Skating: Spokane Inline Marathon 2005

Spokane Inline Marathon 2005

By Brian Larsen

Vancouver Torrent Skaters clean up in Spokane.

We are all back from a great but hectic weekend in Spokane. The trip is
about 7 hours and driving home after the marathon was long. The weather in Spokane was great but very hot, 34 to 38 degrees every day. Christine, Gerry and I drove down Friday AM and took Hwy 2 which is a bit longer but very pretty, stopped at Leavenworth for lunch, Leavenworth is a town styled as a Bavarian Alps village and quite quaint.

Saturday AM, we wanted to check out the course which goes on the centennial trail which was directly behind the race hotel. Found our good Portland friend Teddie Mateson and her husband Kirk and Winson and we had the hotel shuttle drive us out to the Idaho border and the turn around point for the marathon, put on our skates and leisurely skated in.

The trail is about 3 to 4 meters wide in most places and is two way, pavement is smooth, a few small hills along way and a bit windy. At the start of the race in Mirebeau Park they have lengthened the course to get full 42K, you start off on a good downhill on the road and then onto trail and down a good hill and out for about 3 miles and then turn around and skate back past where you just came onto trail and out to Idaho border and back. No problem passing oncoming skaters but if race got big it could be a problem.

Torrent dinner

Saturday everyone started to show up, skaters from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver; half the fun of the event is visiting with old friends. Had a great dinner with about 14 at our table – lots of skate and race talk and much fun. Lisa and Ty were bunking with Christine, Patrice, Claude and Don together and Dave Krenz came down with Lorne and Phil, Conny and Roger drove down together, an awesome turnout by the Torrent. Off to bed and actually slept as opposed to little sleep before Saint Paul; everyone seems to suffer this fate, like we are pros or something and this race is really important!

Start Line

Race morning, 5:30, Gerry wakes up groaning, I know I have to get his coffee to him quickly before there will be any smiles from his side of the room!!!!! They say you must eat but easier said than done!!! Collect Christine, Lisa and we drive the 5 minutes to start line so we can change later. The weather sunny but still chilly, it is a perfect racing temp. About 100 to 125 brave and nervous souls line up for 7:30 blast off. Conny skates in lead pack and finishes in 1 hour 19 just 8 secs. behind the 14 year old over all female, a stellar performance by the pride of the Vancouver Torrent.

Pace line

In second pack Gerry, Winson and Patrice – they finish 1hour 27, a great race. Behind them Claude and Don, then the old guy followed by a very fast Christine, then Lisa and Dave. Everyone is excited, tired and glad it’s over – another great marathon completed and added to the resume.

Torrent members

We all should be very proud of our club, not only did everyone skate very well but everyone got many good comments on our skating and pack skating and awareness. The awards ceremony was great with almost everyone getting a draw prize. They run a very good race. First palace finishers received beautiful marble and glass plaques, the race director owns a marble and granite factory and handmade each award. Second and third received medals shaped as a pair of skates.

Conny and Gerry received first place awards in their age class, Winson a second, Patrice a second and Don third in their age class, Christine a second, Lisa a third and myself a second and Roger a third. Not bad for a little skate club, everyone should be very proud and those of you who missed out know that we represented our Torrent very respectably, the Seattle and Portland skaters are definitely aware of our skating abilities! …

I and I think everyone who was there would highly recommend this event; it would be nice if everyone went next year. The medals are there for the taking!

See Lisa’s photographs of the race weekend here.