THE WEEKLY CALISTOGAN
THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2007
|will present an excellent opportunity to showcase inline skatings
world wide interest. There were a lot of riders, veterans and first-timers, who did
show up from all over the U.S., however.
Honeymooners Lura and Derek Bennett decided theyd take a train out west for the
event. The couple, whove only been married for about six months, decided theyd
tackle the event together, even though, for Lura, it would mean hitting the road on inline
skates for the very first time. Derek, however, was there for support hes
been at it a while. Both rolled along in the half-marathon.
The youngest of the skaters hailed from Brooklyn, NY. Juliet Breza, 12, and her sister
Skye, 9, joined their dad, a native of Los Angeles, and all three skated in the
half-marathon. The average age of the skaters in the events was between 30 and 40,
according to one estimate.
James Prial came all the way from San Francisco for this years event. Prial, a
veteran skater, is an amputee, and has a signature hop he does as he approaches the finish
line. Prail lost his left leg just below the knee in a motorcycle accident in 1982.
But he doesnt let that slow him down. He competed in the 26.3-mile marathon event.
From Reno, Nev., Miysheal Gailson was likely the most unusual skater, rolling along in the
half-marathon on what can arguably be called the most unusual pair of skates, ever. Each
skate had a single wheel. It was his own invention, he said.
Although some prize money was to be awarded to the top pro skaters, Miles said the event
is not about capital rewards.
This event is not about prize money, Miles said via e-mail. Its
about the love of skating and sharing that with as many as possible. Its about
getting out on your skates on one of the worlds most beautiful roadways in America
and letting it all hang out.
The sport of inline speed skating got tremendous exposure in the 2006 Torino Olympic
Games. Chad Hedrick, an inline skating champion, won a full set of gold, silver and bronze
medals. Shani Davis was the first African American to ever win a gold medal in a Winter
Olympics. Joey Cheek, Jennifer Rodrigeuz, Apolo Ohno, Casey Fitzrandolf, K C Boutette and
Derrick Parra are all inline speed skaters that have crossed over to the ice to experience
Olympic glory for the USA, according to Miles.
A list of all the finalists in numerous categories can be found on the Internet at http://www.cora.org.