2015 National 25K & 50K Marathon
Pettit National Ice Center
Contributed by: Olusegun Sijuwade
Photos by: H. Janisch
The 2015 National Marathon Speedskating Championships raced on February 13 and 14 at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee,WI. While it was -10F degrees wind chill outdoors, competitors, volunteers, officials, and spectators were doing their paces inside a comparatively balmy 52 degrees F.
Ice maker and facility manager learned the mylaps software program, and this year the system was instituted to great success. A minor glitch in formatting race completion on the first day still did not stop a successful rendering of the skaters effort this weekend.
Friday afternoon started with the 25K National championships (64laps). 18 skaters from throughout the US lined up for official Brian Kretschmann's pre-race instructions on lap scoring and racing protocol. Chief referee Ernie Kretschmannlined up the skaters and gave the firing shot to commence the race.
Colton Barrett senior men), Theron Sands(masters 50-59), Ethan Cepuran ,Isaiah Janisch(juniors), and Michael Hubbs(master 30-39)formed a fast pack for about 30 laps into the race. Colton began to separate from the others with an effort to break the two year 25K national track record of 2014 Olympian Patrick Meek. Barrett won his first national marathon championships with a 15 second personal best(pb), but the track record remains unbroken for yet another year.
Cepuran, Janisch, and James Kahn (juniors) raced fast and furiously in the junior division. Cepuran was about 1 minute off of his division record, but still win a second consecutive national title several minutes ahead of his competitors. Kahn finished just 8 seconds ahead of bronze medalist Janisch.
The three women in the race were all from the 50-59 age group. Kathy Feinbergchased the national 25K record of Katie Zapotecki, but had to settle for the gold while being about a minute off the division record. Karen Verone was the silver medalist, and Patty Barrick skated to bronze while inspiringly joining hands with her husband and 50-59 men's competitor Joe Barrick across the finish line.
Hubbs, Jim White (70-79), and Marshall Lipton (80-89) were uncontested national champions whose inspired racing brought admiration from the spectating crowd.
Sands settled into his rhythm after 30 laps, and after racing in the masters world competition less than a week prior, felt some physical wear. Still , he was able to secure his first national marathon championship. Veteran marathoner Nathan Feinberg was silver, and Nick Sykes used his brand new boots to take the bronze from a hard charging Jeff Brand. It was so close, that Sykes actually thought Brand won until the electronic and manual timing showed otherwise. Barrick and Bob Wills raced to 5th and 6th places respectively. Newcomer Michael Schillmoeller could not quite finish the last 5 laps this day. Perhaps when he gets long track skates instead of short track blades, he will feel more efficiency.
Jim Daniska sang a riveting edition of the national anthem before competition. He then went out and secured his very first national marathon title. He was a few minutes ahead of silver medalist Richard Farren and Roger Boswell, bronze.
Saturday's 50K (129 laps) began with Sands, Barrett, and Peter Macky (30-39), off to a blazing start away from the skating field. Early in the race, with only 5-6 laps in, Barrett dropped off the pack. It seemed as though he was having some difficulty. He eventually caught up to a speedy Macky, and they continued the next 120 laps as a two person pack. This time the strategy bought both of the hard working and fast moving athletes national success as they secured not only national titles, but also at least 365 days of being the fastest ever in the US National Marathon. Barrett and Macky both smashed Meek's TR by over two minutes. Macky was 17 minutes under the division record set in 2012.
Kathy Feinberg continued her marathon dominance with another national title this weekend. Verone and Patty Barrick kept churning until they also raced to silver and bronze.
Local firefighter hero Larry Kaufmann (40-49) took his first national marathon title, to add to his break out US Masters Single Distance performance in January. Kaufmann is an in-liner competing in his first year, successfully, on ice.
Sands raced hard to his 50K championship, even leading the other lead pack at times when his training partner Mack and Barrett came around. Mack and Sands both presently train with coach Bob Fenn. Barrett also trained under Fenn before becoming a champion pro road,track, and criterium cyclist during the last 4 years. Bruce Anderson came from the windy John Rose Oval in Minnesota to get silver under the indoor PNIC. Nathan Feinberg added a bronze to his collection for his always tenacious racing. Sykes was 4th with Brand right along side him the entire 50K for 5th place. Joe Barrick skated to 6th , while inspiringly crossing the finish line with Patty Barrick's hand on this Valentine's Day.
Bob Dvorak (60-69), the US Masters 3000M champion added a 50K gold to his 2015 collection.Meanwhile Farren worked hard to earn another silver today.
White raced uncontested at 70+ years, and with his 129th lap concluded the 2015 National Marathon Championships.
Many thanks to Silvia Acevedo for announcing. Special thanks to our lap counters Corrina, Armando, Antonia,Julianna, Kathleen (who brought the food!), Peter, and the parents (who also counted laps)of the skaters that were on hand to witness great racing they could be proud of.
See MyLaps results at http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/3374913