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Overview

Founded in 1999, TeamICB is one of the largest fitness skating and racing teams in the country. Its approximately 65 members range from top Elite and Masters' skaters to people interested in learning better skating technique so that they can begin to use skating as a routine element of their fitness regimen.

TeamICB members at the competitive side of the spectrum participate in many regional and national events, testing their skills and endurance against skaters from other clubs and regions. As adults with day jobs, we are most interested in longer-distance events that we can set our sights on and build up to through the season. In these events, simply to finish is the crowning achievement of a summer's worth of determination. It's often a question of mind over body - age matters less than courage, raw speed less than persistence, technique less than love of the journey. The two key events in this category are Athens-to-Atlanta and the National UltraMarathon Championship 100K.

Athens to Atlanta Road Skate

Established in 1982, the Athens-to-Atlanta 87-mile road-skate ("A2A") is the oldest continuously run outdoor road skating event in the country, and one of the most prestigious. It is a true test of mental and physical toughness, and provides a focal point for a season of training. A2A tends to bring out the best in people - competition is often second fiddle to sportsmanship and team play. To finish the full 87-mile event, it's necessary for skaters to "work together," to share the burden of being at the front of the group, skating into the wind. Scientific studies have shown that the 2nd, 3rd skaters in a "pace line" spend as much as 20-30% less energy than the person in front. We practice this "pack" aspect of fitness skating/racing on our training skates - it's a learned skill that involves keeping one's feet from clanging into the next person's, despite the close quarters. Having to rely on others in this manner is also, interestingly, an underlying reason why TeamICBers are so dedicated to our club and team. We literally can't do it without a little help from our friends.

In 1999, 18 TeamICBers finished the 87-mile event, ten of whom were also participating in the Leukemia Society's Team-in-Training program. We captured two "Age group trophies" with a second place in the men's 50+ and a second in the women's 40-49. Only two other clubs in the country had more than 10 finishers - Empire Skate/Speed of New York with 14, and the Atlanta Peachtree Road Rollers with 12.

In 2000, 16 TeamICBers finished the full 87 miles, and we captured four podium positions: 2nd in the men's 50-59, 3rd in the men's 30-39, 3rd in the women's 30-39, and 3rd in the women's 50-59. We placed 2 men and 2 women in the top 20 overall and our "Rookie of the Year" Thomas Benner tied for 4th overall. It is unusual for top competitors not to sprint at the finish, but this group of 4 that tied for 4th place had endured a mid-race crash that took down the group, and in a show of sportsmanship, they chose to make the rest of the race after their crash a shared experience.

Although it's hard to tally the total finishers for other clubs because names are not always captured with the same spelling, and people can list Team in Training (TNT) as their main affiliation for this event, it seems that ICB in 2000 with its 16 full distance finishers was once again the club with the largest number of 87-mile finishers! Best we could count, Atlanta Peachtree Road Rollers had 15, and Empire Skate/Speed had 10.

In 2001, 13 TeamICBers finished the full 87 miles, and we again placed 2 men and 2 women in the top 20 overall. And, following a scoring approach (we) proposed to the A2A community, TeamICB could be viewed as the "winning team" for 2001. This proposed approach would tally the total places for the top 3 M & top 3 F finishers from each club, and then the lowest total wins. Of course, other possible scoring systems could be followed, and might lead to different results, as can be seen in the .pdf file linked below. In any case, no matter what approach the stakeholders coalesce on for 2002, we support a friendly club competition at A2A, and hereby present our take on the 2001 results.

Our 13 finishers in 2001 were:

  • Andrea Leonard
  • Chris Mix
  • Chrisy Grudzien
  • Jamie Hintlian
  • John Wichers
  • Michael Leventhal
  • Rich Leonard
  • Robin Travers
  • Scott Bender
  • Susan Mix
  • Thomas Benner
  • Tom Keane
  • Vlad Sejnoha
Also, teammates Karin Travers and Joyce Buckley completed the 38-mile half distance event -- enduring the vast majority of the 87-mile route's hills in the process.

In 2002, on a hot and humid day in Georgia where temps climbed into the 80's, 12 TeamICBers finished the full 87 miles, and we placed 3 men and 3 women in the top 20, our best showing ever! We also snagged 3 age-group podium spots: Marshall Randolph took 1st in the men 50-59, Chrisy Grudzien 2nd F50-59, and Tom Keane 3rd M40-49. Following the scoring approach (we) proposed to the A2A community in 2001, TeamICB could again be viewed as the "winning team" for the full distance event in 2002. This approach requires that there be at least 3 M and 3 F finishers for a club to qualify, then tallies the total places for the top 3 M & top 3 F finishers from each club. The lowest total wins. Based on this approach, strictly interpreted, TeamICB and APRR (Atlanta Peachtree Road Rollers) were the only contenders for this year's title of top team.

