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Suddenly Slim: Santa Attributes Weight Loss to Inline Skating - The formerly obese holiday icon has transformed himself from stout to studly. How? "Simple. I bought some Rollerblades and gave up Christmas cookies." To fit his new lifestyle, Claus moved to Southern California. "I was sick of all the raindeer droppings anyway," he says. He will spread holiday cheer during the Huntington Beach Fun Roll on Dec. 17th. The skate starts at 10 a.m. at Huntington Beach Pier. Want to join the fun? Wear your antlers and bring some treats. (Go to Fun Roll site.) (Dec. 12, 2005)

Hurricane-Delayed Half Marathon Gets New Date, Name - One of the casualties of Hurricane Wilma was the second annual Halloween Half Marathon in Coral Springs, Fla. It was scheduled for Oct. 30th and for the first time was opened to inline skaters. But after Wilma made a mess of South Florida, organizers put the event on hold. Today, they announced a new date for the event: January 22nd. ... They also gave it a new name, the About Family Fitness Half Marathon, in consideration of one of their sponsors. ... Maybe if they had waited another couple of weeks, they could have called it the Valentine's Day Massacre. (Go to event web site.) (Dec. 9, 2005)

Northern Europe, Asia May Be Home to New World Cup Events - According to the newly posted 2006 World Inline Cup calendar, China will have its own event next year. So will Sweden, Denmark and the beer capital of Germany: Munich. ... But don't start dreaming of beer mugs yet. It's all very tentative. (Go to the Planet story.) (Dec. 7, 2005)

First South American Cup Draws 1000 Skaters, 40,000 Spectators - The organizers of the newly created South American Inline Cup must be feeling pretty good today. Their first-ever event was an apparent success. A thousand skaters laced up and 40,000 spectators lined the 2 kilometer road course. (Go to Planet story.) (Dec. 6, 2005)

First Skate ... Then Morph Into a Couch Potato - Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 5th) won't be a complete waste if you start your day with the Redondo Beach 10K in California. Yep, the organizers of this event have the right idea. You don't need steroidal gladiators to provide your fix of Sunday heroics. You can do it yourself! ... Race time is 7:30 a.m. Registration is $25. A sense of accomplisment is priceless! (Go to event web site.) (Dec. 1, 2005)

Race on Base Scheduled for February in Southern California - This year's Race on the Base is scheduled for Feb. 25th in Los Alamitos, Calif. The multi-sport event includes a 10K race for skaters. Start time is 8:50 a.m. Registration is $25. The event is on the Joint Forces Training Base outside of Los Angeles. Proceeds go to support the National Water Polo Aquatic Center. (Go to official press release.) (Read❍❏❒❅❅❖❅■▼ ■❅◗▲✎✉ ✈✮❏❖✎✓✐✌✒✐✐✕✉

✳❉●❖❅❒✳▼❒❁■❄✰❒❏❍❏▼❅❒✷❏■❄❅❒▲✷❈❅❒❅✡●● ▼❈❅ Skaters Are? - Fewer skaters are signing up for this year's Silver Strand Half Marathon, which is Sunday in San Diego. That's bad news for the race promoter, but he promises to keep it going. (Go to the Planet story.) (Nov. 9, 2005)

Fate of 2006 Cactus Classic Hangs on $$$ - Organizers are hoping to resurrect the Cactus Classic inline marathon next year but have decided they need to raise $6000 before committing to the event. "It's not one of those things we've given up on ... that's for sure," said lead organizer Ed "Fast Eddie" Wachter. "But it costs money. ... If we can raise $6000 by January, that will be enough to get the ball rolling." The late-season event in Oro Valley, Ariz., was canceled this year after an unsuccessful search for new sponsors. (Go to story about this year's Cactus Classic.) (Nov. 7, 2005)

USA Fit Prepares to Launch Inline Training Program in Austin - USA Fit is moving ahead with plans for an inline training program in Austin, Texas. The program, Austin Inline Fit, will prepare skaters for the Texas Road Rash (March 26) and the Disney World Inline Marathon (April 2), said coordinator Richard Littrell. The program will start Jan. 7 and run for 12 weeks. ... USA Fit launched its first inline training program last spring in San Francisco but pulled the plug when only a handful of skaters signed up, in part due to a lack of advertising. (Go to story about USA Fit's plans for inline skating.) (Oct. 29, 2005)

