Since skating events seems the be the current theme of posts, I’ve decided to add to the list and write about the London Santa Skate of 2014. This was the most fun public skate event I’ve done to date and probably the one I would most recommend to skaters! (It was also a birthday present to myself to celebrate my 21st, so maybe that’s why its so memorable)!
So once again, a group of us from BladeSoc took the train down to London and checked into a hostel. We then went to register and grab our santa suits from a lil pub and then made our way to the starting point at Wellington Arch, Hyde Park. (A group of people dressed as Santa Claus carrying skates certainly captured attention on the tube! It actually felt really good to brighten up their day a little bit.)
Once the skate began, Christmas music started playing from bicycle carts and radio linked to skater’s backpack speakers. It was a truly awesome atmosphere! We skated around London, passing a lot of famous landmarks along the way, with the streets being closed off temporarily for us to pass- imagine a large group of Santa’s gliding around London streets! People were stopping on the pavement to watch and waving from balconies and the magical Christmas spirit was definitely in the air! (See for yourself below!)
After a short stop off break for a drink and snack, we continued and finished the skate. It was a slow paced skate so was more fun than to feel accomplished, but spending my birthday celebrating doing what I love and with people I care about made it an event to remember. It was followed by an after party, but we were too tired after the skate and a day of travelling (and hungry) to go. We got some food and went back to the hostel, but the skate was definitely worth the trip!
Another roller event I am proud to say I have completed is the Preston Roller Marathon. This took place on Sunday 17th May 2015 and is hosted by a group called SkateMania. So a group of us from BladeSoc (my university’s roller skating society) drove up together. I was entered into the full marathon length, although you can enter to do a dual marathon for the truly ambitious (crazy) skaters, or a half marathon/ family event the previous day.
After registering and collecting our race numbers, we all gathered on the start line to begin the marathon! The weather was good, if not a bit windy- although it provided a nice breeze when you got a bit hot and sweaty. Each lap was around 1 mile long, so 26 laps equalled the completed marathon!
At around lap 8, I fell over and scraped my face and knuckles, and broke my glasses (thankfully I was wearing a full set of pads). The first aid person was really helpful and taped my glasses and gave me alcohol wipes, so then I continued with my race. The encouragement from other skaters going around each lap and people at the start line cheering was extremely helpful and the odd bit of chocolate from James definitely added some much needed fuel! I managed to finish the race in 3hours 15minutes and was incredibly proud of myself – my boyfriend also said how proud he was that I continued after falling which filled me with even more pride! (In fact, I almost cried at the end because of the overwhelming emotions you feel after finishing the marathon)!
This was definitely a day that I am going to remember forever- my first ever completed marathon! Next year though, I’m going to be sure to do a bit of training beforehand as I want to beat my time!
My biggest skating achievement and most recent skating event completed was the”Circuit des 24 heures Du Mans” which took place at the Bugatti Circuit, Le Mans. The track is 4.185km long and the aim of the race was to complete as many laps in 24 hours as possible as part of a team.
It took place on the 27th and 28th June 2015 (starting at 4pm and lasting until 4pm the next day) and the rollerblading society at my university entered two teams into the competition: the Fast Team and the Fun Team! I was part of the Fun Team (as I am no way one of the experienced/faster skaters of the society!) made up of 8 team members.
Before the race started, we did a parade lap where everyone skated around the course together which was useful to get a feel for it since I had never been there before. Then the first person to race had to complete two laps before passing on the relay baton to the next person (it was in the rules). We continued to cycle through team members (I was about 5th in the queue) until half of the team went back to the campsite for 5 hours sleep (10pm-3am – my bedtime shift!), then the other half slept 3am-8am. We then all continued to roll through the team queue until around 15:30 where the final person continued to skate the last finishing laps and completed the race (part the weird official rules again).
The BladeSoc Fun Team ended up with 103 laps (431.1km) meeting our mini goal of 100 laps! So we finished within the upper 3/4 of the rankings overall (not so bad!- also my tired head can’t remember the ranking). Whereas our BladeSoc Fast Team finished 64th overall (out of 449 teams!) with 149 laps (623.6km) and 1st in the student team category (and got a fancy trophy- so proud!)
Overall, even though you are completely shattered whilst doing it (or after about the 2nd lap for me!), it was a great experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering doing it. You are constantly sweaty, baking under the hot sun and super tired, but it is definitely worth it for the team spirit and personal achievement by the end (and the beautiful sunrise at the top of Dunlop hill — by the way, Dunlop hill is really steep but really fun to skate down (even if I t-stopped to half way down and only rolled down the last half of it!)).