Thunder Bay Race Report

Photo Credit:  Peter Doucet

This report is from John Schulte

ROLL FOR M.S.: THUNDER BAY 

We had a beautiful day of racing Sunday morning along Lake Superior in Thunder Bay.  The race had an early 7am start (6am for the bio-rythms of the Twin City skaters due to the time change.)  Although it was a cool 50 degree start, the sun and speed warmed us up quickly.  At the end of the race it was about 70 degrees and still very clear skies. 

At the gun, I witnessed Morgane Echardour, Canadian National Team member for inline bolt into the lead.  St. Paul’s own, Sarah Oftedahl gave chase and seemed to catch and stay with Morgane for the first quarter of this half-marathon.  As the lead out male skater, I was chasing both of them alone for the first 2 miles.  They were at least 50 yards ahead of me most of that segment.  After Morgane dropped Sarah at approximately the 3 mile marker, I caught up with Sarah.  I wasn’t able to help her due to the no-cross-gender drafting race rule.  Shortly after that Herb Gayle and Peter Doucet caught me.  I tried to hang on for a mile or so, but at their pace, I was quickly asphyxiated.  I skated the balance of the race alone.   

The race was a straight-out rolling course along Lake Shore Drive with a few moderate climbs.  At the 6 mile cone turnaround, I realized I was in a three man race for the third place male finish.  William Field and Philip Luckai were only about 30 yards back, working together to try to chase me down.  The sight of them alternating while I was on my own was initially demoralizing.  However, I kept telling myself that I didn’t come all this way to get caught on the leg back to the finish.  The six miles back was mostly downward rolling hills.  While Field and Luckai closed in on me on the moderate hills, I was able to gap them a little more rolling down hill.  In the end, I was able to hold them off by a few seconds. 

The top 10 list is below. 

Overall Finishers
1- Morgane Echardour
2- Herb Gayle
3- Peter Doucet
4- John Schulte
5- William Field
6- Philip Luckai
7- Hal Lightwood
8- Ron Rost
9- Sarah Oftedahl
10-  Jody Kelly 

Prior to the awards presentation, the field enjoyed the famous cheese filled crepes topped with raspberries.  They were a wonderful post-race meal.