Canada Road Race Morphs Into Halloween Skate Weekend - Leave it to San Francisco's Godfather of Skating, D. Miles Jr., to transform a simple road race into a four-day skate festival. What started out as a late season add-on to Miles' series of Canada Road races has become the "Halloween Inline Surprise," just one slice of a four-day festival of skating. The weekend starts with a special costumed edition of the Friday Night Skate (Oct. 28); continues Saturday with the Halloween Roller Disco in Redwood City; moves Sunday to Canada Road for road skates of 10, 30 and 50 kilometers; and ends Monday with a Halloween skate through the costumed masses of the Castro. ... Amazing! (Here's the Godfather's announcement.) (Oct. 20, 2005)

More Than 800 Skaters Expected For Long Beach Marathon - A record number of skaters is expected for Sunday's Long Beach International City Bank Marathon in Southern California. "It looks like we'll have 800 skaters and then some," said race director Blair Cohn. ... Skaters rallied around the marathon this year after news surfaced that it might be canceled due to lackluster registration. ... Last year's marathon attracted 591 skaters; the previous year's, 555. ... Note to racers: The last chance to register is during the event expo, Friday and Saturday (until 6 p.m.) at the Long Beach Convention Center. There will be no "morning of" registration. (Go to the Planet's event news department.) (Oct. 13, 2005)

Athens to Atlanta Tradition Carried on at Two Weekend Events - The spirit of the Athens to Atlanta Road Skate rolled through the Georgia countryside Sunday despite the cancellation of the official event. Thirteen skaters showed up for the Alternate a2a at a park east of Atlanta. A smaller group insisted on skating the traditional road course, traffic control be damned. (Read the Planet story.) (Oct. 10, 2005)

Skaters Brave Storm to Join Annual Road Cycling Event - Despite torrential rains, two groups of skaters joined the annual Sea Gull Century bicycle tour of the Maryland shoreline on Saturday. Five skaters (four from Capital Racing and one from Rollerquest) sloshed and slid the 63-mile route. Four members of Team in Training skated the full 100-mile route. ... The 17-year-old event usually draws more than 6000 cyclists. But Saturday's storm, which dumped 4.6 inches of rain during the event, cut attendance in half. (Go to Rollerquest's Sea Gull report.) (Oct. 10, 2005)

Godfather Schedules Late Season 50 K in Calif., Sets Date for Napa Marathon - D. Miles Jr. has added a late season event to the California skate calendar: a 50 K race in San Mateo on Sunday, Oct. 30 (the day before Halloween). The race will be on a closed portion of Canada Road at the Crystal Springs Reservoir. No starting time has been announced. But Miles, the self-appointed Godfather of Skating, usually starts Canada Road races at 9:15 a.m. ... Miles has also announced a date for next year's Napa Valley Inline Marathon: June 11. ... Get your wine glasses ready! (Read more event news from the Planet.) (Oct. 5, 2005

Buenos Aires to Host First South American Inline Cup - The Inline Cup concept will get its first test on South American soil on Dec. 4 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The one-day event will feature separate 42K marathons for men and women. Prize money will be $15,000 (U.S.). The day will also include separate 8K races for pro and fitness skaters and a kid's race. ... The event is the only race so far on the schedule of the South American Inline Cup. The series is being organized under the umbrella of Iguana Think Tank's World Inline Cup. (Go to the announcement.) (Oct. 1, 2005)

Skaters Roll to Rescue of Hurricane Katrina Victims - Skaters who sign up for the final two events of the Eastern Seaboard Series will be aiding the victims of Hurricane Katrina. All proceeds from the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon (Sept. 25) and NIRA Outdoor Nationals (Oct. 23) will be donated to the Red Cross for hurricane relief. The coordinators of the racing series are also organizing a disaster relief raffle and auction. (Join their disaster relief effort!) (Sept. 16, 2005)

Disney World Schedules Skate Event for Kids - Disney is inviting children ages 3 to 12 to race in its All Star Kids Classic next spring in Orlando, Fla. The skate event will be part of the 2006 Disney World Inline Marathon weekend. The Kids Classic is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 1. The marathon starts a 6:15 a.m. Sunday morning. The entry fee for kids is $5. (Go to the official web site.) (Sept. 13, 2005)

ESPN Signs on As Sponsor of Northshore Marathon - The Northshore Inline Marathon is in great shape once again this year. Not only is it the biggest and richest inline marathon in North America, but it has an impressive new sponsor: the cable sports giant ESPN. (Read the Planet story!) (Sept. 12, 2005)

