|Harbor Foot Pursuit 15k
San Pedro, CA - July 23, 2005
The skate course was two laps of an out-and-back route, starting
and ending at Point Fermin Park. Most of it was along W. Paseo
Del Mar, a scenic road running along the cliffs above the Pacific
Ocean. At the far end, the course proceeded through a residential
neighborhood. The U-turn at both ends were wide, visibly marked,
and not a problem. The only other turn on the course was in and
out of the residential neighborhood. The pavement was mostly
smooth. Total elevation change was less than ten feet. An
excellent racing course.
The start was nice and uneventful, due to light attendance and
the wide road. Quickly, the lead pack consisting of around ten
skaters formed, pulling away from the rest of the field. Each
person took their turn pulling before dropping off to the back
of the pack. About a mile into the course, the LAPD had set up
a "Your Speed Is" sign, which read 17mph when we passed it. At
the far-end, the pack stayed together in good sportsmanship
around the U-turn.
On the way back, it was obvious that some of the skaters in the
lead pack did not want to pull. As the lead skater attempted to
pull off, the pack simply fanned out. Towards the end of the
first lap, I decided to test the pack by going on a flyer.
Sergio Dantes was the only one who gave chase. Upon seeing this,
I picked up the pace until he found himself stuck in the hole.
The chase pack sped up and caught him quickly, but did not
attempt to pass him with the upcoming U-turn.
I powered through the U-turn and kept the pace high. Eventually
I found my gap quite substantial that I was able to rest. I went
on the flyer as a test of the pack and did not expect to hold
the gap the entire race. I had fun with the "Your Speed Is" sign
again, and then settled down and kept a careful eye on the chase
At one point the main pack surged in an attempt to catch.
Somewhat rested, I picked up the pace to prolong the flyer.
Carl Yee (SDSE) found his way to the front of the pack to block
and slow them down. At that point I decided to make the effort
to stay away the rest of the race.
The chase pack was able to see me for most of the route. They
could gauge the distance of the gap at the far-end U-turn.
However, I gambled that the skaters in the main pack wouldn't
be organized enough to give chase and powered all the way.
With less than a mile to go, I was pretty certain of my victory
and I eased through the finish line.
For the chase pack, it came down to the final sprint. Peggy
Girgenti (Bont) outsprinted them all to be the first place
woman. Following Peggy was Jonathan Seutter, third, and Neal
Lucey (LA Speed), fourth place overall. Carl finished eighth
place overall. Also in attendance from SDSE were Brandon
Thorsten, Michael Leventhal, and Carole Christianson for
Overall the LAPD Harbor Foot Pursuit was a very nice race. Its
small size is due to it being a new event and its light promotion.
The event is very promising and could use better support from the
skating community. The course, being scenic and completely flat,
is excellent for beginners and seasoned racers. Thanks to Audrey
Winthrop for coordinating the skate race.
Hope to see more skaters at the starting line next year. Even LA
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa did the 5k run. If you weren't there,
you missed out!