Newcomers Win 24th Annual NorthShore Inline Marathon
Ewen Fernandez was the men's elite winner, while Julie Brandt-Glass was the official women's elite winner.
DULUTH, Minn. – Over 2,000 athletes from all over the world flooded Duluth this weekend for the 24th annual NorthShore Inline Marathon.
Ewen Fernandez, a 30-year old from France, won the men’s elite race with a time of 1:03:58. This was Fernandez’s first time participating in this race, and he broke away from the group in the last eight miles and finished more than 90 seconds ahead of the rest of the elite racers.
“I managed to go in breakaways with a small group. And then from this small group I had to attack again to arrive solo because I really like [it], it’s my style to arrive solo like that,” Fernandez said.
The women’s elite race was a little more interesting. Two teenagers, 17-year old Giorgia Birkeland from White Bear Lake and 14-year old Katrina Brown from Downingtown, PA, were the first two females two cross the finish line. The two girls were not registered in the elite category and then started two minutes after the elites. The girls said that they passed the elite women late in the race, and were the first girls to finish.
“I didn’t really think we were because we started behind anyway. So I thought it was going to be hard to [catch up], and it was a lot of stop and goings and sprints, so I thought they would catch, but they didn’t,” Brown said, who was competing in this race for the first time.
“I didn’t know if it was them or a different pack, but I was really relieved because I thought we could draft them but we weren’t supposed to intermix so there was some confusion there,” Birkeland said, who was racing in her second NorthShore Inline Marathon.
While Birkeland and Brown were the first women to cross the finish line, they will not be receiving any of the cash prizes. Julie Brandt-Glass was the official women’s elite winner, finishing with a time of 1:22:42