Speed Skaters Converge for Smaller World Championships - They've got a new name. And they are smaller than last year. But nonetheless, the World Speed Skating Championships promise to be just as exciting as ever with the top inline racers in the world -- including USA's Brittany Bowe and Joey Mantia -- competing for gold, silver and bronze on track and road. (Here's the Planet Preview!) (Aug. 25, 2005)

Spokane Race Director Hopes for Growth in Second Year - Last year, 109 skaters laced up for the inaugural Spokane Centennial Trail Skate in Washington State. This year, race director Marla Emde is hoping for 140 to 150 skaters. The event, which starts at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, is a bargain: only $50 for the marathon and $30 for the 10 K, including late registration fees. And if you reach the podium in any of the numerous divisions, you win a spectacular handmade trophy by sculptor-skater Mario Marcella. ... Get out there and roll, skaters. This is one of the few inline marathons in the Pacific Northwest! (Official event page.) (Aug. 25, 2005)

Replacement a2a Will Have Everything But a Road Skate - The organizers of the Athens to Atlanta Road Skate have announced an "alternative program" to replace this year's a2a. The program packs three days of skating and social events into what was supposed to have been the a2a weekend: Oct. 6-8. Included is a Friday night "fun and adventure" skate, a Skate Hash (described as "kind of a treasure hunt on wheels"), a dinner, a barbecue -- and for hard-core a2a skaters, a timed training skate at Stone Mountain. "Choose your own distance," the organizers say while noting that 16 laps of the course will equal the full a2a distance: 87 miles. (Here's the alternative a2a info.) (Aug. 18, 2005)

Group Announces an 'Old School' Athens to Atlanta Group Skate - It will be similar to the first Athens to Atlanta Road Skate in 1982: a group of skaters taking on the challenges of 80-some miles of open road. There will be no traffic control, no timing devices, no official results. "This is not a race; more a group skate with lots of hills," says organizer Bruce Belden of the Atlanta Peachtree Roadrollers Skate Club. The club is organizing the Oct. 2nd event to help fill the void left by the cancellation of the 2005 a2a. (Here's more info.) (Aug. 17, 2005)

Ohio to Host Final Event of 2005 Downhill World Cup - Downhill racers from around the world will converge on Bainbridge, Ohio, this October for the final event of the 2005 World Cup. The event will feature inline skates, skateboards, gravity bikes and street luge -- all going insanely fast down the appropriately named Jester Hill. "This hill is typically known for high speeds (55-plus mph)," says downhill skater Mark Henley. ... Demon Promotions is organizing the event (Oct. 14-16) under the auspices of the International Gravity Sports Association. (Here's the event announcement.) (Aug. 16, 2005)

Black Ice Alert: 'Roll and Stroll' Planned for New Pa. Highway - Skaters in Pennsylvania will get a rare opportunity this fall to roll atop a virgin, traffic-less freeway. A "roll and stroll" is planned for the 12-mile Big Ridge section of the soon-to-be-completed North Lewistown Bypass (US 522/22). The Oct. 15th event is open to skaters, cyclists, walkers and runners. "The event will offer the community a chance to enjoy the spectacular view from Big Ridge and see the highway from a unique perspective," a highway official said. The road will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Here's a story about the event from the Lewistown Sentinel.) (Aug. 16, 2005)

Online Registration Ends Tonight for St. Paul Inline Marathon - The number of skaters signed up so far for Sunday's St. Paul Inline Marathon is in the mid-1500. ... That's a healthy number. But organizers hope to register at least as many skaters (1800) as they did last year, the first year of the event. ... Event organizer Mike Cofrin suspects that Minnesota's hotter than usual summer has discouraged some skaters from signing up. But he points out that Sunday's forecast is near perfect: sunny skies with a high of 77 degrees. ... Get there if you can! Online registration ends Wednesday but you can still sign up in person at Saturday's Skate Expo at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel. (Here's the official web site!) (Aug. 15, 2005)

Disney Selects Earlier Date for Inline Marathon - Disney has moved its inline marathon to an early spot on the race calendar, perhaps to avoid the late spring rains that played havoc with this year's event. The date for the 2006 Disney World Inline Marathon is April 2nd. ... This year's race was scheduled for May 1st but canceled as the result of thunderstorms. May is a wetter month than April in Orlando, Fla. The chance of rain during the first week of May is 23 percent, compared to 11 percent for the first week of April, according to the Weather Underground. (Here's the official site.) (Aug. 15, 2005)

