The Week That Was 02/24 – 03/02

Tampa Classic Half Marathon Announced

This is a 13.1 mile distance event open to all skaters on April 20th, 2014 at 7:00 AM. It is being held at the super fast Skate Pad in Tampa. Registration is $25. The race is followed by the outdoor portion of the Tampa Classic inline speed meet.

Registration for the Apostle Islands Inline Marathon Is Now Open

Race Date is June 14, 2014. This is some of the best asphalt you will ever skate on. The race is well organized and the island and surrounding areas can be enjoyed by skater and non-skater alike. You can register either by:  downloading a registration form or online registration. Sign up by March 15 and save $15.00. For race information go to www.apostleislandsinline.comLodging information can be found at www.visitashland.com.

2014 Spring Colorado Banked Track Clinic

The dates have been set for the Spring Banked Track Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The clinic will be held at the United States Olympic Training Center from May 1 – May 4, 2014.

Athletes from across the United States will be attending the clinic in hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Team USA Trials and Outdoor National Championships. Athletes that have already qualified, travel to Colorado as part of their preparation for the trials and championships.

Online-Skating.com – Testing the 3x125mm Set-up

Fox Business – Jordan Malone: an Olympic Entrepreneur

Like all successful entrepreneurs, Olympic short-track speedskater Jordan Malone saw a void in his marketplace, and he filled it. Not happy with the tips skaters use on their fingers when going around turns, he made his own out of carbon fiber.

Allentown Morning Call – Q&A with Chris Creveling, Silver Medal Winner in Sochi

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette –  Local Inline Skater Overcomes Obstacles

The Week That Was 02/17 – 02/23

Stoking Olympic aspirations: L to R: Olympian Brittany Bowe, Renee Hildebrand, Joey Mantia.

First Loser – Renee Hildebrand: Skaters First

Well, the making of an Olympian is a long process and often begins years before the athlete even realizes it. The most difficult thing to do is to keep children and teenagers involved in a particular sport for the ten to twenty years required to reach the top.

Ocala Star Banner – Bowe, Mantia, and Scott Inspire Rising Crop of Inline Speedskaters

The Week That Was 02/10 – 02/16

Jessica Smith, center, shown in 2006, excelled at inline skating, which is not an Olympic sport. She switched to blades and now is competing in Sochi. Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

From the New York TimesTo Go Further, Speedskaters Had to Let Go of Their Wheels

Rollerblading is back.

Well, at least among American Olympic speedskaters.

Of the 25 long- and short-track American competitors, 14 started out as inline skaters. They are split between long and short track, according to U.S. Speedskating.

KC Boutiette NSC Interview

NSC Race Analyst Thomas Ford interviewed four time Olympian KC Boutiette and inline to ice pioneer. Boutiette had just raced a NSC event for the first time only a couple weeks after he raced in the Long Track Olympic Trials.

The Engineering Sport blog has a piece on the culture, courage, and innovation that drives Dutch success in speedskating.

VeloNews.com – Debunking The Myth of Lactic Acid

We all remember the gym coach who roared about how you weren’t working until you felt that lactic acid burn. The phrase “lactic acid” is part of our sports lingo. How many times have we heard “gotta clear the lactic acid”? Well, it turns out that the coach was slightly misinformed. More and more, I have endurance athletes asking me the truth about lactic acid: 1) Are lactic acid and lactate different and which one do we have in our bodies? 2) Does lactate have a purpose?

There is considerable power behind the lactic acid myths, but the reality is that they are just that — myths. Let’s dispel them now.

Greensboro News & Record – Trend of inline skaters switching to ice expands U.S. Speedskating’s reach

NZ Timaru Herald – Speed skating club receives timely boost

Unlikely Bond Of J.R. Celski And Macklemore

Short track medalist and former inliner J.R. Celski and Grammy Award winning hip-hop artist Macklemore forged an unlikely bond on mutual respect and belief in dedication to their crafts. Celski’s “Ten Thousand Hours” started on wheels.

The Week That Was 01/20-01/26

New Zealand’s Shane Dobbin

Results for the first stop in the National SpeedSkating Circuit, NSC, have been posted. 16 year old Thomas “Tom Tom” Goff was crowned the Grand Champion in his debut event on the circuit.

World class inline speed skaters Michael Mulder, Joey Mantia, Heather Richardson, Brittany Bowe,  Shane Dobbin, Jilleanne Rookard, and Eddy Alvarez all made the news this week for their exploits on ice in the lead up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. To cap it all off the inliners still skating on wheels got some ink!

The meatiest read of the bunch is easily the First Loser interview with Joey Mantia. The First Loser interview was conducted since the end of the U.S. Long Track Olympic Trials and has a distinctly inline feel and focus.

FirstLoser: So then, tell me, is there anything about the journey that’s been surprising to you, as in, you had no idea something was going to be so hard or so easy? What’s something that’s been unexpected?

Mantia: I guess the major shocker was how small the sport of long track ice skating really is. Sure, the recognition I experience now is bigger than inline, but that’s only because I’m going to the Olympics. Ice skating feels like this tiny little world when you’re inside of it. It was a really weird transition for me, coming from wheels. I’ll tell you this though, point-blank, long track is a man’s sport. There’s no hiding. The worthy win and the unworthy fail. It’s a study in simplicity, and that’s the odd beauty that can make an athlete fall in love with the sport if they stick with it long enough.

There were a couple other reads worth your time this week:

The New Zealand Herald profiles 34 year old Shane Dobbin, a late comer to the ice game. On his late transition to ice Dobbin was realistic:

The adaptation changes are a lot harder when you’re older. It just takes a bit more time and dedication, where I probably could have got through it a little quicker and easier when I was younger.

