Great Midwest Inline Marathon

I have to say I almost always have something fun or funny to relate after a race, but this one was something else again. After driving a touch of the course prior to race time I was wondering if I was the only one who thought they heard something about this being a flat course. I now think what was said was this was a “relatively” flat course. Relative to the Rocky Mountains, this is a real flat course. Well thank the heavens that at least the pavement was in good condition. What’s that you say? You fell in a tar snake? Well the road was in “relatively” good condition. Never mind all that, at least it’s May in Wisconsin and the temperature was cool and refreshing. Wait, what? The temperature was in the mid 80’s with equally high humidity? Yep! It was the perfect storm of conditions to make for a challenging beginning to the Midwest outdoor season.

The silver lining for me was, with almost no training this spring, I fell into a group of thinking skaters that worked together for 26 of the 26.2 miles of the race. We were; two Bob’s, one Guy, one Ken, one Denise and together we were awesome. The course was “relatively” shaped like a “P.” We skated out of town and around the loop of the “P” five times then back into town. The wind, of course, was with us while in the wooded part of the loop, so it did very little good and in our faces on the “relatively” downhill back portion of the loop. So rest was in short supply. I take it this matters little to the pro’s but to us back-packers the wind and the hills are a big deal.

Anyway, the loop was hilly but we all “knew” that the big hills were behind us once we headed back into town. WHAT? The hills were harder heading back? That’s where a snake up and bit the other Bob in our group. Luckily the next downhill was a biggin’ and Bob picked himself up, and caught up.

I think I only realized how hot it was when, upon leaving the loop, I grabbed a cup of water and instinctively threw it on myself instead of drinking it. Boy did that feel good. Sorry Denise, I think you were behind me at the time.

Anyway at the last turn there was an acceleration that I should have known was coming; I was gapped by about 5-10 feet which, according to the results, grew to whatever 2 seconds is at 16 mph. But no problem, I simply told my legs to pick it up and… and… and nothing. No back talk, no complaints, nothing. I knew what had to be done and with the wind at our backs for once, when it would do some good, my legs decided we were no longer on speaking terms. Still, I was more than happy to have finished with the folks I’m normally competitive with, and my light-headedness was nothing that two bratwursts and a couple of beers couldn’t cure.

Here’s a small portion of the racers from Team Rainbo at the event.

All joking aside, this is an awe-inspiring event, three days of racing, of which I participated in only one, with a star-studded field of skaters and it is already on my calendar for next year.

And this addition from Cale:

Thanks everyone who turned out:
Jason Claycomb….terrific effort…steady as a rock
Lorna Clegg….won a medal and was smiling when she was done
Howard Conforti …our Wisconsin member making a surprise appearance
Kris Festelhausen and family……Always fun. Thanks for helping Norbert
Frank Gilda…great effort even if he likes the White Sox
Tom Grosspietsch…..Thanks for pulling my wife!
Jana Herzagova…..a great teammate
Dean Hewson…new triathalon teamate….look out if he ever takes skating serious
Larry Kaufman…..getting better all the time
Trish Kaufman…our newest member….bummer the baby sitter didn’t show!
Jan Kopis……..Is he still skating?  🙂
Tania McCarthy….what a warrior, skating with injuries and health issues!
Michael McCarthy…..Tania’s very buff son.  hardly skates but did great!
Steve Meissinger…..Stayed with the front pack the whole way…..Our top skater….for sure!
Liz Nelson…..sorry we cut you off on that one corner
Peter Nelson…….who is this guy anyhow?
John Pierce…thanks for making the sacrifice and giving Jason your frames and me a helmet!
Jim Raccuglia….How the hell do you pronounce his last name?……..Great Job!
Jim Rickenberg……Great Job….you son of a bitch!   🙂
Bob Ryan….Always solid
Dirk Shelly…..Worked his butt off
John Shenko…our new younger skater….first race, first place in age group…..Way to go!
Herb Sherwin….always a great effort and willing to work hard
Guy Taconna….great results with not as much practice as usual
Dave Tetslaff…..Hockey Dave getting better all the time
Julie Tavoso….a marathon runner….look out if she skates more.

Signed up but didn’t make it, do to family/personal emergencys…….Dale Brauer, Brian Joyce, Linda Flanigan.   We hope everything works out okay for you guys!

……..Cale

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