Organizers Cancel 2005 New York 100K - The organizers of the 2005 New York 100K have been unable to arrange a new date for the event and have decided to cancel it. "They couldn't get a date before November, so they decided to regroup and come back next year," one of the former organizers told the Planet. ... The event was apparently the victim of a change in management. A new group of skaters took over the event this year from the Empire Skate Club. But the group was unable to secure the required permits for the event, which was scheduled for Sept. 26 in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. This year would have marked the 15th year for the event. (Here's last week's story about the event being postponed.) (Aug. 11, 2005)

Long Beach Changes: Lots More Skaters, New Finish Line - Skaters continue to rally around the Long Beach Inline Marathon. Registration for the event is on track to top 1000 this year. In fact, the organizers say, skaters are registering for the race at about double last year's pace. ... Long Beach asked for help. Skaters responded! (Here's the Planet story!) (Aug. 10, 2005)

Grand Finish Planned for Upcoming Montreal Marathon - Inline skaters won't have to wait for Olympic recognition for their chance to roll to victory in an Olympic stadium. The finish line for the Montreal International Marathon will be in the city's spectacular Olympic Stadium next month. Built for the 1976 Olympic Games, the stadium features the tallest leaning tower in the world. ... The marathon (Sept. 11) is part of the Festival de la Sante, a large multi-sports event for runners, skaters and cyclists. (Here's the official web site.) (Aug. 10, 2005)

New York 100K Can't Use Date Left Open by Canceled a2a - Organizers of the New York 100K are still without a date despite the hole in the race calendar left by the cancellation of the Athens to Atlanta Road Skate. Brooklyn's Prospect Park, where the 100K is held, is already booked for the weekend of Oct. 8, said Doug Fessenden of the Empire Skate Club. Fessenden is helping the organizers of the 100K secure permits for the event. The next possible date is Oct. 23, although it is not clear yet whether the park is available. "It's possible the 100K won't happen this year," Fessenden lamented. (Here's last week's story on the postponed 100K.) (Aug. 9, 2005)

Orlando, Fla., Promoter Schedules Several Inline Events - Buttar has several inline events on its late summer and fall calendar. First up is the Moonlight Ramble (Aug. 20), which includes an unusual evening half marathon. Then there's the Orlando Cup Inline Half Marathon (Sept. 21). Next, two more back-to-back half marathons that are part of the Great Orlando Stage Race (Sept. 24-25). And finally, the Valencia 5K Fun Run, Walk and Roll (Oct. 1). ... (Here's Buttar's calendar.) (Aug. 8, 2005)

Organizers Cancel 2005 a2a Ultra-Marathon But Plan for 2006 Event - The organizing committee of the Athens to Atlanta Road Skate announced today that it has canceled this year's ultra-marathon, which would have been the 24th annual, but hopes to bring it back in 2006. "We simply have too few people registered and not enough funds," the organizers said. "We need to regroup, re-think, and revise this event to make it more viable and ensure its success in the future." (Here's the Planet story!) (Aug. 6, 2005)

Attendance Jumps for Big Apple Roll - The 3-year-old Big Apple Roll grew again this year. Some 300 people attended the first day of the weekend skate party in New York City, said Robert Kaskel of the Empire Skate Club. That's up from 220 last year and 150 the year before. "This year we actually did more than break even," Kaskel said. The surplus will be use for next year's event, he added. (More news about skate events.) (Aug. 5, 2005)

New York 100K Gets Put on Hold While Organizers Search for New Date - One of the world's premier ultra-marathons, the New York 100 K, has been put on hold while organizers look for a new date. "We have every intention of running an event, but we haven't got a date yet," said Robert Kaskel, president of the Empire Skate Club. The club is helping the event's organizer to find a new date ... which could be as late as early November. Brrrrr! (Here's the Planet story!) (Aug. 4, 2005)

The Napa Marathon Rolls This Weekend Through Wine Country! - The Napa Valley Inline Marathon doesn't attract the crowds. But don't let that stop you from coming out this Sunday to support one of the finest inline marathons on the West Coast -- and an event that has the potential to be one of the best inline marathons anywhere! (Here's the Planet preview!) (Aug. 3, 2005)

Early Registration Ends Sunday for SkateBoston 2005 - SkateBoston is another of the great rolling weekends of the inline world. Revelers in this annual skate party tour the city's historic district; roll through the modern downtown; make new friends; dine, dance and delight in the camaraderie of the skate community; and generally, have a wonderful time. This year's event is Aug. 26-28 (and will include an advanced skate for "the brave and the fast.") Registration is $65. Rooms at the Radisson Cambridge are $109 a night. But register soon. The rates increase next week. (Here's the SkateBoston web site.) (July 27, 2005)

