I think I’ve finally recovered from the St. Paul Inline Marathon. Actually, recovery went MUCH faster than from running 26.2 miles. Maybe that had something to do with rolling for 95 minutes rather than pounding the pavement for 240?
A few things I learned:
1. Get into a wave with people of a similar ability. I was seeded in the last open wave, which put me with a bunch of girls wearing tie-dyed t-shirts and recreational skates. This matters because . . .
2. Drafting is HUGE in inline racing. Probably even more-so than biking since you can catch even more of a free ride when you’re inches off someone’s butt than when you’re inches off their wheel. It took me a while to realize that synchronized skating is more efficient than randomly skating behind someone.
3. Climbing hills sucks. Shepherd Road from I-35E going West is a tenacious climb that almost killed me on both laps.
4. Web pavement is kind of slippery, but wet pavement covered with oil that’s dripped from cars at intersections is even worse.
5. Texturized fresh cement isn’t the best surface for skating. Because of this, pacelines often formed on the shoulder. That was find until it came time to switch back to the main road. The crack between the two was approximately the width of inline skate wheels. I saw quite a few people fall prey to those cracks.
6. Don’t get dropped. I thought I was hurting before I was dropped, then things went from bad to worse.
The video below has two clips from around the 19 mile mark at Randolph and Shepherd Road. The first is of an advanced group paceline moving along at a fast and efficient clip. The second part is me flailing after being dropped before the turnaround at US Bank.
One other thing: If it’s raining and you’re wearing glasses, make sure you put them somewhere safe. I dropped mine when they fell out of my jersey. I spotted what was left of them when I passed them on the 2nd lap.
Thanks to Carly for cheering for me in the rain.
And thanks to Paul Jahn for talking me into doing this.
Oh. Results. I finished 38th out of 857 in the Open division with a time of 1:35:40. That’s a 16.4 MPH average. I was 3rd in the 30-34 M category.
Knowing what I know now, I’d sign up for the advanced category next time so I’d have more people of a similar ability around me to work with. That would help a lot.
What’s next on the calendar? Well, there’s one coming up on the Grandma’s course in Duluth. Paul is hyping up a race in Houston in November. And there is an ultra marathon from Athens to Atlanta, Georgia this fall as well.
I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who’s comfortable on rollerblades. The race was well organized and had a great group of participants. Give one a try!