A much smaller medal hoard than previous years. I'm still enjoying the races but I've reduced my participation with race events as I wanted to focus on other on other life events besides active ones. Yet I still had the opportunity for new experiences such as the original obstacle race Tough Guy, 6 hour Endurance Race at Gravesend, Make the Future Live eco event, a Ninja style competition, 6 hour Endurance race in Paris and finally got to roll along for the annual Skate Fresh Party.
I hope to keep active in 2018 with lot more fun, exciting, active experiences however they may be.
Without trying to sound egotistical, the London Skate Marathon trophies are taking a bit of space but I don't want to throw them out. So to make a compromise I got the hacksaw out! I've kept the base plaques of three of the trophies and combined them together!
We took the 10:00 Eurostar train from London St Pancras and we were in Paris by lunch time, ready for a long skate weekend.
Our accommodation was at the Three Ducks Hostel. Nice place, it had all the usual things you'd expect. Universal (USB) plug sockets seems to be becoming more common which is always handy.
After an afternoon of sight seeing we were ready for our first ever Paris Roller, a three hour officially organised street skate which legend has it inspired London's own skate scene. The difference here is that as well as the volunteer marshals they also have police motorbikes and an an ambulance keeping everybody safe. They however have much more continental start time of 22:00 which would be around the time London finishes their night street skates!
Saturday was a day of indulging the sights and culinary delights of Paris.
Venturing with some off skate culture.
Sunday however was the main reason why we were here. The 6H Paris Skate is an annual endurance Le Mans style relay event. It was held in Muette Park to the west of central Paris. The 2.5km closed road circuit winded through a forest which felt like a Centre Parks experience.
Our four person ESS team were non competitive, meaning we weren't going to be too hard on each other with any hiccups such as baton drops or missing your change over. We did have a little structure, with each of us doing two laps at a time. A close eye on the timing of each other's laps also allowed us to gauge how long our breaks were between shifts.
Unsurprisingly our first lap was mostly the fastest. The heat drained us as the hours ticked by, even though it was cooler than usual for August.
Just out of curiosity I used my recreational skates (80mm wheels) instead of my speed skates (110mm wheels) for one of my shifts. It felt noticeably slower. To keep a decent pace it meant I had to focus on my technique more and making every push count. Which makes me think maybe I get a little lazy with form on the speed skates... So although I really had to work on these two laps I did have one of the most memorable moments of overtaking a Lycra clad speed skating paceline! That felt brilliant!
I missed out by twenty seconds on the six hour cut off for another lap. However it turns out that attempt was also my fastest lap. (05:00:533 ms) I guess it helps when there is some motivation!
At the event there were skate stalls. One in particular is Ligne Droite where I got some spare parts. They were very friendly and were keen to point out that they are happy to create custom skate packages as well as the ability to ship to the UK as well as other parts of Europe. Will keep them in mind for the future.
The 6H Paris Skate event was such good fun! Whether you're pro speed skaters or recreational rollers it was a good track for an afternoon of rolling. It wasn't too difficult to get to and we were able to catch the 20:30 train from Gar du Nord, allowing us to be back home in London the same evening.
Thank you Christine Dumouchel for the photos.
For the third year running the London Inline Marathon was back at the Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park.
Before the race began I did a warm up run around the venue. My logic was to leave it as late as possible to ensure my body felt pumped and ready. After I dashed to secure my items in the locker. I was with my friend Elisabeth and we were having issues making the lock, lock! So as I hear racers for the half marathon being called Elisabeth kindly took my belongings with her and I dashed to boot up. As I placed my skates on the tarmac I see that skaters were already racing on the other side of the track! So that's gold out of the question!!
In my defence they did start five minutes early. Lesson learnt all the same though!
The race itself was fun. Like the previous year when I did start with everyone else I was skating without pacing with anyone for practically the whole race. I'm quite happy doing that, especially as I haven't practiced any sort of pacelining this year.