Is There a Friday Night Skate in Your Town? ... Would You Like One? - Zephyr's Allan Wright knows a thing or two about Friday Night Skates. He cofounded the successful Minneapolis "FNS" in 1998. Based on that experience, Wright has put together a guide on how to start Friday Night Skates. Posted on the Inline Skating Resource Center web site (formerly the International Inline Skating Association web site), the guide covers all the basics, including how to check local traffic laws, figure out a good route and work with police. It also gives tips on how to make the skate fun (which is the idea after all!) If you are thinking of starting a Friday Night Skate, don't miss Allan's excellent guide! (Here it is.) (July 12, 2005)

New Four-stage Inline Cup Is Announced for Latin America - Latin America will play host to the first Inline Cup series in the New World later this year. Announced today by PatinCarrera's Guido Ferraiuolo, the South American Inline Cup will include four 42 K marathons. The first will be on Oct. 31st in Guadalajara, Mexico. Later races will be in Caracas, Venezuela; Santiago, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. ... Iguana Think Tank is organizing the new series. Iguana is the organizer of the World Inline Cup and Swiss Inline Cup. (Here's the Spanish-language web site of the new race series.) (July 6, 2005)

In Need of a Party? ... The Philly Freedom Skate Is Coming Up - The Philadelphia Freedom Skate is one of the great rolling parties of inline skating. Now in its ninth year, the three-day event (the weekend of June 24-26) includes fun skates and skate tours through history-drenched Philadelphia. It even has a Saturday afternoon "adventure skate" for advanced rollers. And then, of course, there are the parties (both scheduled and unscheduled). ... And the price: $65 for the weekend plus $90 a night for a room (four people max) at the Sheraton-University City. It's a bargain! Organizers say more than 300 people have already registered. (Here's the Freedom Skate's web site.) (More events) (June 9, 2005)

Dan Burger Point Series Continues Sunday in California - Sunny skies are forecast for Sunday's second stage of the Dan Burger Point Series in San Mateo, Calif. The event will feature 10 and 50 kilometer races. Skaters will roll along a closed portion of Canada Road at the Crystal Springs Reservoir. Race time is 9:15 a.m. ... Eddy Matzger and Kim Perkins lead the point series after the first race. Later stages include the Godfather's 100 K Challenge (July 10th) and the Napa Valley Inline Marathon (Aug. 7th). The series is organized by the California Outdoor Rollerskating Association. (Here's the official site.) (May 18, 2005)

Taipei Wins Asian Roller Championships; India Finishes Second - The island nation of Taipei -- with strong performances in all disciplines -- rolled to a commanding victory in the 11th Asian Roller Skating Championships in Jeonju, Korea. Taipei skaters finished first in artistic skating, second in speed skating and tied for first (with Macao) in roller hockey. ... India came in second overall with a second-place finish in artistic skating and a tie for third in hockey. ... Japan came in third with a third-place finish in speed skating and a tie for third in hockey. ... Korea's dominance of speed skating was only enough for fourth place overall. It claimed 11 of the 12 speed skating gold medals, but finished sixth in hockey and did not compete in artistic skating. (Here's an Excel file of the results.) (May 16, 2005)

New East Coast Racing Series Debuts Tomorrow in Dulles - Rodney Grabinski (winner of the 52-mile event at the 2004 Athens to Atlanta Road Skate) wasn't happy about this year's demise of the Empire Speed Series, so he organized a new series for inline speed skaters: the Capital Series, which debuts Saturday with a 10 K event in Dulles, Va. The series will be made up of five events of various distances. Each will include a 1 K kids race, a recreational skate, and an advanced-elite race. "I have pretty much accomplished everything I dreamed of as a racer, so I felt the time was right to give back more to the sport," said Grabinski, a 38-year-old engineer who lives in Leesburg, Va. ... Thanks, Rodney! (Here's the Capital Race Series web site.) (May 13, 2005)

Berlin Marathon Returns to Late Afternoon Start Time - Skaters in the Berlin Inline Marathon (Sept. 24) will be able to sleep in this year. The organizers have pushed back the start time to 4:30 p.m. They say they made the change -- (last year's race started at 10 a.m.) -- so out-of-town skaters would not have to stay overnight in the German capital. ... The afternoon start made it necessary to trim the maximum time skaters are allowed to finish the race. Last year, they had three hours: this year, they will have two and a half. ... The Berlin event was the world's largest inline marathon last year, reportedly drawing more than 8000 skaters. This year it may be surpassed by the June 5th marathon in Incheon, South Korea, which is expecting 10,000 skaters. (Here's the announcement of the new start time.) (May 11, 2005)

