Collins Report: North Shore Inline Marathon 2010

Northshore Inline Live (kind of sort of, but not really)

5:11 am  |  Alarm goes off.  Pre-race routine begins. Skaters wake up and pour some coffee down their gullets and then the zombie dance to bathroom for a software download.  They complete their paperwork and start stretches, waiting for the next rumble.

5:29  am  |  Next rumble: belly growls.  Skaters grab newspaper and then make another bathroom run for a second software download.  Complete paperwork.

5:32  am  |  Food: skaters choke down power bars or whatever and some bread with water.  Wait for intestine to sound off again.

5:36  am  |  Software download: another bathroom run for some dehydration and a software download.  Complete paperwork.

5:39 am  |  Bus: walk to the DECC in rain, get on bus and drive through rain to start line.  Avoid idle bus ride chit-chat with person who has brontosaurus breath.  Note to self—always brush teeth in the morning.  Arrive at start line in Two Harbors, run/dance to biffy for the final software download of the morning (yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!).  Complete paperwork.  Warm up.  Put skates on.  Prep for race.

7:30  am  |  Race starts: at the gun the Open Elite men bolt out of sight, followed by the Elite Masters (younger old guys), then the Elite Vets (older old guys) and after that the Grand Vets (really old farts).  Next are the Professional women’s divisions and then the Advanced and Fitness waves, all hurtling towards the DECC.

8:05  am  |  Older old guys catch up to younger old guys and pass them. Race officials tell both groups they must keep separate pace lines—no mixing.  Anyone who attempts to mix the lines will be “marked” with a bright orange paint-ball.  Out of nowhere and in a blur a huge 78lb raccoon jumps out of the weeds and attacks Schulte and DeZellar and then runs off.  Both skaters are knocked down and out of the line.  As a courtesy the paceline slows enough for them to get up and back in the game.  Jacked up on adrenalin they and a few other crashees catch up and the whole line passes the younger old guys again.

8:05 to 8:40 am  |  See-saw to the finish. The Masters and Vets battle it out the rest of the way to the finish.  Both groups taunt each other and call each other names.  Herb Gayle tells Danny Frederick that if Danny beats him across the finish line he’ll buy him an annual tanning package.  James Kauth tells Twigs that he skates like an old lady.  John Schulte wets his finger then reaches over and gives Tom Peterson a wet willy.  The whole thing starts looking like an audition for a Three Stooges movie.

8:48 am  |  Everyone stumbles onto the new corrugated stretch of 35W at about mile 23. The Stooge-Fest stops.  This stretch of new road is a special treat, kind of like getting a root canal.  Wheels kick out from under skaters and grease slicks in the tunnels take some down.  Legs tense up to keep from losing balance wiping out.

8:46 am  |  Spectator Cheering Section at the top of the ramp before the finish: two middle aged women from the Iron Range set up a betting booth on the final ramp to the finish.  Bets are based on who does or does not have rain wheels and then the skater’s speed and if they’ll spill.

• Bet #1: no rain wheels and sprinting fast around the corner; crash rating high; payout medium to low—too easy to predict a crash and too easy of a bet.
• Bet #2: no rain wheels and going slow around the corner; crash rating of medium to low; payout medium to low.
• Bet #3: rain wheels and sprinting around the corner; crash rating medium to high; payout ranges from low to high due to greater uncertainty and other variables—yes there’s more grip with rain wheels, but the speed and wet conditions cause an incremental decrease in grip and stability; this higher uncertainty and payout potential attracts most of the serious betting.
• Bet #4: rain wheels and taking the corner slow; crash rating low; payout low—too easy because a crash is not likely.

Other variables include the number of people taking the corner at once, the probability of a crashing skater under each possible bet taking down others, and a list of other items to hedge or straddle the bets.  There’s a flurry of cash changing hands up to the last minute the last skaters cross pass by.

8:48 am or so  |  Finish. Bolt up the last ramp for the final sprint for the old guys.  Final bets are placed.  Hydroplane through the big puddle and then the little one.  Mad dash to the finish.

Justin Stelly wins with 1:10:01.6

Open Men
Justin Stelly
Jullian Rivera
Hank Galbraith

Jorge Botero
Danny Frederick
Norman Kirby

Hernan Diaz
John Schulte
Ovid Westin

Grand Vets
Eriwn Baertschi
Larry Griffin
Jack Wussler

Open Wenches
Briana Kramer
Chelsea Creveling
Morgane Echardour

Master Women
Kara Peterson
Marcy Turek
Tracy Ude

Steffen Howard
Bill Numerick
Ron Marfori