|Silver Strand Half Marathon
Coronado, CA - Nov. 14, 2004
All athletes competed on the same half marathon course, starting on
Coronado Island. After passing the historic Hotel del Coronado, racers
proceed south on the Silver Strand, a narrow strip of land that separates
the San Diego Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Upon entering the community of
Imperial Beach, skaters made a few turns through residential streets
before doing an out-and-back loop on the Naval Radio Receiving Facility.
This was a unique opportunity to pass through a coastal property that is
otherwise closed to the general public. The final stretch was long, wide,
and straight with the finish line in front of the Imperial Beach Pier.
Maximum rise on the course was no more than 20 feet.
The inline race began with a mass start. Skaters started at a moderate
pace and grouped into a single paceline. After turning onto the Silver
Strand, the games began. Bont skaters Jordan Nelson and Norm Kirby took
turns launching attacks and keeping the overall pace above 25 miles per
hour for the next three miles. Skaters dropped off one by one and Randy
Bowman (Pyro) was the only one to hold on.
Randy was in a difficult situation against Jordan and Norm. He was forced
to cover each and every attack that the Bont skaters attempted if he was
to have a chance at the win. Around mile six Randy decided to launch his
own attack. Jordan chased, but Norm, having just come off of a pull, was
tired and dropped.
However, the game wasn't over because Randy was forced to pull almost the
entire rest of the race. Jordan wouldn't cooperate because any chance to
slow down would allow his teammate Norm to catch back up. The two skaters
stayed together into the final sprint. In the end, Jordan came out
victorious in a time of 37:17 just ahead of Randy. Norm finished solo for
third place around a minute later.
Among the women, Stacey Eldridge (Bont) was able to maintain a higher
pace than all of her competitors. She stayed in a pack ahead of the other
female skaters the entire race to take the win in 43:55. Gianna Guerino
and Sandra Miller finished second and third, repsectively, a few minutes
Despite the dry road conditions and what appeared to be a faster pace,
this year's finishing times did not break the course records set in
2003. Last year's strong tailwind accounted for the difference. Randy
Bowman holds the record of 36:18 for the men. Mechele Busby, who was not
able to make this year's race, holds the record for the women at 40:46.
Koz Enterprises added inline skating to the Silver Strand Half Marathon
last year and warmly welcomed skaters. Increased skating attendance gives
hope for the future of our sport. We look forward to next year's race,
and hopefully more inline events in San Diego.