800 Skaters Already Signed up for St. Paul Inline Marathon - With more than three months to go before the event, more than 800 skaters have signed up for the St. Paul (Minn.) Inline Marathon. Last year, 1800 participated in the inaugural event, making it the second largest inline marathon in the United States. Race organizers have capped registration for the Aug. 21st event at 2500. ... They announced today that they have rerouted the racecourse this year to involve "a lot less" hill climbing at the finish. They also announced the cash purse for professional skaters: $4000. (Here's the official St. Paul Marathon site.) (May 5, 2005)

12 Countries to Compete in Next Week's Asian Roller Skating Championships - The 11th Asian Roller Skating Championships will begin next Tuesday in Jeonju, South Korea. Athletes will compete in four categories: speed, artistic, hardball hockey and inline hockey (which will be a demonstration sport). ... Twelve countries will take part in the continental championships: Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Macao, Pakistan and Taiwan. ... India alone will be sending 44 skaters, seven judges and referees, and five roller sports officials. (Here's the official site of the championships.) (May 4, 2005)

Organizer Has Big Plans for Athens Twilight Criterium - Inline skating reappeared in this year's Athens Twilight, a sports and music festival in Georgia that used to draw some of the world's greatest skaters. But wait until next year, says organizer Charlie Bennett. "My plan is to grow the Twilight back to its legendary status!" ... Go for it, Charlie! (Here's the Planet story!) (May 3, 2005)

"Look, Ma ... No Pollution!" - Tahiti Girl reminds us that it's Earth Day, the one day a year that we set aside to honor the planet. ... Heck, even George W. Bush was planning a little trail restoration today in the Smoky Mountains. Unfortunately, bad weather canceled his photo op. ... So how can us skaters show the world we care (about it)? ... Take your cue from Arbor Day, the forerunner of Earth Day. The Arbor Day tradition is to plant a tree. So for Earth Day, plant an idea. Put on your skates and roll. You'll be planting a seed in everyone you see that the automobile is not the only way to travel. (Here's a nice Earth Day piece from The Republican ... No, not that Republican!) (And here's Tahiti Girl's Earth Day greeting.) (April 22, 2005)

300 Skaters Expected at Inaugural Metrodome Inline Marathon - Most inline marathons are run on long road courses that give racers plenty of elbow room. But what do you do if your racecourse is only 605 meters long? ... That was the question faced by the organizers of this weekend's Metrodome Inline Marathon in Minneapolis. The answer they came up with will apparently add up to another big win for Minnesota skaters. (Here's the Planet preview of the Metrodome Inline Marathon!) (April 15, 2005)

Empire Skate Series Is Placed on Hold for One Year; New East Coast Series Announced - The organizers of the Empire Skate Series have placed the multi-race competition "on hiatus." They gave no reason for the suspension but said, "We hope to return again next year." Despite the absence of the series, two of its most prominent races, the New York 100 K and the New York City Skate Marathon, will be held as usual. And rolling in to fill the race calendar is a brand new series, the Eastern Seaboard Series, which so far includes five races. (Read the Empire Skate announcement; go to the Eastern Seaboard Series web site.) (April 7, 2005)

Taiwan Expects 10,000 to Skate in Inaugural Taipei Inline Marathon - The Taiwanese apparently don't believe in starting small. Their first-ever international inline skating event, the Taipei World Inline Cup 2005 (April 17th), is expected to draw 10,000 skaters, which will make it one of the largest skating events in the world. (Here's the Planet story!) (April 2, 2005)

Inline Reportedly Won't Be Part of 2005 Downers Grove Criterium - The National Criterium Championships in Downers Grove, Ill., reportedly won't include inline racing this year. The event has awarded some of the biggest prizes in U.S. inline racing and over the years has attracted some of the world's best skaters, including Chad Hedrick, Max Presti and KC Boutiette. But in the last few years, participation has dropped. Last year, only 20 men and four women skated in the open category, in part because the inaugural St. Paul Inline Marathon was held on the same weekend. (Here's a post about the event on the Hyper forum.) (March 30, 2005)

Photos of the Texas Road Rash - Here's a little gallery of photos from the 2005 Texas Road Rash, courtesy of the city of Round Rock. Included are photos of the winners, Stephanie Combs and Adam Miller, and a group shot of the Road Rashed: those brave skaters who contributed a little skin to help the race live up to its name. (Yikes!) (Here's the Planet gallery!) (March 22, 2005)

