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Old August 21st, 2013, 08:55 PM   #1
ThePerambulator
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Default Grand Forks -- Rollin' on the River

Any Skateloggers heading up to Grand Forks this weekend? This is the first time I've been able to go. Brand new course too.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 09:29 PM   #2
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Alas, too much other travel this summer to make it to this one. I hear it's a great race though, so best of luck to you.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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Alas, too much other travel this summer to make it to this one. I hear it's a great race though, so best of luck to you.
Ditto. If I could day-trip it, though, I would try to make it.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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Yep heading over to it. first time!
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Old August 21st, 2013, 11:14 PM   #5
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I was expecting to but the new job meant I would not have the vacation balance to do Grand Forks, Duluth, and A2A. Something had to give so no Rolling on the River for me.

Maybe next year. It sound like an interesting race. Probably not well tuned to my strengths but fun.

Last edited by ese002; August 21st, 2013 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Left out a couple of words.
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Old August 28th, 2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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Here's my video from Grand Forks. Sadly, my memory card filled up at about the 10 mile marker. Could've sworn I deleted everything off the night before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPCswDIuN1E

Highlights include the "surprise" start about 5 seconds after the national anthem ended, a semi truck barreling towards us on the "closed" course, and one of the Twincam guys jokingly telling me to take everyone out so he could win the sprint

Overall it was a great race. I would definitely recommend making the trip up next year if you can!
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Old August 28th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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I would also recommend getting a ride to the start or make sure you are on the early bus. I got on the 6:20 bus by the time we got there, stood in line at the 2 porta johns. I barely got my skates on and to the start line before the cool air horn?
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Old August 28th, 2013, 11:26 PM   #8
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Here's my video from Grand Forks. Sadly, my memory card filled up at about the 10 mile marker. Could've sworn I deleted everything off the night before.
It looks like you are skating among the cows. I had the impression that Grand Forks was an urban race. Or does that come later?

The pavement at the start looks rather unfriendly.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 01:45 PM   #9
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It looks like you are skating among the cows. I had the impression that Grand Forks was an urban race. Or does that come later?

The pavement at the start looks rather unfriendly.
The course was new this year due to unfinished road construction on the old course. The first 15 miles were a straight shot north into Grand Forks, on a side road that paralleled the freeway. The pavement was mediocre for the first 2-3 miels but did improve. It really wasn't a factor -- we still managed to skate the first several miles at a 29-30mph pace. The 10-15mph south wind was the biggest factor. We really flew on that road. Once we got into town, it was more of a suburban race, going through neighborhoods in south Grand Forks.

Whether they do the old course of this new course again next year, I'll definitely be going. The race organizers are very passionate and I have every reason to believe they'll fix the lumps that caused problems this year.

It was also cool that there was money/gift cards on the table for top finishers in every age group, even in the Rec category. Pretty rare.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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Yeah the first few miles were actually much better than I was expecting from driving on it the day before.

The bussing issue is something they know about, same with porta potties, etc. I expect any issues that happened this year will be ironed out next year. I think they may stick to the same course next year too. I get that feeling because getting the full marathon along the river was one of the reasons they moved it and it turned out skating on the bike path for just under 4 miles was surprisingly nice.

Also this was probably one of my favorite courses I've skated on. That along with the big payouts, especially relative to it's size, make it a no brainer for me next year. It's interesting that a much smaller race than Duluth you can walk away with more prize money, they pay more placements, they charge half as much, have a similar point 2 point course, and still have money to donate to charity. Makes you wonder what Duluth is doing wrong since I've been told they've been losing money.

Last edited by bnumerick; August 30th, 2013 at 02:36 PM.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 02:31 PM   #11
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Yeah the first few miles were actually much better than I was expecting from driving on it the day before.

The bussing issue is something they know about, same with porta potties, etc. I expect any issues that happened this year will be ironed out next year. I think they may stick to the same course next year too. I get that feeling because getting the full marathon along the river was one of the reasons they moved it and it turned out skating on the bike path for just under 4 miles was surprisingly nice.

