|Race on the Base 10k
Los Alamitos, CA - Feb. 26, 2005
The pavement was better than most races, and there were no intersections
or curbs to worry about. There was practically infinite width in most
parts, and even the finish chute was much longer and wider than at most
races. Last year the finish was a little narrow so it was great to see
the improvement this year.
There was plenty of room for warm up, and it was possible to skate the
course itself as a warm-up, which I did. The race started on time, with
the front row the usual mix of top skaters and fearless little kids.
The start pace was moderate so the lead group had maybe 30 people. One
lady said to her friend something like "here's my big chance" and
sprinted her way to the front of the race, raised her arms over her
head, and cheered herself for temporarily leading! It was great to see
people not taking racing too seriously.
As we made a turn into the wind the pace began to pick up and the size
of the pack slowly dimished. It seemed apparent that the real race
would between the top two women, Peggy Girgenti (sp?) and Jenny
Armstrong. The men's race did not have the same clear rivalry from my
perspective. Early on Peggy was fairly aggressive, always jumping on
when one of the men made a move and taking her share of pulls. Jenny
always kept Peggy close and was also skating strong.
Many times someone would break from the pack, and then either drift back
or be chased down. The chases were short, and always led by a single
individual, not the pack working together. Scott Swaney, Johnathan
Settuer, and Mike Chevedden were some of the people who made short
breaks. I didn't attempt any myself, but did lead the chase a couple
At about the 4 mile mark, Scott Swaney pulled away, but we let him go.
He stayed within striking distance for awhile, but eventually took a
commanding lead. I made an effort to bridge up to him, and was closing
the gap, but then lost my rhythm going wide around a puddle on a corner,
while the pack behind me took the turn tight, through the water. I'd
pretty much used up what energy I had, so just hung on for the next
Scott won in 18:53 or so, and the rest of the men and leading women
sprinted about 10 seconds behind him. Peggy outsprinted Jenny, unlike
their sprint at Redondo. I didn't have much in my legs, & was able to
pass a 13-year old kid, but not the 53 year old man to my right. Here
are the top 12 results. What I find truly remarkable is that men,
women, boys, girls, old young, big, and small can all compete head to
head in this sport. I've never seen anything like it in other sports.
The awards ceremony was fun since there was a big stage and a good
announcer. I got an age group plaque (1st, Men 36-45). The announcer
kept thanking the inline skaters for coming, and asked us to bring more
people next year. The race was safe, well run, fun, and reasonably
priced. So I hope everyone reading this will plan on entering next year.