I have however been doing a fair bit of running. Up to 11 miles that is. The distance over-training helped with my 9k obstacle race last week and I definitely felt the benefit too with the skate half marathon. I attacked each lap with a solid effort, with lap time differences being less than 30 seconds.
Despite the initial mishap I had a good time rolling around the track on the speed skates.
My half marathon time was:
48minutes 21 seconds
3rd in the Senior age category.
Photos © 2017 Chun Wah NG
What a scorcher at today's South Coast Roll open track day in Chichester! Given the intensity of the heat I opted to cover my marathon distance this time with two/three lap intervals. (11.5 laps for a marathon). This had a plus of making it a much more sociable outing on pit breaks this year at the Goodwood race track.
On the video below, at 1:05 if you blink you'll miss me!
LSST and co today hosted their inaugural 6 Hour Endurance (no official website, event was organised via Facebook) race at the Cyclopark in Gravesend. It was only a twenty minute train ride from Kings Cross St Pancras station to Ebbsfleet International station (Future home of the Paramount theme park), then a ten minute taxi ride to the cycle track.
Sharp energy draining inclines are prominent memories of my previous experience of the track. So when on the day we told we were only using the lower part of the track there was a definite sigh of relief from everyone. The race as it's title suggests is a six hour endurance skate race. You can compete in teams of five, two or you can brave it solo.
Our relaxed ESS team of five muscled out when on course but we were there for the fun and the experience so when we messed up a baton exchange or when someone wasn't ready to take over there really was no stress. (Unlike some of the more competitive teams!).
A really enjoyable day out with everyone. The sun certainly helped keep spirits high. I hope this mini Le Mans event will become an annual outing!
2016 events that gave finishing mementos: Sport Relief: Queen Elizabeth Park; Spartan Race: Queen Elizabeth Park; Run Through: Lee Valley Velopark April; Tower of London Run; Adrenaline Rush: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; Color Obstacle Rush: Kempton Park; Wildfire Adventure Camp; Great Newham Run; Lee Valley Velopark July; Decathlon 5k Surrey Quays; London Inline Marathon; London Inline Marathon: 1st Place Senior Group; Toughest Oslo; Doughnut Dash; Rough Runner: Clapham Common 5k; Rough Runner: Clapham Common 10k; Bear Grylls Survival 10k
First outing for my LSST jersey. However I was far from the skate scene from which the purchase was intended for. Cycle/skate jerseys are actually really good for yoga as it doesn't slip and try to suffocate you while you're downward dogging!
Back once again for LSST's London Inline Marathon and for the second time at the Queen Elisabeth Olympic Park. With increasing track rental this could unfortunately be the last time we race here.
I've hardly touched my speed skates this year so today my race plan was to not rush off with the top guys and just enjoy the track. Wind was hitting certain parts of the track hard so no records were going to be broken for certain.
The race itself had people spread out so after the first lap I was on my own the whole way. 13 laps was required for my half marathon. I lost count towards the end. However in the above picture was the top guys doing their sprint finish, this was also them lapping me the second time. So two more laps at that point then!
Inline Half Marathon:
I somehow ended up winning my race category all the same! Might as well take the trophy before some of the others find their way into my age block, or before I move on to the next..!
Back again for the no thrills skate event South Coast Roll. Just turn up and skate as much or as little as you'd like.
For me it was a full marathon distance. It was a lot harder this year as I didn't have the benefit of my much more accomplished friend Edmar to draft behind when the going got tough. The wind certainly didn't not ease down for me. I skated for parts of the journey with Richard A.
Probably could have shaved a little more time if I didn't miscalculate my laps. At least it was a lap extra!
"Any tips, reviews and advice are my own opinions and are not to be taken as professional view points. The information on this site is what has worked for me and is here for guidance only, but I hope you gain insight into the various activities I partake in." Jonathan Chen