Pepperoni and Humble Pie in Chicago

Awesome is an overused word . . . but . . .

Sunday morning skaters awoke at 6:30 A.M. to cloudy but calm skies.  Not long after a quick breakfast, however, the sky opened up with a cascade of lightning and additional rain on top of Friday night’s (booming) 8 inches of rain.  The wind and rain would slow the Advanced Marathon, as well as the half marathon, but ceased shortly before the 10:00 A.M. weather delayed start of the elite waves.

Left behind was a slowly drying course . . . and the rest of the elite field.

The wet weather did little to deter Joey Mantia, who attacked instantly and incessantly and skated virtually the entire race alone.  He finished what appeared to be a rather ho-hum stroll in the park in 1:09:25 (no, that is not a typo).

To put the speed of the Elite Open men in perspective, frequent first place finisher in Minnesota marathons, David Sarmiento skated a solid race but could only manage a rather distant 13th place against some of the Western Hemisphere’s best competition.

Times were much more human (humane?) among the Elite Masters and Elite Veterans.  The Chicagoland Inline Marathon started the Elite Men under 35 years of age together.  Then it was the Elite women, followed by the Elite Masters (age 35-45) and Elite Veterans (45+).

race photos, Daily Herald

Elite Men:

Joey was Joey and made it look absurdly easy.  Four minutes later (nearly two miles behind) a large pack of ten phenomenal skaters held together the entire race.  Julian Rivera and Justin Stelly out sprinted the talented field in dramatic fashion.  Five minutes after that (nearly two miles further back) Minnesota’s David Sarmiento led a pack of six across the finish line.   A couple of minutes later Cannon Valley’s Ron Malfori out sprinted Rainbo’s Steve Meisinger to crack the top 20 with a time of 1:20:49.

1. Joey Mantia 1:09:25

2. Julian Rivera 1:13:54

3. Justin Stelly 1:13:55

4. Drew Valinski 1:13:56

5. Michael Cheek 1:13:56

6. Jake Powers 1:13:56

7. Hank Galbriath 1:13:56

8. Rob Bell 1:13:57

9. Jesse Pauley 1:13:57

10. Peter Doucet 1:13:59  (who took third last year)

13. David Sarmiento (Adams) 1:18:54

15. Ty Fidler (Adams)  1:18:54

16. Morgan Williams  1:18:54

18. Alex Fedak  1:18:56

19. Ron Malfori 1:20:49

full results


The Elite Women:

The Elite women featured a strong contingent that skated hard, holding off the chasing Veteran Men until the start of the third lap and then passing many of them again toward the end.  14 year old Janelle Cole went down while leading, which allowed Briana Kramer and Morgan Echardour to close the gap.  Cole popped up and actually held the lead late, but was unable to hold off the Olympian in training Briana Kramer.

1.  Briana Kramer

2. Janelle Cole

3. Morgan Echardour

4. Darian O’Neal

full results


Masters Men:

Brent Bovitz (Twin Cam) did a great job representing the Minnesota contingent in the Masters Men category.  He was always up front contributing and was a bit unlucky in a crowded finish.

1. Ryan Chrisler (1:18:48)

2. Amrit Singh

3. Jeffrey Neal

4. Norm Kirby

5. Gary Blank

6. Brent Bovitz

full results


Veteran Men:

Constant Montpellier of Quebec could not be more than 5’5″ – with his skates laced up.  That, however, did not stop him from being a force all weekend long.  He absolutely dominated Saturday’s individual time trial  – winning by a wide margin, in spite of a fall; however, in Sunday’s final Marathon sprint, Hernan Diaz and Herb Gayle edged him by a couple of feet.  John Schulte was Minnesota’s strongest representative on this day with a sixth place finish that featured multiple tough pulls.  Just seconds after John, a number of Minnesota skaters flew across the line together in 9th through 13th place, including: Kurt Halverson, Michael Mullery, Jack Wussler, David Swan, and Mark Jacobsen.  Terry Holm and Randy Landucci also made it across the finish line.

1. Hernan Diaz (1:21:08)

2. Herb Gayle

3. Constant Montpellier

4. Lenny Wilcox

5. Matt Robinson

6. John Schulte

full results


Advanced/Fitness Marathon:

The Advanced Marathon started before the Elite categories early in the morning.  The weather was significantly worse during the Advanced race than during the Elite races.  With a constant rain, the famous wind, and frequent bolts of lightening, this entire group should be applauded for their resolve to finish.

Joel Roop Eckart (of Georgia) ran away with the Advanced race in a time of 1:27:07.  Minnesota’s best finishers included 5th place Greg Miller in 1:28:19 and 7th place Ryan Mullery in 1:29:23.  Ken Huss and Erin Topley (an age group award winner in the Fitness race) also braved the horrible conditions to finish strong. Congratulations to Margo Carvell (Rainbo) who was edged out by a millisecond and finished second in the women’s Marathon.  Tim Cerling of Farmington managed an age group award in the Fitness division, as did Lisa Byrne.

advanced results

fitness/rec results


Half Marathon

Bill Gabos was Minnesota’s lone top twenty finisher in the Half Marathon.  He finished second (51:50) in the windy and rainy conditions to Rainbo’s Darcy Tucker.

Cole Schulte slogged through the wet in 1:04 – just 13 minutes behind the leader.

full results



Chicago Inline Tour:

The Inline Tour featured a two mile individual time trial and 10k Criterion on Saturday and the Sunday Marathon.  Designed to test multiple skills, the cream rose to the top:

Elite Men:

1. Mantia (who won every event)

2. Rivera

3. Stelly

Elite Masters:

1. Chrisler (who won every event)

2. Singh

3. Kirby

Elite Vets:

1. Diaz (won every event but one and took second in that event)

2. Montpellier

3. Gayle

Elite Women:

1. Kramer

2. Cole

3. Navas

Advanced Men:

1. Roop Eckert

2. Houston

3. Kaufman

full results


Congratulations and thank you to Margo and Cale Carvell on another well run and fun event.  After five years the race has worked out most of the bugs and runs smoothly.  Thank you also to all of the volunteers who make the event possible.  Year after year the same volunteers can be seen doing the same job as the prior year.  The job of race organizer, however, never ends.  At one point in the middle of the Advanced race a utility truck pulled up and parked near the finish line.  It is visible in some of the pictures. Cale’s vigilant eye spotted the threat immediately and spoke in a calm, direct, and professional manner and persuaded the utility workers to remove their vehicle.  Why utility workers were attempting to drive on a closed race course on a Sunday morning was not clear – but Cale’s message was!  Thank you Rainbo and we will see you soon.

Anyone with photos or a race report let me know.