I know, I know, it’s “Inline Skating” and not “Rollerblading” but I wasn’t going to argue (Rollerblades are to Skating what Hoovers are to Vacuums, it’s a brand name). Anyway!…
A few months ago the local newspaper did a shout out via their twitter feed looking for people for their “I Love My” section. Always looking for free publicity I replied back saying that I’d be happy to do something about my skates and skating in the local area. We swapped details and I never heard any more, I figured they had dropped me for someone more exciting.
Last week, I received a phone call from the Surrey Hants Star Courier asking if I still wanted to do it, Of course I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately I had now committed to being attacked for Children In Need and so the photo shoot was going to be me with full on face fuzz!
Not a bad interview at all. I’ll never be able to get them to add everything in, I had talked about Goodwood Roller Marathon and the Winter Sessions at Sandhurst but they mentioned Cskate and the Arena so I’m happy 🙂
There isn’t really much to say other than it’s a really good skate. 99% of the surface is excellent to skate on and there are plenty of coffee shops along the way to get drinks and snacks. The full route is 13miles end to end but we skated all the way into Bristol for a proper lunch and ended up doing a nice round 30 miles that day. Very tiring but well worth it and I’d highly recommend it to anyone wanting to stretch their legs.
Some pictures from the day…
… and a silly video I made along the way…
N.B. This is a backdated post as I take some of the things I have been doing elsewhere on the interwebs and add them to this site 🙂
Another fantastic trip to Le Mans for the 24 hour race… and you have guessed it, on skates! For those that don’t know the “24 Roller” emulates the 24 hour car race pretty well. Each team has up to 10 members (and three pit crew) and your team has to do as many laps as possible in 24 hours, they even do the Le Mans start where all the skates are lined up on one side of the track with skaters on the other.
This year was hard work, both from the organising from (with the new job) and the actual event. In a complete change from last years heatwave it decided to rain this year. It could have been a lot worse though as it wasn’t driving rain with setting up the campsite and taking tents down done in the dry which makes a HUGE difference.
The new rota went down well with people changing shifts every 40 mins (was 30 last year) which for 9 people meant 2 hours on and 4 hours off and it was fantastic having pit crew there this year! It made such a huge difference having someone to cook and wash up so that we could get on with sleeping between shifts.
As per usual, the hotel on the Sunday night was bliss, a clean bed, showers and a slap up restaurant meal. Roll on next year.
This weekend saw the 2006 Santa Skate and WOW! If I wasn’t feeling full of Christmas before I am now! 300+ skaters hit the streets of London for a street skate and every one of them is dressed as Santa! I’m sure the London, Camberley and any other skaters will post pics up soon however twovideos have already appeared on YouTube taken by passers by! I shouldn’t be surprised, as I must be on at least 100 strangers cameras and phones. Everyone was taking our pictures!
This was my first Berlin marathon and as such I don’t have much to compare it to. I have previously done two marathons but they were 2 and 3 years ago at Goodwood, I actually got a faster time three years ago than two!! For the people trying to imagine the Berlin marathon (especially those that have only every done races on circuits) it is just like the London marathon… only in Berlin… and on skates! It is through the streets of Berlin and crowds line the streets shouting encouragement. Unlike the London marathon it is also very smooth and a very nice surface to skate. The Berlin marathon is both a skate race (on the Saturday) which draws around 9000 skaters and a running race (on the Sunday) which draws over 40000 runners.
I decided to fly out on the Friday and fly home on the Saturday after the race, a decision which I am regretting as I sit here on the plane home writing this. With the race at 4:30pm and not finishing until 7:30pm the rush to catch our plane at 9:45 has almost killed me more than the actual race! Plus I miss the party afterwards but I have heard mixed reviews about that anyway!
The race went well though, yes Berlin is supposed to be one of the easier marathons but I thrashed any of my previous records by doing it in 1:45:48! I am quite chuffed with that! Previously I have taken just under 3 hours and my training was telling me that I wouldn’t do much better! I guess the big difference with training is the lack of pace lines, I got very lucky and managed to cut behind a skater that kept me going the entire race. In fact I think it was a really good partnership, he stayed in front all the way which was a bit cheeky of me but I was able to give him a push every now and then to help catch packs up and of course I got his draft nearly all the way. Thank you Howard if your reading this!
My ankle started to rub at about mile 4 and I was petrified that it was going to cripple me but while it didn’t stop and I have a nice blister it was skatable. I tried very hard not to keep looking at my GPS, obviously I wanted to know how far it was, It was strange that huge chunks of miles would go in a flash and then you would seem to make no progress at all.
The starting of the marathon was interesting, we started in blocks which were based on ability. Block A was Professional teams, Block B was professional individuals and then it was teared back to block G for anyone with a previous marathon time of over 2 hours… which is where I was! I tried to start at the front of my block hoping that as faster skaters passed me I could hop behind them and that worked quite well. It wasn’t long before I had caught up with the back of block F which had left 2 mins earlier but after that all the blocks had merged. I was amazed at the number of skaters that couldn’t pace line though! Especially on corners, it would seem that the entire line would break apart on a corner and then scrabble to re-form afterwards. There was a bit of slalom to do to as most of the race we seemed to be overtaking people who were weaving all over the place!
All in all a great race, I think I would still recommend Goodwood as a good first marathon but from what I hear then Berlin is the best introduction to a foreign marathon.
All the sponsorship money is finally in from the Goodwood Roller Marathon. It’s been a long hard job but I was so extatic when I calculated all the money we had in our account that was for the charity (bucket shakes, donations, etc.) and it worked out to the penny! I am pleased to announce that Goodwood Roller Marathon has raised £2141.48 for The NCYPE. Even better, the charity should be able to claim GiftAid on every penny which brings the grand total up to £2741.09 from the event! I could almost kid myself that I’m looking forward to organising next years!