|Napa Valley Inline Marathon
Calistoga, CA - June 20, 2004
This race has come a long way in its 11-year history. D Miles of
CORA, the event's organizer, now has the support of the Napa Valley
board, local residents, and the CHP.
This year's course started and ended at the Silver Rose winery near
Calistoga. 13.1 miles of the Silverdo Trail was to be completely
closed for the event. Unfortunately, a new member of the county
board almost derailed the race. To compromise, D offered to close
only half of the originally proposed (and approved) closure, making
the marathon two laps instead of one. This was immediately approved
with that new member casting the lone dissenting vote.
The race started out fast. The 6.6-mile section that we skated was
also the hilliest section of the Silverado Trail. One of the
downhills was long and slightly winding, although not excessively
fast. The first time down it the lead skater thought we weren't
coasting fast enough and initiated a full pack sprint downhill. The
place slowed down after the first U-turn.
The marathon came down to a battle of two teams: Team Safe and Salt
Creek Mortgage. Team Safe had more people who kept going on breaks:
Dan Christman, Dana Eads, Brian Talley, and Scott Wolf. Salt Creek
Mortgage only had Troy Atwell and Phil Mullin, who kept covering,
but were strong enough to hold their own. There were a few other
independent skaters in the group, myself included.
The lead men's pack was unusually sporty. After each U-turn
everybody slowed down to re-group. A few skaters fell over a large
pothole on both laps and the other skaters practically stopped to
allow them to catch back up. Unfortunately, Chris Adams dropped out
after his fall on the first lap.
It became apparent that the group was going to stay together until
the final sprint. Brian Talley broke ahead of the pack, but not at
a super-fast fly-by pace. Phil Mullin covered just in case. The
rest of the group sat behind expecting a the pack sprint to swallow
It never happened. The group just continued along at an easy pace
almost all the way to the finish. Brian Talley successfully held
off Phil Mullin for the win. In the late and short pack sprint,
Dan Christman finished third, followed by Scott Wolf and Troy
Atwell. I finished seventh.
Among the women, the top was a battle between defending champion
Kimberly Perkins and Jenni Armstrong. Kimberly usually skates with
the lead men's pack and did so in this race. Unfortunately, a few
miles into the race Kimberly had an equipment problem which forced
her to stop temporarily in order to fix it. Jenni passed Kimberly
at that time. Starting up again, Kimberly was now skating alone
and was unable to bridge the gap between her and Jenni. Jenni
crossed the finish line uncontested for the victory.
Congratulations to SDSE skaters who participated in the Napa Valley
Inline Marathon: Leondra Baker and Anjanette Comer finished first
and third in their age categories, respectively. Carl and Tara Yee
and Joe Prescott finished respectably as well as our newest member,
Greg Hernandez-Rodriguez. Brandon Thorsten was out due to an
injury, but he and Carole Christianson were present for support and
to take photos.
D Miles has worked hard over the years to keep the Napa Valley
Inline Marathon going. He now has the support of practically
everybody in the area, so expect this event to grow into a major
race. Check out the front page of the Napa Valley Register the day
after the race on the CORA website at http://www.cora.org. Fun was
had by all.