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Saturday, July 17, 1999 -- Bridgeport
Benedum Festival 5K Inline Skating Race
Story & photos by Julie Bertsch

[Coverage/Recap] [Pictures] [Overall 5K Results] [Results By Class]

The Mass Start
Rolling fast at the mass start
The Benedum Inline Skating Race was held after the 5K Run, and skaters came from all over just to cruise the course. A group huddle was organized before the start, perhaps to say a prayer, or get their focus, or maybe just to make sure everyone's "race face" was on. Football players do it too, so it was a pleasant surprise to see the support that racers had for one another, even though they would be competing against each other for the overall top spot. As twenty eight racers took their marks, the Bridgeport Police took their positions on the course to block the traffic.

Good form!
The short course had some fast skaters, too!
It was a mass start of all ages rolling out onto the street together, with the young kids starting on the right side of the pack. The course was different for the skaters ages eleven and under, who had to do a loop around some cones and then return to finish line. Ory Newbrough really leaned over his blades to pick up some speed on his way to the finish line. He took first place in the short course. The young kids skated the short course really well, even though it was the first time in a race for some of them. Great job!

The "bigger" kids course had a really different route. A full 5K through the rolling residential streets, complete with uphill climbs and winding, downhill curves which made this course a bit technical for everyone.

Getting a free ride
Jeff Gordon's not the only one who knows how to "draft"
Drafting when they could and trying to avoid the treacherous potholes, skaters reached speeds varying from 17 to 40 miles an hour! Rob Campbell must have been going at least that fast to get his amazing time of 11:08. Using the last downhill stretch to his advantage, Campbell had a strong lead ahead of everyone in the end. Luke Crimm (11:20), however, had an excellent finishing time of his own, and 3rd Place Overall Robert Roy finished with an 11:42.

Jaclyn Page
Jaclyn Page cruises to the finish
The women's race for First Overall was spread out, and it was Jaclyn Page (17:50) who had plenty of speed approaching the finish line in the last stretch of pavement to finish as the 1st Overall Woman.

The course was rough, and some skaters received some mild road rash, while one even careened at full speed into a stop sign. Ouch. There were trophies three deep into each age group, and with 28 participants, it seemed like everyone had a little something to take home. Lots of drinks were supplied after the race, and many racers hung around and talked about the challenging parts of the course. This was an exciting first time ever event, and they plan to do again it next year, so look for it! WVOutside will be sure to be there!

Happy winner
Everyone got to take home a little something
Alright...Here's the game plan
Huddle up guys & gals, this one could be tough