Race Report: Thunder Bay Half Marathon

Race conditions were excellent for the Thunder Bay Half Marathon this morning.  The 7:00 am gun was even more challenging for the top 3 finishers.  All had body-clocks reading one hour earlier, due to the time change.  The course is rolling-hills with a beautiful Lake Superior view, to make up for the rude awakening.

The downhill start was a moderate pace to the first cone turn - 2k out.  After the slow-down for this first turn, Randy Plett took the lead and skated hard but failed to drop the lead pack of a dozen skaters.  At about 7k, after one of Randy’s pulls and subsequent transitions to the the back of the dozen… Plett found himself gapped by Jason Mann and myself.  The third skater in the pack had let us go and when Randy realized it, he found himself 30 meters back.

Plett, back this season after breaking his neck in a crash during bicycle race early last season, put his head down and drove hard to bridge up to us.  (During his recovery, Randy missed his whole inline season last year and only started training again, on ice, November of last year.)

The balance of the race found Plett, Mann and me trading off pulls at a relatively fast pace on the rolling-hills course.  At the finish, it turned out to be a three-abreast sprint, taking up the entire width of the road.  Plett finished first, Jason second  (same chip time as Randy) and me a second back.

The top six finishing times were:

39:07 Randy Plett

39:07 Jason Mann

39:08 John Schulte

41:19 Richard Czaczkowski

41:20 William Field

41:21 Greg Carrigan