Also this was probably one of my favorite courses I've skated on. That along with the big payouts, especially relative to it's size, make it a no brainer for me next year. It's interesting that a much smaller race than Duluth you can walk away with more prize money, they pay more placements, they charge half as much, have a similar point 2 point course, and still have money to donate to charity. Makes you wonder what Duluth is doing wrong.
How wide was the bike path? Did it effect the racing at all? I want to try to get skating added to a health and fitness festival here that involves a marathon foot race, starting small with a 10k. If it went to the level of a marathon, it would be a sight to sight race that would use a lot of bike trails that are pretty narrow and wouldn't allow a lot of racing.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #12
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How wide was the bike path? Did it effect the racing at all? I want to try to get skating added to a health and fitness festival here that involves a marathon foot race, starting small with a 10k. If it went to the level of a marathon, it would be a sight to sight race that would use a lot of bike trails that are pretty narrow and wouldn't allow a lot of racing.
The vast majority of it was 14ft wide which is the widest I've been on. There were a few areas where it was narrower and you couldn't really "race" in those places.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #13
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The vast majority of it was 14ft wide which is the widest I've been on. There were a few areas where it was narrower and you couldn't really "race" in those places.
Like it? Dislike it? In a place on the course where it didn't matter much? Would skating on a narrow 4-8 foot path for a couple of miles out of a marathon keep you from participating?
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Old August 30th, 2013, 04:39 PM   #14
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Like it? Dislike it? In a place on the course where it didn't matter much? Would skating on a narrow 4-8 foot path for a couple of miles out of a marathon keep you from participating?
I didn't mind it at all in this case, but it was nice and wide, and they had volutneers dispersed throughout to make sure people knew there was a race going on.

I'm not sure a 4-8 foot path would cut it though -- the problem is, it's really hard to close a bike path to the public. A lot of times people can just come out from their back yards and hop on, and suddenly you've got a 6 year with a dog taking up the whole path. The 14 foot path with grass on either side ensured we could pass obstructions without too much trouble.

If you could guarantee that the path would be clear, it might work. Is 4ft wide enough to skate on, racing aside?
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Old August 30th, 2013, 04:57 PM   #15
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I usually skate a section of the Zumbro River Trail here in Rochester that is part of the Med City Marathon course. I am trying to get a roller 10k added for 2014, but have hopes that we can make it a half marathon if there is sufficient interest, and a full marathon if I can convince the organizers. The start point is in Byron, MN, and the runners race Country Club Road from Byron onto the trail system. To be fair, I don't think this would work for a roller marathon because most of the event takes place on the trails. If they were to add a roller portion, we may have to find a different route, but the trails would have to be involved. When we skate the trails, we can usually push up to 18 MPH with two mid-level advanced skaters on the narrow trails. They aren't wide enough to pass, but they are wide enough to rotate in the pace line, though it is a bit tricky. You wouldn't really be able to race that section. If it were necessary to have a bike path as part of the course, I would hope it would be short.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 11:14 PM   #16
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I think it's ok to have a path be part of the course as long as it's pretty short. Even with it being 14ft, we all enjoyed it, we pretty much stopped racing there and just cruised. It was kind of nice. lol I skate 8-10 ft wide paths all the time and i'm fine on it but yeah you won't be able to pass so you'd want to keep it short.

I guess a flip side to this is that you could really kind of screw the group if a faster guy leads with a skater that's not as strong behind them. Essentially the faster guy could just skate away from the rest of the group without them being able to do anything about it. I wanted to make sure that didn't happen since there was definitely a little tango going on between Hernan and David so I made sure I was leading going into the path even though that meant I took about a long pull.
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Old August 1st, 2016, 01:33 PM   #17
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Default Rollin on the River 2016

So... is this race still highly regarded?

What have the temperatures been like the last few years? After having overheating issues at Chicago this year I'm a bit wary of signing up for this race. I've been wanting to do this race for a couple years and now I've got the opportunity... but I'm hesitant.
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Old August 1st, 2016, 02:42 PM   #18
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So... is this race still highly regarded?

What have the temperatures been like the last few years? After having overheating issues at Chicago this year I'm a bit wary of signing up for this race. I've been wanting to do this race for a couple years and now I've got the opportunity... but I'm hesitant.
I did it a couple years ago and it was great. It's a "point to point" race versus a lap race, which is really nice. The first 17 miles or so are extremely flat...basically just down a straight road that goes forever through farmland. Once you get to mile marker 16, 17, 18 (can't remember), you hit the city limits and end up skating a couple miles on a paved trail. The trail is nice, but is a little more curvy with a few rolling hills. Then, you get off the trail and on to some city streets (through neighborhoods). The street roads are ok, but in my opinion, they were not the best in spots (nothing bad, but more like Chicago). The city street portion is only 2 or 3 miles, so it's nothing to worry about at all.

The race is very well organized. The people were extremely nice and helpful (and welcoming). I'm sure the temperature varies, but the year I did it, I do remember it being a little humid. Maybe high 70s to low 80s at the start time, with high humidity. But, it wasn't an issue...and, I don't like racing in the heat. So, if I don't remember it being a problem, it wasn't that bad.

Edit: In many ways, the course is similar to Duluth. You don't have the lake and the early part of the race is much flatter than Duluth, but it has a similar vibe from a course perspective.
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Old August 29th, 2016, 04:49 PM   #19
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So... how was it this year? (Results available only thru facebook?)

I really wanted to do this race this year and had it planned into my summer. Then 2 weeks before it I suffered a somewhat minor leg/knee trauma that made it neccessary for me to take time off skates or risk wrecking our vacation late Sept/early Oct. Beware the dangers of playing wiffleball without proper warmup!
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