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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old June 14th, 2017, 04:44 PM   #1
Spencer.Berry
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Default Speed Events

The "Speed Events" section of this forum sure has been quiet in recent years. Do people not bother looking there? Or maybe no one is interested in Speed Events? Or maybe people are discussing speed events, but with their group of friends on FB, instead of here?
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Old June 15th, 2017, 12:50 AM   #2
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The "Speed Events" section of this forum sure has been quiet in recent years. Do people not bother looking there? Or maybe no one is interested in Speed Events? Or maybe people are discussing speed events, but with their group of friends on FB, instead of here?
I think FB has become more popular for event advertising and chat. Many of the major races have a FB page for the event.
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Old June 15th, 2017, 01:13 AM   #3
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I hate to be negative, but I think part of the lack of participation on here is representative of what the races are experiencing. I really feel like the outdoor events, especially, are struggling to find the numbers. And, thus, you don't have a lot of people on here talking about them.

I love skating...I still skate many days a week, but I haven't done a race in over a year. While I want to support the races, I just have other priorities and even other interests right now. This is such a lame excuse, but it just gets old traveling 10+ hours to race a few times a year. When I skate, I skate by myself...and, that also gets old. Every time I go out to skate, I thoroughly enjoy it, but it's just gotten tougher to keep my competitive juices flowing (because I'm always alone). I have to think other skaters are experiencing the same thing.

We have this conversation every year on here, and I'm not sure what it will take to get the participation up. Apostle is one of the best events in the country and the participation (there) is only so-so. Granted, that event conflicts with ODN, but if Apostle can't grow at a record pace, I'm not sure what event can. Part of me thinks there needs to be more events centrally located. But, when you look at races like Chicago, they don't necessarily get great participation either. I sort of think we need to bring back NROC and focus on a few really great events every year that are scattered across the country. To me, the Minnesota races, which are some of the biggest and only events, are becoming almost entirely local - meaning, most of the participants are from the area. We need to have more races where there is a better national presence. That's what keeps Duluth at the top - people are traveling from all over to participate. Somehow we need to start pulling skaters from states other than Minnesota in larger numbers. I don't have the answer, but I think losing events like Texas Road Rash and others has hurt us. There's even less attention on the Canada events. I remember when the Montreal inline marathon was a huge event. Now, I don't even know if it exists.

Again, I don't have the answers, but we need to figure out something.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 02:15 AM   #4
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I think FB has become more popular for event advertising and chat. Many of the major races have a FB page for the event.
Yes, I think that is the explanation. For anyone here who isn't already a member of the "Inline Races" group on FB, I definitely recommend it. It is maintained by one of the Team Safe skaters, and usually has good info and discussions and photos.
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Old June 27th, 2017, 01:24 AM   #5
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Default Events! Love 'em or Hate 'em?

Hello... anybody out there? Events are alive and well, seems even with more ability to campaign across the net we still see smaller turn outs.

So, lemme dig in with a few with Q's:
Skaters,
1. What kind of event do you prefer: indoor, outdoor, track?
2. What do you want from events?
3. What will get you to commit to spend vacation time & money on registration?
4. How many events do you participation in annually?
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Old June 27th, 2017, 09:04 PM   #6
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1. What kind of event do you prefer: indoor, outdoor, track? road marathons, though the Montreal 24 hour team relay is far and away the best event in North America
2. What do you want from events? a critical mass of similar ability competition
3. What will get you to commit to spend vacation time & money on registration? an interesting road course with safe pavement (i.e. no holes, tar snakes, tight turns) and a critical mass of similar ability competition
4. How many events do you participation in annually? Five this year. A few years ago it was 20+. My economic situation, fewer skaters (less comparable competition), and course quality are the major drivers in the change.
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I'm a 42 year old skating Pro Masters. I'm probably the type of skater races need. I never skated indoor. I bought a pair of skates from a local store as a 23 year old for a different exercise option. A college friend told me about his experience at the Northshore Marathon so I decided to give it a try in 2000. I fell in love with the competition and haven't missed a year since.

