|Loomis Captures First IRS Race of the Season
June 14, Park City, Utah
In last year's International Rollerski Series, Scott Loomis was held without a victory and was never really a threat in the overall title chase. But he wasted no time jumping to the front of the pack this year. He edged out Cory Smith by six seconds to take the victory and send a strong message to the rest of the field that he will be a force in this year's series.
Five competitors showed up for the first race of the 2001 season. It would have been six, except that Casey Simons apparently found something better to do as he was driving to the race. No word yet on what that might have been, but IRS investigators are on the trail. The IRS Imperial Senate was very happy with the turnout given that the day before the race it had been 28 degrees and snowing on the race course. But the snow melted and the weather warmed up a bit (it was only in the 50's at start time) and the race was on as planned. The course was an out and back on a recently paved section of bike path between Park City and The Canyons Ski Resort. After completing the out and back section of about 3K, the course turned up a hill and climbed up the final kilometer to the finish. It was a short course, but still a good test of rollerskiing prowess early in the season.
A random draw was held to determine the start order. Smith started two minutes early so that he could get to the finish first to take times (and pictures). The rest of the order went Zack Simons, Loomis, Barry Makarewicz, and Erik Stange each starting at 15 second intervals. At the 1.5 K turnaround, it appeared that Smith, Simons, and Loomis were all running almost even. Stange was slightly off the pace but had managed to pass Makarewicz, whose V2 rollerskis were in no mood to go fast and insisted on providing plenty of resistance. On the way back Loomis caught and passed Simons. Simons continued to push him from behind on the final hills, but Loomis finished up strong and took the win, narrowly edging out Smith.
Loomis's win was even more impressive considering that the day before, he and Stange spent 12 hours helping a family move and came home thoroughly exhausted from all the heavy lifting. When asked about his race, Loomis said,"I think all of the credit goes to my prerace regimen. From now on, I am going to spend the day before races carrying queen size beds up and down stairs. Who has a couch they need moved? I'm taking orders."
Stange, for one, disagreed, sort of. "I think my body was a little worn out from the exertion yesterday. But it will only make me stronger in the long run. I will carry dressers up and down stairs all day if it will help me get ready for the courses at Soldier Hollow. Who has a pool table they need moved?" He went on to mention that he expects big results in the future due to his own move to a lower living altitude (from the second floor of the condo to the first) but that it is still too early to see the effects of that change.
Zack Simons turned in a very strong performance considering it is still unclear if he was showing up for a rollerski race or a wrestling match. Simons did his best Rulon Gardner imitation by wearing a form fitting one piece lycra unitard. While the IRS Imperial Senate applauded his bravery, his time might have been hindered by the fact that he got pulled over and ticketed on two separate occasions by the fashion police. At that point he was forced to put on a shirt to cover the lycra tank top so that he could finish the race.
Barry Makarewicz also skied very well considering that his skis never got the memo that this was, indeed, a race. His V2 920s were in no mood to go fast no matter how hard Barry tried to move them. We are still not sure whether the wheels were in fact turning or if Barry was merely grinding the rubber along the pavement.
So there you have it. Race One was a resounding success and we are sure there is much more to come. See results below and check out the overall standings.