Metrodome, post race

First of all, The Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Department can kiss my arse!…I’m sure Kevin Shenko would agree. We both received unfair speeding citations supposedly, clocked by mysterious airplanes, helicopters, ufo’s? It does’nt matter….it was a bad start to a race weekend.

Trish, Violet and I arrived later in the evening and went directly to the “Dome” so I could test out some wheels, I finally settled on the trusty “Black Tracks” which are nearly 5 years old. Last year I was “sold” by Adam’s Inline the Atom Fly’s(Trix) which he claimed his team was using…which they were’nt! After side by side testing, the Fly’s just do not have the roll the Black Tracks do. Look for a set of 100’s and 110’s on e-bay very soon!

All three of us were very tired and hungry so we checked into our suite at the Normandy Inn. The Suite was very very nice and perfect for the three of us….If we get back, I’ll opt for the suite from now on, it was only an extra $30 and well worth it. We decided to eat at the resturaunt in the hotel which also turned out to be a pleasant suprise….they have a very nice menu with some interesting fare that looked delicious Being the night before a race I could not indulge myself, but, I would like to go back and try something interesting.

That morning I stuck to my normal race morning routine….up early (very early), coffee, peanut butter on rice cake, etc. last year I was very dissapointed with my results at Metrodome, I had prepared, but still skated poorly. This year I stuck to my preparation but changed my taper a little, I was also a lot less uptight about the race this year…..I left Trisha and Vi in the suite and headed to the “Dome” to get ready (Trisha and Vi enjoyed the pool, then walked to the “Dome” to watch the racing).

I felt abnormally calm before the start, I made some small talk with team mates and skater friends, warmed-up a bit, then it was time to stage and GO.

Last year I started too fast, and tried too many times to “catch” a “good” group, I got strung out and “red-lined” and needed to recover (which is bad during a race), the result was a poor showing.

This year I resolved to “wait” until the right group came to me. When it did, I was able to get in and skate instead of just hanging on for life. I ended up skating a 1-16″ which I was pleased with since I have been unable to break the 1-20″ mark at the “Dome” and it was one of my goals this year. I got faster as the race went on and placed 14th in the Pro Division….from what I can see I would have gotten 3rd in my age category…..Pro Master 40-49.

Steve O, John Shenko, and Edgar all skated great and posted really fast times. Edgar, posted an unbelievable performance considering his experience. All the Rainbo skaters were, as usual, just great on the course….congrats to all.

After I finished the individual race, I gathered my stuff and went back to the suite to shower, rest and get ready for the TTT. This was the third year I had opted to do the “double” and kind of new what I needed to do to get ready.

We had assembled an awesome Rainbo Team for the TTT! (Note that 2 of the 5 members are part of the Chicagoland Jewish Speedskaters Collective, for which t-shirts will be available!)

The Rainbo TTT consisted of me, Trisha, Guy, Bob Ryan, and Tom G. We actually practiced for a few minutes at our last Orbit Skate and reviewed our objectives….
1. Finish together, no matter what.
2. Try not to finish last.

There were 10 Teams registered for the TTT, a random draw put us starting 5th, right behind the “all ladies”, Speed Revolution Team. In the first two laps, we caught and Passed Speed Revolution, hopefully this would set us up to meet out second objective, unfortunately, marathons are just that…..marathons.

Team Rainbo skated with the grace and form as one would expect. Trisha, performed strong in her first race back from the horrific Northshore crash, AWESOME.
Tom G, showing us that right hand cross-overs can indeed be performed in an all left hand turn race.
Guy (pronounced “Gee” in French Canadian) taking his turns at front and offering absolutely no draft what so ever (in retrospect, I should have put a 3×4 piece of plywood in his jersey for draft purposes).
And, Bob Ryan, towering a full foot above the rest of us and getting no draft break at all.

We all skated competently and well, but alas, Speed Revolution better paced themselves and “attacked” (that’s right “Attacked”) and passed us back with less then 5 laps remaining. Even though we ended up last by a mere 20 seconds, I say we still won….anyone can assemble a team of 20 and 30 year old elite skaters to “pop” off an easy 1-08″ marathon, lets see them do it with a team of 42 – 60 year olds!

With that said, we did accomplish our goal of finishing together as a team, (3 of the 10 competing teams cannot boast that). And as Bob Ryan so eloquently stated “We are all going to finish together, no matter how bad it hurt him”. Bob…..thanks for hanging in there…..I know it sucked, very well done.

I’m sure there something I missed, but this post is already too long. I will miss this venue and hope that it comes back with a newly constructed arena.

I need to thank my lovely wife Trish, who puts up with my race antics and my Daughter Violet, who I have dragged to more skating events then any kid should have to endure….Love you guys.


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