The Tahiti Black Pearl Inline Marathon ... a Planet Preview
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Robert: It has been said that racing is secondary to fun at the Tahiti marathon. Is that true?
Christopher: Yes. It is a very fun event ... small and VERY friendly. Skaters come to enjoy the slow and laid-back lifestyle of the islanders and to enjoy the scenery, the lagoons, the fish, fruits and Tahitian drinks ... not to mention the star gazing.
On clear nights, lying on the beach or on the little pier of Moorea Village (our hotel), the Milky Way is completely laid out. ... With the thunder of the waves breaking on the reef, one can experience a feeling of awe and peace.
Robert: Why did you decide to move the racecourse from Tahiti back to Moorea this year?
Christopher: We had the race on Moorea in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Then we moved it to Tahiti because I wanted to give skaters another experience. ... But skaters just love Moorea, so we moved it back.
Robert: I notice the race has had several names over the years. This year it is the Black Pearl Inline Marathon. Is Black Pearl a sponsor?
Christopher: Yes, Black Pearl [a nonprofit group that promotes the sales of black pearls from French Polynesia] is the sponsor.
Robert: The French skate maker Salomon has had a connection to the race over the years. Does it still?
Christopher: Salomon had a connection to the race through Eddy Matzger. And also, we had some pros skaters from Salomon come every year, but last.
Robert: Do you have a favorite story about the marathon?
Christopher: Well, there are so many from the first year's hurricane which forced us all to stay four to seven nights more then planned on Moorea.
One year 25 of us went on what was supposed to be a seven-hour hike two days before the race. It finally took us 14 hours to get out of the jungle in the dark. A rescue team had to come get us.
Skaters always ask me, "Chris, what adventure did you figure out this time for us?" ... I try to get them out there, whether it's raining or sunny, to play in the mountains, rivers and lagoons. ... And if we are lucky enough, something will happen...
Cheers from Moorea!
The Tahiti Black Pearl Marathon Preview:
Copyright © 2006 by Robert Burnson