With Mother Nature hurling 1 earthquake and 2 hurricanes at the mid-Atlantic over the past three weeks, coupled with complete lack of skating (let alone skate racing) and skate training partners – a very loud voice in my head told me NOT to enter the Skate of the Union race this year. But, no. The lack of skating or skate opportunities didn’t seem to matter. I entered anyway.
Entering an event, means that I have to do it. There’s no backing out. My skate race training consisted of ONE (count it!), ONE hour for the entire year. And yet for some reason, I thought I could win. Go figure.
September 11, 2011 turned out to be a perfect day for Virginia, Maryland and DC skaters (plus many who traveled further!) to get together and draft, heel carve, double-push, maintain skate technique until your quads cave, and GO as fast as possible around a 1 mile+ flat track – for 10K, 1/2 marathon or the full marathon — all to benefit the Special Olympics.
Skating is an endorphin rush…and being a part of a kick-ass draft line is about as exciting as it gets (too bad I couldn’t keep up with any!). Unlike the prior year where I drafted with Team New Jersey, or behind a big man in a blue shirt….this year was different. I skated a few laps with random skaters, in general I was solo for most of the skate – either too fast for draft lines, or too slow. While my quads were screaming from the lack of training – I managed to stay upright and finish…and take second place with a spot on the podium. How ’bout dem apples eh?
The skate community is pretty tight – and it was all worth it being reunited with old skate friends from the days of Leukemia Team-n-Training, A2A-86mile, Eddie Matzgar clinics, Team Skaters Quest, and Team Rollerquest of Baltimore. Will train for this next year!