Winners of the 85/86-Mile Skate

Year  Man                 Time      Woman               Time
====  =================== ========  =================== ========
1982  Keith Donaldson      ?:??:??  no finisher
1983  Keith Donaldson      6:37:00  Ann Norelli          7:48:25
1984  Ken Taber            6:31:10  Ann Norelli          7:30:31
1985  Don Ruiz             6:44:00  Valerie Zuver        6:56:00
1986  Dennis Bell          6:11:33  Janice Phillips     12:03:32
1987  Uwe Brockmann        5:39:00  Ann Norelli         10:14:00
1988  Uwe Brockmann        5:15:00  Karen Edwards        5:45:00
1989  David Cooper         4:46:15  Diane Edwards        6:55:25
1990  Eddy Matzger         4:35:57  Karen Edwards        5:46:06
1991  Haico Bouma          4:28:14  Karin Verhoef        5:32:54
1992  Eddy Matzger         5:02:36  Tammy Kesting        6:16:40
1993  Doug Glass           4:36:49  Dominique Larocque   5:41:48
1994  Eddy Matzger         4:44:58  Heather Laufer       5:29:57
1995  Jonathan Webster     4:35:02  Kelly McCown         5:26:42
1996  Eddy Matzger         4:25:25  Barrie Hartman       5:08:57
1997  Marcel Oosten        4:21:13  Tara Peterson        4:56:59
1998  Christopher Keiser   4:35:46  Barrie Hartman       4:57:52
1999  Tristan Loy          4:33:58  Nikki Diamantopoulos 5:32:07
2000  Benoit Perthuis      4:19:24  Barrie Hartman       4:53:07

Winners of the 38-Mile Skate

Year  Man                 Time      Woman               Time
====  =================== ========  =================== ========
1988  George McCall        3:40:00  Tara Fox             4:17:00 (age 9)
1989  Jayme Caspall        2:50:42  Karen Edwards        2:51:00
1990  Ron Lowrie           2:38:00  Constance Koizumi    3:07:00 (age 53)
1991  Brit Cottrell        2:22:00  Margo SuSan          2:59:14
1992  David Evans          2:32:21  Katina Salafatinos   2:50:52
1993  Robert Herriman      2:18:16  Linda Anthony        2:35:11
1994  Nikko Ramkissoon     2:11:28  Theresa Bila         2:35:32
1995  Brian McDonough      2:08:21  Amy Morrill          2:21:38 (age 16)
1996  Nikko Ramkissoon     2:01:20  Katina Salafatinos   2:15:56
1997  Leo Pino             2:05:40  Casey Beasley        2:16:18
1998  Norman Walker        2:08:24  Casey Beasley        2:26:12
1999  Rodney Grabinski     2:17:13  Vicki Heagerty       2:32:57
2000  Michael Harris       2:03:37  Debbie Rice          2:07:57

History of Athens-to-Atlanta

The first year, there were no check points (except the one noted below) and no support vehicles. The second year, check points were well-manned, and roving support vehicles plentiful. The third year, again, no check points and no support vehicles. Beginning in 1985, the fourth year, check points became a standard, and individual skaters began using personal support cars and support bicycles. In 1986, it rained, and the men's winning time stands contested, as he allegedly drafted behind the moped he used for personal support. The next year, 1987, a drafting rule was instituted that permits drafting only behind another skater. In 1988 the last time a conventional skater placed first overall, in-line skates appeared on the scene.

In 1991 the Dutch made the trip to America. For a group of "flat landers" they did a number on our American hills--the men's first and second overall and first place in the women's division. By now, in-lines are considered the only way to go for those attempting to win this grand-daddy of all outdoor marathon skates.

In 1992 it rained all day causing times to be slower than usual.

The 1993 times in both the men's and women's events were course records that year due to a course change in 1992.

In 1994 we had another all-day rain, including pouring rain at the finish line most of the day. In 1995, the sun returned to welcome a new women's record in the 85-mile event and new men's and women's records in the 38-mile event.