However, in the spirit of inclusivity that marks A2A, we have created two sets of team results for 2002. One file more strictly interprets the 3F/3M 'rule,' as described above, and takes team/club listings as given, while the second more inclusive approach shows results for 2F/3M, with entire teams listed, and relaxes the team lists a little. For example, in the second file we add TNT-GA (Team in Training) in with APRR (Atlanta Peachtree Road Rollers), and add Brooklyn- based Tribe in with Empire. This second file also tallies results for a "Mid-Atlantic" team which we 'created' for this purpose of developing a friendly comparison of regional performance as an amalgam of WAR (Washington Area Roadskaters), WoW (Women on Wheels), and TNT-DC and TNT-MD (Team in Training regional groups). Given this broader inclusive approach, then top team nod for 2002 goes to Empire Speed, which placed all 5 point-scorers in the top 10 of their gender results.

In terms of total numbers of finishers, the composite Mid-Atlantic group led with 18, APRR/TNT-GA followed with 16, Empire/Tribe had 14, and ICB had 12. Our 12 finishers in 2002 (six of 12 also completed the event in 2001) were:

  • Chris Mix
  • Christian Jungers (first time!)
  • Chrisy Grudzien
  • Farid Zidan (first time!)
  • John Charbonneau
  • Jonathan Wolfson (first time!)
  • Karin Chamberlain
  • Marshall Randolph
  • Michael Leventhal
  • Susan Mix
  • Thomas Benner
  • Tom Keane
We started the event with 14 skaters, but lost our teammates Robin Travers and Vlad Sejnoha to blisters and fatigue on this very challenging day. Congrats to all who gave it their best, and made the pilgrammage to A2A 2002!

Thus, we hereby present our take on the 2002 results:

You can read more about Athens-to-Atlanta at http://www.a2a.net/.

New York Marathon/100K

The National Ultra-Marathon Championship 100K (62 miles), at a winning men's time around 3 hours (women's around 3 1/2 hours), is roughly equivalent to a marathon running or a century (100 mile) bike ride. The event is held each year in New York City. Seven TeamICBers finished the 100K in 1999 and we placed 3 women in the top 20 overall. In 2000, we upped that tally to 12 finishers of the 100K, and 3 additional skaters in the shorter 26-mile marathon-distance option. TeamICB's 12 finishers represented 14% of the total of 86 finishers! In this field crowded with elite international competitors from Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, and Columbia (among others), our top finishers were Susan Mix, 10th overall F, and Thomas Benner, 11th overall M.

In 2001, TeamICB had 7 men finish the 100K, including Thomas Benner in at 11th overall, and Marshall Randolph 1st in the 50-59 age group, and an impressive 16th overall! In the women's field, our Susan Mix was 10th overall, and Andrea Leonard 12th. Another 4 of our teammates finished the 26-mile Marathon distance event held simultaneously.

In 2002, TeamICB had 5 100K finishers, including Thomas Benner at 12th and Marshall Randolph 20th overall. Chris and Susan Mix and Tom Keane also completed the event. Another 4 of our teammates - Allen Pulsifer, Chrisy Grudzien, Ed Quintero, and John Charbonneau - finished the 26-mile Marathon distance event held simultaneously.

You can check out the 100K at http://www.skatemarathon.com/.

Local and Regional Events

We have also competed in a variety of other skating events, inc. the Cromwell (CT) Riverport Race (97-00), Greenland (NH) SkateFest (92-ongoing), and the Carolyn Miller Tri-Event on Cape Cod (96-00), among others. Each of these events raises money for area charities. For example, the Carolyn Miller Tri-Event (skate-run-bike) raised money for a scholarship fund to help area high-school scholar-athletes attend college. The event was held in memory of an athlete killed after being hit by a car while out on a training ride. In 5 years, the event raised approx. $30,000 for the scholarship fund, and 10 female students had their college financing made just a little easier. In 2000, the last year the event was held, TeamICB claimed top male team, top mixed team, 3rd overall male (Thomas Benner), 3rd overall female (Susan Mix), 1st in 30-39 F (Andrea Leonard), 1st in 40-49 F (Susan Amaral), 1st in 50-59 M (Marshall Randolph) and a number of other age group awards.

Our team does more than just compete. We skate purely for the joy of skating, and we use skating to help others whenever we can. Team members Terry Murray (left in photo) and John Wichers (center in photo) took a week off from work in May 2000 to skate from Maine to Philadelphia to raise money for C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors). This event involved skaters from the Landskaters Club in Philadelphia, and Empire Skate Club of New York City as well as the ICB. Terry was the overall top fundraiser for the event. Several other team and club members, including Geoff Hull (right in photo), Tom Keane, Marshall Randolph, Chris and Susan Mix, and John Zarba participated for 1 or 2 days of the 7-day event.

In a strong show of commitment, John Wichers then did the full distance again in 2001, including nightly email reports from the road! Find out more about C.O.P.S. at http://www.nationalcops.org/ .

Updated Oct. 9, 2002