Can the Sports Capital of Texas Keep the Road Rash Growing? - The city of Round Rock and Austin speed skater Richard Littrell got the Texas Road Rash off to a great start last year. Now the question is: Can they turn their well-run, early-season inline marathon into a financially self-sufficient, annual event? ... (Here's the Planet preview of the 2005 Texas Road Rash!) (March 17, 2005)

Napa Marathon Is Now Set for First Weekend of August - The new date for the Napa Inline Marathon is Sunday, August 7th. The event's organizer pushed the date back by two weeks to avoid conflicts with other events. The marathon racecourse remains the same: a 26.2 mile loop on the smooth asphalt of the Silverado Trail Highway, which will be closed to traffic. (Here's the Napa Inline Marathon web site.) (March 15, 2005)

New York City's World Inline Cup Marathon Is Scratched - The organizer of the World Inline Cup has confirmed that it has scratched its tentative New York City event. "Due to the short time, the New York Marathon was cancelled from our side for this year," Sylvianne Altherr-Weissmahr of the World Inline Cup Organization wrote in an email to the Planet. ... The marathon had been tentatively scheduled for Sept. 10th. It was being organized on the U.S. side by Empire Speed, which is a division of the Empire Skate Club. (March 14, 2005)

K2 Joins With the Phoenix Suns to Create New Event - Here's something new: a skate event cosponsored by a basketball team. It's called the Phoenix Suns Skatefest and will run from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 20th. ... Streets around America West Arena in downtown Phoenix will be closed for the event. Skaters will skate a recreational loop and be treated to live music, free skate lessons, and even dancing girls (the Suns cheerleaders). ... Skate rentals will be available. Drawings will be held for K2 skates, snowboards, skis and bikes. And K2 will have a booth to show off its latest skates and answer questions. ... Sounds like a fun time to me! (Here's the web site for the Phoenix Suns Skatefest.) (March 9, 2005)

Napa Marathon To be Rescheduled - The organizer of the Napa Inline Marathon has again decided to change the date for the event. Earlier this week, the California Outdoor Rollerskating Association announced a July 26th date for the race. But that conflicts with the U.S. National Indoor Speed Skating Championships in Nebraska. So the decision was made to find a new date. ... Association president David Miles said a date will be chosen by March 8th. "In the meantime, please let us know which of the possible new dates will be best: Saturday, June 11; Sunday, June 12; Sunday, June 19; or Sunday Aug. 14," Miles says. ... You can send David a note by clicking here. (Napa Marathon web page) (March 4, 2005)

Cactus Classic Fails to Meet Fund Raising Goal; Will Be Put on Hold For One Year - Organizers of the Cactus Classic Inline Marathon had hoped to raise $15,000 by now to keep the event going another year. But they've only been able to raise a third of that amount, and so the Arizona desert classic will be put on hold, until at least 2006. (Here's the Planet story!) (March 2, 2005)

Napa Valley Marathon Gets A New Date - The Napa Valley Inline Marathon has been rescheduled and will now roll through Northern California's scenic wine country on Sunday, July 24th. Event organizer David Miles said a scheduling conflict with a festival at a nearby winery forced the date change. The original date had been July 9th. ... The marathon is a three day event that starts with the Friday Night Skate in San Francisco, continues Saturday with a tour of the Silver Rose Winery and concludes Sunday morning with the marathon and half marathon. The racecourse is a seven mile stretch of the fabulous Silverado Highway, which will be closed to traffic. (Napa Valley Marathon web site) (March 2, 2005)

Organizer Urges Support of Toronto's Rolling Rampage - The 10 K Rolling Rampage in Toronto is one of those events that could fall through the cracks. It's not large enough -- at least, not yet (last year's race drew about 40 skaters) -- to attract corporate sponsorship. So its existence depends on a group of dedicated volunteers who contribute time and sometimes money to keep the Rampage rolling. ... They've decided to keep it going this year and have set a date of June 18th. But organizer Peter Doucet is warning that skater support of the event is "critical" to its future. "My message is simply: Make sure you support the race, because the industry certainly isn’t." ... As they say in Chicago, "register early and register often!" (Here's Peter's note about the race on his Inline Racing Page.) (February 25, 2005)