In 1996 we had a cloudy day but dry roads. A strong wind from the east blew away men's and women's records in both distances, despite the addition of a mile to the full distance course due to road construction.

1997 featured warm, humid weather, more like June than October, and a new starting line at the Athens-Clarke County Classic Center. The top three slots for the full distance went to two Dutch and one French skater. Full distance records were again broken for both men and women. Worthy of note, the top three women skaters broke the 5-hour barrier, including Marcia Yager, age 41 at the time.

1997 also featured greatly increased support from local police on the course, due to new sponsors and increased financial support. 1997 major sponsors were Bauer, Fila, Roces, Inline America, Kryptonics, and Twincam.

1998 featured a new addition: a seeded start for the fastest skaters. The weather in 1998 was a mixed bag. Clouds and fog were present at the start, with rain greeting the lead pack of skaters at checkpoint 1. The sun came out and the roads dried out as the lead skaters reached checkpoint 4. By mid-day, we had warm, humid weather rivalling 1997's event day.

Chris Keiser (team Wild Oats) took top honors as the first full distance finisher in 1998. Barrie Hartman (team Unity/Transpack) repeated her win of 1996 with her best finish time ever despite the rain.

1999 was one of the wettest years ever. Skaters were greeted with pouring rain at the start and there was virtually no let-up throughout the day. Tristan Loy carried the day, finishing over 11 minutes ahead of the chase pack. The women's first finisher was Nikki Diamantopoulos-Baruch, redeeming herself with a victory after a fall just before the finish line the previous year.

Dry weather returned for 2000, and with it, three of four records fell. Benoit Perthuis (Salomon) set a new full distance course record for the men with a time of 4:19:24. Barrie Hartman (Empire Speed/Verducci) set a new women's full distance record at 4:53:07. For the half distance, Debbie Rice (Bont) set a new women's record at 2:07:57. The men's record of 1996 remains unbroken, but top finishers Michael Harris (Texas Flyers) and Ronald Berry Jr. (Stardust Orlando) turned in a respectable time of 2:03:37.

Additional Notes About The Early Years...

About the first year from Ann Norelli Augustine:

The first year of the race, which benefited the Leukemia Society, had a Support Vehicle, the Budweiser Winnebago, driven by the Bud Light Regional Manager, and the Leukemia Society's Van, driven and manned by Society Staff and Volunteers...not to mention countless Peachtree Road Rollers who drove back and forth throughout the day offering medical assistance, sag wagon lifts and word from up ahead. Admittedly, not well organized, but It was the first outing, we had no idea what to expect and our greatest fear was being shot at by "Deliverance Type Red-Necks"...Given that the course was marked the day before by Buckhead Bar Rollers who planned a Skate, not a Race, and the Ham Radio operators who cruised the course, we were lucky to get to town...hence the Pete DeTorre decision to paint every mile number and arrows at every turn for the next year's event. "Checkpoints were only at the Stone Mountain Elementary School, where we were met by Leukemia Patients and at the DeKalb Avenue Marta Station where skaters who pledged to skate the final 5 miles joined the skate. The Budweiser Winnebago drove the entire course, arriving in Piedmont Park shortly after Keith and Henry. We entered Sunshine Skates to ask Brandon Hill for some back-up, who in turn called Skate Escape and only then did we realize that nobody expected the first skater for several more hours..."Those guys are BACK already!" could be heard up the avenue...and the rest is history. V103 Radio was the other sponsor.

About the third year from Ann Norelli Augustine:

There were always checkpoints, even in the third year. And I believe that the third was the year we "jumped" the entry fee to $20.00...(it had been $5 if pre-registered; and $7. on race day. The post race party was held at the Peachtree Plaza and the awards were announced on the air live by the local radio station that had sponsored that year. Check points consisted of card tables and the people who manned them were told to arrive at the time projected to be when the earliest skaters should have been coming through. It was during the first win by Team Rollerblade that hours were shaved off the winning time and check point people arrived at their posts too late to connect with leaders.

Picture of Keith Donaldson, first finisher of A-to-A.

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