I'm pessimistic. I kind of cried "no mas!" last year. Montreal changed their venue to a short, turny criterium (not fun for someone who does not cross at high speed). Trexlertown eliminated a separate Masters race. Chicago shortened their course (6 laps), has sticky tar snakes, a less than ideal downhill with turns, and has eliminated a separate Master's start. Duluth race organizers seem to be trying to alienate skaters and the location is only convenient for the Twin Cities, the weather bumps into late fall, and the hotels are expensive. The best race (Apostle) dumps my Masters division into the Pro open race and the beautiful course is in a rain forest in the middle of nowhere (a nice outdoorsy vacation location, though). NYC 100k and A2A have to deal with increasing traffic on the courses (though moving A2A's start 30 minutes earlier made a huge improvement) (NYC pavement is also much improved as of last year). Montreal 24 has the competition and the course, but are limited by track availability (this year the only available date given to the organizers is Northshore weekend!). Montreal 24 is also logistically imposing for out of towners and involves forming a team (there are ways around this by joining a known team like Skater's Quest that take care of food, chairs, sleeping cots, etc). Montreal 24 also has a reputation (probably more miscommunication based, though they are guilty of ignoring the obvious, annual problem) of bias against English speaking teams. Canada Day was a great course, location, and had summer weather, but was probably permanently lost last year (and it also didn't always land on a weekend as July 1 is the national day of Canada - though I recall they weren't strict date wise as we are with July 4). Squiggy did return this year, but the course can only take a limited number of skaters and other park users were allowed on the course. Skate of the Union's course was a 1.1 mile loop that limited the race size, thought this year it is moving to the old F1 race track course in the RFK parking lot. I've never been to Rolling on the River because it typically conflicts with Montreal 24 or is too close on the calendar to alternate races that are easier to get to. Napa was the ultimate location and weather, but the city/county basically kicked out the event last year. The new course sounds like it might have a wet pavement problem.

Is there a solution? As races have died, I was hoping the remainder would benefit. Instead, it seems we've lost touch with any type of critical mass we were clinging to. We need to get local recreational skaters (maybe a reduced registration fee for new skaters?), but most skaters I run into here around DC don't even know of the local Skate of the Union. Racers like myself probably need to decide on a few top races and make it a priority to make them. This is still problematic because this would involve a lot of traveling/cost. We lose skaters to biking and running because it is easier to find places to train and involve less traveling to find a race. ***I need to run in the middle of writing, but I think you can see what I'm trying to convey.***

FYI, top race choices based on course, geographic location, and weather? I'm curious how the Skate of the Union looks this year. Some may say DC is too hot in July, but that's better than cold or rain in my book (yes, a rainstorm can pass through, but it the heat dries the pavement The weekend of the 4th probably isn't ideal for out of towners and I assume hotels are expensive, but there are three major airports as well as lots of tourist options. I also recall the pavement is a little rough on the RFK parking lot course, but was "safe." Other races worth consideration in my opinion: Duluth, Apostle, Rolling on the River. I wish Chicago and Montreal had better courses.
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Old July 26th, 2017, 09:29 PM   #7
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1. What kind of event do you prefer: indoor, outdoor, track? Outdoor, marathon distance if possible, but I don't know that this is realistic anymore for more than one or two big races per year. I am interested in trying indoor, but don't have the time with two small children at present.
2. What do you want from events? A place to skate with others, maybe chip time
3. What will get you to commit to spend vacation time & money on registration? Well run events with lots of skaters, good venues.
4. How many events do you participation in annually? Presently 2 to 3 depending on availability. Usually the American Cancer Society Walk & Roll, Chicagoland, and Northshore.
What we need is more exposure. Seems like this would work best through shorter events, like 10k events tied to cycling crits or running events. Everyone always talks about how there is more legal risk and insurance is high for these events. This seems like a bogus excuse. Rollerblade looks like they are doing something similar. We need more of that and more people willing to organize such events. If you build support at smaller races and advertise bigger ones, we will likely start to see numbers increase at bigger events. There are probably 100 5k events for runners in and around Chicago every year. Those events fed the half and full marathons. Simple idea with a hard execution.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 03:16 AM   #8
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What we need is more exposure. Seems like this would work best through shorter events, like 10k events tied to cycling crits or running events.
http://www.saguarosunrise.com/event-info
There's a new race this year in Arizona in October for both bike racing and inline racing. Looks like an amazing course. Running a skating race along with a bike race should be good for exposure for our sport.
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Old July 28th, 2017, 04:14 AM   #9
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Yes, we're excited for saguaro sunrise! Back in late 90's I used to help volunteer (and race) the Tucson Cactus Classic series - outdoor marathon - those were some tough courses. Will be fun to revisit the ole' pueblo on skates this fall.
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 02:10 PM   #10
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Default Cyclical Nature of Participation

