeff Neal taking the lead and myself hanging on to his draft. We took the first right turn a little easy to avoid the chalk arrow. As we started aroung the Mayo Clinic we were still going hard as it came my turn to pull I could already feel that my mouth had completely dried out due to the warm day and low humidity. I was not pulling as hard as Jeff and I was really thinking that I should have had my water with me. Larry Griese came along and the lead pack now was the three of us.

Jeff took another hard pull and it was hurting me. Larry also looked a little stressed. I was doing my pull as we turned back onto the main road. There was a noticable headwind at this point. The pull rotation had worked out to be Jeff, Larry, and me.

Jeff was in control of the pack at this point and I could tell that he was just waiting for the right time to breakaway. He had offered that we thae 15 stroke pulls and I was eager for the shorter pulls. But Larry must have not understood... he started counting both feet and pulled off at 7 (sure!...). I could tell that Jeff was likely to drop me but Larry had me bluffed by taking slow pulls. After the 2 1/2 mile point I had just finished a hard pull and had pulled to the side when Jeff made his break. It was perfectly timed so that I hadn't the energy to stay with him and I fell behind. Larry was doing his best to keep up but only succeded in gaining a little distance on me before falling off of Jeffs draft. Jeff kept gaining distance through most of the race and finished way ahead of us. He's an ANIMAL!!!

Meanwhile back at the losers struggle, I had caught up to Larry and was busy pulling his sorry A-- back to the finish line. He was milking it all the way.. I seem to remember a little lesson on team tactics that Howard and I had taught them at this race last year.

Well this time the skates were on the other foot. Larry would do a slow pull and I would do a fast pull, all the while more "Predators" were gaining on us. I couldn't wait for them to catch us so I would pull hard. I tried to shake Larry off of my drafT but he had his radar latched onto me and wouldn't fall back.. He had a nice ride on my A-- right up to the finish line where he then jumped out around me and got by me easily for the finish. I took third place.

Back in the rest of the race there was Eric. He was in a pack next to Hunter. Hunter had crashed into a "cone" and picked up a good sized helping of roadrash earlier in the race. Eric and Hunter both came into the U-turn but Hunter was running a little hot and didn't quite hold it through the turn. Eric made it out fine but Hunter hit the curb and landed on her shoulder and picked up a double dose of roadrash hash!. She is truly an animal, She got right back up and continued the race. She finished 3 in her age...The next day X-Rays showed no broken bones. She still beat me at a game of Air Hockey... She is an ANIMAL!!

Overall the race was a great success everyone came out of it a little bit wiser, or at least I did. The "Predators" were most gracious in their win and didn't rub it in (anymore than they could). The SDSE thank Mark and Michelle for their hospitality and for putting us up, or putting up with us.

Joe Prescott

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