Register Early for the Big Apple Roll, Win a Pair of Big Wheel Rollerblades - The Big Apple Roll is a three-day weekend skate adventure through the splendors and excitement of New York City. The tour (July 29-31) cuts through the spectacular urban canyons; lingers in the green jewel of Central Park; goes island hopping; and even rolls through the electronic wilderness of Time Square! ... And that's just what you'll do during daylight hours! ... If you register early, you'll also be eligible to win one of three pairs of Lightning 6 Rollerblades, which the company has donated to the event. (The Lightning 6s are fitness skates with four 90 mm wheels.) Registration for the Roll is $65. The sponsor, the Empire Speed Club, has arranged special rates at the Skyline Hotel starting at $109 a night. (Here's the Big Apple Roll web site.) (February 24, 2005)

This Year's Disney Will Skip Last Year's Hazard - The 2004 Disney Inline Marathon had one stretch of racecourse that could have made it onto America's Funniest Home Videos. It was a wet section of boardwalk that proved as slick as ice and caused scores of skaters to tumble. ... As promised, Disney has changed the course this year. Instead of going through the Boardwalk Villas, site of last year's disaster, it will roll through the Yacht and Beach club resorts, which are on the far side of the lake from the Villas. Skaters will still have to pass over a short piece of boardwalk. But Disney race promoter Kecia A. Christiansen promises it will be dry, which would render it quite skateable. She says Disney has also ironed out problems with the finish line. The date of the marathon is May 1st. (Read about the new course on the Hyper forum.) (February 18, 2005)

Tahiti Marathon Organizer Offers $300 Discount for Early Registration - Way Beyond is offering a $300 discount on travel packages purchased by March 30th for the 2006 Tahiti Aito Inline Skate Challenge. With the discount, 3-day packages from Los Angeles are $899; 6-day packages, $1299; and 9-day packages, $1416. Add about $200 to start from New York. (Way Beyond site) (Inline Planet Event News) (February 16, 2005)

Duluth May Host Gravity Event in May - Duluth, Minn., already the site of the largest inline marathon in the United States, is trying to bring a Gravity Event to town. City officials met over the weekend with representatives of the International Gravity Sports Association. The association is considering Duluth for an event over the Memorial Day weekend, officials said. ... The association holds an annual World Cup of gravity sports. Among the events are inline downhill racing (similar to downhill skiing) and inline slalom. Other events feature skateboard, gravity bike and street luge. ... The date for this year's NorthShore Marathon, which attracts about 4,000 skaters, is Sept. 17. (Press release about meeting) (February 15, 2005)

New Indoor Asian Games To Include Roller Hockey, Extreme Skating - The inaugural Indoor Asian Games will feature 10 sports, including roller hockey and extreme skating. The new event is for sports that are not part of the Olympics or the existing Asian Games. Organizers say they chose sports based on their appeal to young audiences and television viewers. Other sports in the games include kick basketball, aerobics, fin swimming and kick boxing. Aggressive skating is included under the category of extreme sports. ... The Indoor Asian Games will be held every other year. This year's event is Nov. 12-19 in Bangkok. (Reuters story) (February 14, 2005)

World Environment Games Are Scheduled for October - The second annual World Environment Games will be Oct. 22-30 in Bahia, Brazil. The object of these games is not only athletic competition but also environmental awareness. Among the 17 sports in the event will be inline speed skating and an "enduro challenge," in which contestants will run, swim, inline skate and mountain bike. As part of the Games, a conference will be held in which experts will discuss the roll that sports can play in improving the environment. (Official Games site) (February 14, 2005)

Tahiti Marathon Morphs Into a Four Race, Three Island Extravaganza! - Wow! The Tahiti Marathon has gotten a makeover and does it look hot! ... Organizer Christopher Pierre has renamed the event the Tahiti Aito Inline Skate Challenge and has turned it into an island-hopping string of events spread over four days. ... The action starts with a half-marathon on the island of Moorea. Then there's a 20 K on Tahaa; a criterium in downtown Uturoa; and finally, the Temehani Marathon on Raiatea. ... Pierre says the series of races is designed to lead participants on a journey of discovery of the beauty of the Tahitian islands, their people and traditions. ... You can sign up here, but don't pack your bags yet. Pierre pushed back the date of the event a few months. So it won't happen until February 19-22, 2006. (February 13, 2005)

Organizers Cancel Inaugural Long Beach Grand Prix Event! - Just received word from International City Racing: It has decided to cancel the inaugural Long Beach Grand Prix event, which it had scheduled for April 3. The event, which was to include an 8-mile inline race and a skate-cycle-run triathlon, was planned as a way to build attendance for the Long Beach Marathon. But the organizers decided they didn't have enough time to prepare the event. So they have decided to hold off


- Racing