|St. Paul Inline Marathon
St. Paul, MN - Aug. 21, 2005
The course was 1.5 laps along a divided highway, with a turn off of
it for a few blocks to the finish in downtown St. Paul. The divided
highway was completely closed with two lanes in each direction.
Pavement was mostly smooth varying from new concrete, new asphalt,
and older asphalt. There were a few gently rolling hills to test
climbing skills, but nothing major. An excellent course overall.
The men's pro field consisted of around 50 skaters. Although some of
the top skaters were away for Worlds, the competition was still
there. Some veterans of the sport present included Adam Miller, Eddy
Matzger, and KC Boutiette. Surprisingly, for a race this size, the
start was uneventful and without fanfare.
Shortly after the start, a group of about six or seven skaters broke
away from the main pack. Although the pace was high, the skaters
were content in letting the chase pack catch up before the first
Once back together, another group of five or six skaters, two each
from Bont and Hyper, immediately went on super-fast break. After the
first U-turn they had built up a sizeable gap. The chase pack did
not attempt to catch, but kept a high pace to keep the gap in
This continued for the next full lap. Until about three miles to go,
the chase pack finally gobbled up the leaders. It all came down to
the final sprint for the 15 skaters. In the end, Bret Whitman
(Hyper) came out victorious, with Dane Lewis (Hyper) second and Adam
Miller (Simmons) third.
The Pro Masters men and Pro Vet men each had their own start. But
midway into the race they caught each other. Jim Bourgeois won the
Pro Masters and Fred Scheer won the Pro Vet.
The women's race was competitive as well. The 45-minute later start
meant that the wind was a bigger factor as it picked up in the
morning. In the final sprint, there were four skaters left in the
lead pack. Jessica Smith and Cecilia Baena, both of Hyper, came in
first and second, followed by Kimberly Derrick, third. Peggy
Girgenti decided to race Pro instead of Pro Masters and finished
right behind the top three. Naomi Schecter won the women's Pro
The St. Paul Inline Marathon was a well-organized event on par with
the Northshore Marathon, just smaller. There was a nice expo the
previous day at packet pickup and the finish line was very festive.
The course was first-class with a few gentle hills to break up the
packs. Combined with all of the excellent trails to skate in the
Twin Cities, the St. Paul Inline Marathon is an excellent and
affordable race to travel to.