Run for Shelter 10k
Pasadena, CA - May 13, 2000     T   P   R   S  
San Diego Street Elite

The course was run differently this time. It was two laps around the block with the start and finish located on an inner driveway. The race starts heading up toward the parking area and takes an exit on to the main road. The first half of the lap is slightly up hill and the second half is slightly down hill. The direction of travel was counter-clockwise and was against traffic.

The course was not closed and the street was open to car traffic. There was heavy runner and walker traffic. Most skaters reported at least some trouble with cars. Only the lead skater had police escort and after that, cars were entering and leaving driveways as normal. Car traffic had no idea that there was a race but they generally apeared to give us the road.

At the main enterance to the Rose Bowl there are two driveways, one for entering and one for exiting. The start/finish line was at the top of the "enter" drive and it then loops around and exits. There are other drives that continue to other parking areas also. At the street, the two driveways are about 30 feet apart. During the race, the racers must pass the drive on the first lap and enter the second drive on the last lap to reach the finish. This needed to be noticed.

At the start of the race Joe Flesher of Verducci took off with a tremendous double pushing sprint. I was doing my best so I could rate my sprint against his. after 1/4 mile he was at least 100 feet ahead of me and showed no signs of droping back to draft off of me. I was alone out in no-mans land and decided to keep up the battle for second a little longer. I ended up doing one whole lap alone and was grateful when a pack of three finally reeled me in. By then Joe Flesher was out of sight.

I didn't get too much rest in that pack. They were working a good rotation and when my turn came to pull I hadn't caught my breath yet and pulled to the back. On the back side of the second lap we picked up speed as we traveled down the slight hill. I took a turn pulling and then headed to the rear for a little breather before the inevitable sprint.

As we aproached the second to last turn the break happened as one of the skaters got a 10 foot jump. We went hard to try to catch him. As we came around the corner (in maximum chase mode) we were confronted by several cars stopped in the middle of our lane trying to turn into the parking lot. We all had visions of strangling some poor race promoter at that point. A quick moving person moved one of the barricades so we could continue without having to fully stop but the breakaway was wasted and now it was a dead even sprint toward the finish.

The next turn would be up the drive toward the finish where Joe Flesher had been waiting for about a minute and a half. We were a pack of sprinters going for all we had when the guy in front turned up the first drive (the wrong drive). Two others, hot on his tail followed, I was confused for a moment but continued toward the second drive and the finish line. As I sprinted up the drive I could see the others parallel to me and their reaction of pure frustration upon realizing their situation. I continued up and finished second. They were disqualified but I know that they were looking stronger than me at that point.

Brandon finished very strong and took first in his age and AJ having done a U turn to avoid cars (in the same corner), finished first overall female. Alice had a good race but also had trouble staying on the course.

I like these small time races but there has to be more consideration for the safety of the skaters. This race should not have happened on an open street. This is a great course and the streets have been closed in the past. I encourage them to have the race next year. I might suggest that if the promoter is unfamiliar with having a skating race, that he contact one of the local racing teams for help with the details. All teams are eager to further the sport in a safe and exciting way.

Joe Prescott

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