An AP profile of the on track rivalry and off track friendship of Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe. At least leading up to Sochi it seems that the two athletes are mentioned side by side by every media outlet.

Bowe still feels like a bit of a rookie on the ice, but she and her fellow inliners have been a huge boost to the American speedskating program.

The NSC, National SpeedSkating Circuit, got some press when The Journal Gazette covered Aaron Gettys’ qualification onto the circuit.

This Week’s Other Inline Related News:

Prepare for the Sochi Bounce

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games kick off in just over one month. Long Track competition starts on February 8th. Short Track begins on February 10th. For the next six or seven weeks the sport of inline speed skating is going to get more TV, newspaper, and social media coverage in the United States than it has likely ever received in the past and will receive for at least the next four years.

Proud inliners like Heather Richardson, Brittany Bowe, and Joey Mantia are already garnering lots of attention for their Long Track medal chances. Short Track will have no shortage of inliners who could podium in Sochi – J.R. Celski, Eddy Alvarez, Emily Scott, and Jessica Smith. The inliners are certainly proud of their roots. Saturday Joey Mantia put a point on it when he shared Michael Cheek’s Facebook status update, ‘I hope in the next month every rink in the country has a sign that says “Olympic dreams start here”.’ Inline clubs and skaters need to be prepared to take advantage of the unprecedented media coverage our sport is going to receive in the coming weeks.

Joey Mantia’s Go Fund Me Poster

Here are some ideas to help take advantage of the Sochi Bounce!

Get Organized

Make sure your club’s website and social media presence are up to date, including practice dates, times, and locations.

Get Noticed

  • As Michael Cheek suggests, put up signs in your rink, “Olympic Dreams Start Here!”
  • Have club fliers or post cards available that can be taken home and distributed away from the rink or trail.
  • Be present – at the rink or on the trail. Skaters need to be seen, before and after the Games.
  • Contact local news outlets early and often. The NBC family of stations will broadcast the Sochi Games and should be the most receptive to broadcasting related local content.
    • Have a pitch ready.
    • USARS provides a press release kit that includes suggestions and links on how to best contact local media outlets. Their Organizing Speed Skating pamphlet also provides some useful talking points.
    • If you or someone you know is capable of explaining the finer points of LT or ST competition and rules let local media outlets know they can contact the expert during the Games for a quote or commentary.

Focus on Newbies

  • Add extra emphasis on practices for novice skaters from late February through March.
  • Have an extra helmet or two available at practices.
  • For inline to gain prominence everyone has to be a positive representative of the sport.

Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments.

Theresa Cliff-Ryan Injured in Training Accident

The former inliner and professional cyclist received a concussion after a scary training accident. She was standing on the side of the track when a crashing speedskater crashed into her sending her falling and landing on her head. The full story is available from ESPN at http://espn.go.com/olympics/speedskating/story/_/id/10216851/speedskater-theresa-cliff-ryan-injured-practice.

Minneapolis Says Goodbye To The Rollerdome, For Now

rollerdome-finallapFriday December 27th is the final night of skating in the Metrodome before it is demolished in February of 2014 to make way for a new football stadium. The Twin Cities will be without its primary winter training site for two years while the new stadium is being built. Those of us not in the area will also miss the early season test of the Metrodome Inline Marathon. Thanks to the lobbying effort of local skaters, the Rollerdome will move into the new $975 million stadium when it is completed. The new stadium boasts wider concourses but no word yet on whether the 605 meter track will expand or contract.

News outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, have been covering the final days of the Metrodome and the decision to continue the winter fitness phenomenon in the new stadium.

2014 U.S. Olympic Trials Speedskating TV Schedule

NBC Sochi 2014 LogoNBC Sports has announced its initial schedule of coverage for the 2014 U.S. Speedskating Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah. Many of top the favorites have transitioned to ice from inline including Joey Mantia, Heather Richardson, and newly minted 1000m World Record Holder Brittany Bowe. Long track and short track event tickets and details are available from U.S. Speedskating.

Times are subject to change, so check your local listings!

Date Sport Events Network Time**
Friday, Dec. 27 Long Track Men’s 5000m/Women’s 3000m NBCSN 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 28 Long Track Men’s/Women’s 500m NBC 3 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 29 Long Track Men’s/Women’s 1000m NBC 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 31 Long Track Men’s/Women’s 1500m NBCSN 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 1 Long Track Men’s 10000m/Women’s 5000m NBCSN 5 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 3 Short Track Men’s/Women’s 1500m NBCSN 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 4 Short Track Men’s/Women’s 500m NBCSN 4 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 5 Short Track Men’s/Women’s 1000m NBC 4 p.m.

** All times Eastern Timezone

Welcome to Inline Geek!

For inline speed skating fans across the world!

Welcome to our new site for inline speed skating. We are hosting this site to help promote the exciting sport of inline speed skating.

It does not matter if you skate inside or out, we are here to help provide information to get everyone together to get out and skate.

We are starting by providing a bit of information to help organize inline skating opportunities in the Atlanta, Georgia vicinity (because that is where we live and I guess we are a bit selfish in that way). However, the real benefit to our site is to know where & when inline skating opportunities for fitness and speed are coming up in the US, Canada and Europe. If you ever just want to strap on the skates and go race or skate with a group, you can find that information here.
Skate calendar information is culled mostly through our manual effort scouring across the Interweb to find events matching our passion. The skate map is a fun way to see what is happening near (or not so near) you.

Lots of updates coming soon……
– Site enhancements – definitely want a better looking & more usable site
– Skaters Forum
– News
– Skater Blog
– Pictures
– Race reports – and maybe even results
– Skating links – because lots of others are doing good work to promote our sport and we want to make it easy to participate