|Corporate Challenge 8k
Scottsdale, AZ - March 2, 2002
The course remained the same as in previous years. It was an out-and-back
course with a loop around the Mayo Clinic hospital on the way out. Pavement
was very smooth on the level terrain. The strong wind was a cross-wind for
most of the way.
Since this was a small event, most competitors were from Phoenix or Tucson.
The start was fast as the lead men attempted to immediately separate
themselves from the rest of the group. A pack of five skaters formed going
into the Mayo Clinic. This portion was very fast due to the tailwind.
In the loop, the lead pack nearly collided into the pace vehicles when a
stray car wandered onto the course. This split the lead pack up as the
skaters passed both the police cruiser and the motorcycle cop. Luckily,
nobody crashed and the race resumed after a brief slow-down.
After exiting the Mayo Clinic loop, Jeff Neal (AIR) attempted to wear down
the pack via interval sprints. In fact, he pulled quite a bit in order to
do so. It was partially successful as three skaters were left together for
the final sprint.
Keith Henry (Tucson) thought he was beaten. But when Jeff Neal and Kevin
Puhlman clicked skates, Keith sprinted hard and hawked at the line for the
victory. Kevin finished second and Jeff third. Joe Prescott and Howard Yeh
of SDSE finished together fifth and sixth, both first in each of their age
In the women's race, Michelle Gaylor (Predator) took the win well ahead of
her closest competitor. Florence Wilson (Tucson) and Emily van Wallinghen
(Tucson) finished second and third, respectively.
The Corporate Challenge continues to be a well-organized local event that
was a lot of fun.