My first roller marathon was at the Goodwood circuit in Chichester. Unfortunately the organisers decided not to continue with the event due to the amount of time and effort required. As a result the owner of the Everglides skate shop have since put on a no thrills event (South Coast Roll) at Goodwood every year. So Everglides rent out the track, insurance sorted and you just pay £7 to enjoy the use of the track.
I’ve missed it the past two years and I have wanted to revisit the track as I was eager to know how much I’ve improved. To compare my progress I wanted to use exactly the same pair of skates I used the first time around. Salamon Chill LX. 84mm wheels. I know conditions won’t ever be exactly the same but I was still eager to know what’s changed for me in six years.
Eleven laps of Goodwood counts to a full marathon. 26.5 miles.
My first two laps I was skating with my friend Van. He was using speed skates so it wasn’t long before he shot off. The next four laps I was pacing it on my own. Averaging 11 minute laps.
My other friends arrived on the circuit on my seventh lap. I continued skating with them in a paceline. We took in turns to take the lead. However as we were of varying abilities being behind was sometimes more difficult even though you had no headwind. This is because you had to change your pace to get close to the person in front, this was done by reducing your stride length but upping your cadence to ensure skates don’t clash. (Matching their movements). As a result I was using up more energy. In fact this was quite reminiscent of my Mittelrhein race the previous week.
On my final lap I broke from the pack. My friend Joe urged me to push on for a sprint finish. He gave me a little boost from behind to catch up with some people we knew, Chris and Van. Once we caught up it was difficult keeping up with their speed skates. Cramps started coming in so I slowly dropped back again. Joe pointed out that our friends who we raced away from was embarrassingly catching up at this point, despite our earlier sprint. Sometimes you need someone to motivate you at times like these. I pushed on and finished just over 2 hours. (46 minutes faster than my first roller marathon attempt).
I brought my speed skates to Goodwood so I swapped them after my marathon for a test run. First attempt failed horribly with cramps setting in on all calf and thigh muscles. After bailing onto the grass for five minutes I made my way slowly back to the start point to stretch off properly.
Second time around was better. I started off slowly, warming up again before attempting a ‘faster,’ lap. 9:46. Well that gives a baseline to look at for next year..
1:47:25 should be achievable..
So yes I have improved with my skate endurance and it will be interesting to see how a full marathon on the speed skates will be next year. Most importantly however it was a great day out with everyone at the Goodwood motor circuit.
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