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National Roller Cup

The Canada Day Marathon, Reborn

June 29, 2012

Planet report

Canada Day Marathon, 2009

Start of the 2009 Canada Day Marathon

photo courtesy: Peter Doucet

It looked like the end last year for the 7-year-old Canada Day Marathon.

Road construction had closed part of the racecourse. And too few volunteers had come forward to help on race day. So the organizers pulled the plug on the event.

At that point, the event could have joined the sad list of skate events that have gone permanently missing in recent years (e.g., Long Beach and Disney inline marathons).

But thanks to the dedication of three skaters, the Canada Day Marathon will celebrate its eighth year this Sunday morning.

The three skaters responsible for the event’s rebirth are Peter Doucet, one of Canada's top inline racers and the webmaster of Speed Skate World; Jim Mallard, a member of the 8 Wheels Rollers Sports Cup; and Wayne Burrett, the president of the Roller Sports Canada

Burrett, whose background is artistic roller skating, is known in the Canadian skate community as someone who can always be counted on to lend a hand.

"He's a tireless volunteer who does everything from cleaning the track before practice, setting up tents before clinics, restocking the first aid kit, crossing t’s on paperwork, and volunteering to help officiate and organize meets," Doucet said.

In this case, Mallard got the necessary road permits, hired police for traffic control and rented the portable toilets. Doucet and Burrett did the rest, handling registration and promotion for the event.

Racing will start at 8:15 am Sunday (EDT) and include distances of 10, 21, and 42 kilometers. Skaters will earn finishers medals and winners in the full marathon will get cash prizes. There will also be a post-race barbecue and prizes from CadoMotus.

Most of Canada’s top skaters will be racing. Among the women will be Martine Charbonneau, Morgane Echardour, Candy Wong and Shannon Hegarty. Among the men: Constant Montpellier, Sergio Almeralla, Juan Diego Zuluaga, Marc-Olivier Lemay, Jesse Pauley, Morgan Williams and Doucet.

The organizers don’t expect a big crowd for the reconstituted event … probably less than 100 skaters. But they hope to grow the event through strategic partnerships with the National Roller Cup, regional skate clubs and skate shops, Doucet said.

NROC pro and advanced skaters will earn full points in the marathon; youth skaters will earn points in the marathon or half marathon.

Live blog coverage will start at 8 a.m. Sunday (EDT) on the Inline Planet. (Join in the coverage by sharing your photos, videos and reports on the Skater Network.)

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