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14 Year Old Takes Title At Inline Marathon


Register Staff Writer

Brian Talley, 14, may have fallen during the last leg of the 11th annual Napa Valley Inline Marathon, but it's all good. At least he did it after crossing the finish line as the first -place winner of the 26-mile race.

"I'm happy, but I'm in pain right now," Talley said with a grin, gripping a water bottle in one hand and one of his bruises in the other. "I fell worse at Redondo."

Talley, of Corona, and 129 other skaters from all across the United States, converged at the Silver Rose Winery to meet, greet, skate and compete Sunday morning.

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Elite skaters, led by Brian Talley, 14, begin the second lap of 11th annual Napa Valley Inline Marathon Sunday in Calistoga. Talley finished first. The marathon and half-marathon began at the Silver Rose Winery and looped on a 6.55 mile section of the Silverado Trail. Two laps of the road passed vineyards and wineries made the 26.2 miles of the marathon.

Since 1993, the California Outdoor Rollerskating Association has been putting on the race as a way to get skaters from all over the country to experience the scenic splendor of the valley, said David Miles, founder and President of CORA and event organizer."This race is one of many that we have be producing," Miles said. " We are trying to create the same type of presence that bike riders have on the trail with skaters. We're taking kid's skating out of the toy realm." .

Miles, known as the "Godfather of Skating" by his peers, promotes different types of skating events all across the Bay Area including skating marathons that stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Friday Night Skate, where hundreds of San Francisco's skaters meet up for an evening of rolling around the city. Miles said Greg Levien, a good friend of his who passed away, showed him the Silverado Trail and they both agreed that it was a good place to do some skating.

A 7-mile portion of the Silverado Trail, between Rosedale Avenue and Glass Mountain Road, was closed for the event for three hours, giving contestants the chance to zoom through the trail without having to worry about motorists running them over. Skaters had the choice of competing in a 26-mile full marathon or a 13-mile half marathon, in nine different age groups from 14 and up.

As the day began the winery's parking lot turned into a makeshift skating rink. minus the snack stand and video game parlor. High-energy techno tunes pounded as skaters stretched, chatted, registered for the contest and did warm-up laps around the winery's parking lot to fight off the cold morning dew.

Among the many racers was Roger Fortier, a 73 year-old avid skater who came all the way from Florida to compete. "I skate five times a week." he said, as he relaxed on the lip of his car's trunk. "I usually do 10 to 30 miles." Fortier said his interest in skating was sparked by a weight problem he had. He lost 30 pounds and has been skating for nine years.

'They don't make helmets for pinheads," joked Louise Cackowski, of Coos Bay, Ore., as she put on her helmet. "I'm dedicating this race to my dad." Cackowski has been skating for four years and was competing in her first marathon. She anticipated the race would be more mentally tough than anything else.

Skaters braved cold weather, hilly roads and a rock or two along the trail. Most of them made it through the race, but some including 28-year-old Amy Wallace didn't. Wallace, who was pushing a stroller that her 2year-old son Ian was in, fell during the course of the race and was unable to complete the half marathon. Ian wasn't hurt.  "It stings," she said, as she hunched over to inspect her two bloody knees.

The race itself"almost met a similar fate. Supervisor Diane Dillon told the Board of Supervisors that she had receive many complaints about road closure from Silverado Trail residents. Miles proposed to shorten the closure to seven miles, instead of the requested 13 miles, effectively persuading the board to approve the event with 4-1 vote. Dillon cast the lone vote against the event.

"We are a part of that special energy that makes San Francisco a special place," Miles said. "When we come to Napa, we are spreading that same type of positive energy."

The full marathon winners included Talley finishing at 1:22.20, Phillip Mullin at 1:22.27 and Dan Christman at 1:22.28. Half marathon winners included Tiffany Miles finishing at 51:53, Jeff Cavanaugh at 51:59 and Tom McCue at 56:09. Winners received award plaques..

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