Some of the older skaters have mentioned the cyclical nature of inline skating event participation. It seems we are at or near a trough, but in coming years activity and interest will once again begin to increase. Event dollars seem to be going to warrior dash or other obstacle course events. Those are more likely to be life list, check the box, type events and not lifelong participation like inline. As the diehards it is our job to keep up our enthusiasm, to do our best to support the events and vendors that do a good job, and to be ambassadors and resources for those that seek to get involved.

Here is a link to a wide reaching inline skating event calendar, note the Conglomerate Calendar at the bottom of the page:

http://www.inlineskatempls.com/?page_id=12682
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 02:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by shesk8 View Post
1. What kind of event do you prefer: indoor, outdoor, track?
2. What do you want from events?
3. What will get you to commit to spend vacation time & money on registration?
4. How many events do you participate in annually?
1. All of the above.
2. Reasonable facilities (building, bathrooms, floor, track, road, etc). Good organization.
3. See #2
4. Before we had a kid, we would do 7 or 8 indoor meets per year plus a couple marathons or 10k's. Now we do 2 or 3 indoor meets plus 1 marathon. Child care is expensive! There are no banked tracks in the area so we haven't done any of those races.
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Old August 26th, 2017, 10:08 PM   #12
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Rollin' on The River results. I count 98 skaters (only 44 full marathon distance). They even added a coupon code for 20% off registration for the last couple weeks (presumably due to the low registration numbers). Last year there were 133 participants.

Though I said differently on another post, this summer I decided to race a couple Trexlertown races as well as the Montreal Marathon (actually now called Marathon Roller of Laval). The Montreal participation is well below what it used to be (26 skaters for the marathon). It is held in an industrial area and the pavement is gatorback - I actually had an axle come out during the race. Trexlertown participation is down a little, but seems to be at fairly healthy levels. Trexlertown is largely indoor skaters which may explain why it seems to be outperforming the trend of outdoor races. They also have cash purses for the top mens, womens, and masters finishers. I'll be honest, this was a big driver for me showing up to a second race since it covered registration and gas money. Of course, the fact I was the top masters finisher says something about the participation level (and my willingness to push the pace up the hills against the flatlanders).
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Old August 27th, 2017, 06:32 AM   #13
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Rollin' on The River results. I count 98 skaters (only 44 full marathon distance). They even added a coupon code for 20% off registration for the last couple weeks (presumably due to the low registration numbers). Last year there were 133 participants.
Rollin' on the River participation may have been negatively impacted this year by proximity to the eclipse. That was my issue, at least. I took off Monday and Tuesday to see the eclipse. Rollin' on the River requires taking off at least Friday. That doesn't leave much of a work week left.
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Old August 27th, 2017, 07:50 PM   #14
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Rollin' on The River results. I count 98 skaters (only 44 full marathon distance).
Looks like the majority of the Pro Division was over 50.
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Old August 27th, 2017, 09:26 PM   #15
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Rec had almost 50% over 50... 12 of 25
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Old August 27th, 2017, 09:59 PM   #16
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Rollin' on the River participation may have been negatively impacted this year by proximity to the eclipse. That was my issue, at least. I took off Monday and Tuesday to see the eclipse. Rollin' on the River requires taking off at least Friday. That doesn't leave much of a work week left.
You may be correct. I visited my parents in SC for the eclipse which made me write off the possibility of going to Rollin' on the River. The weather forecast for Rollin' on the River had a high chance of rain which may have affected any late deciders in Minnesota. The radar map I checked the day of the race indicated it was probably a dry race.
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