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Inline Planet news and articles about ice skating and nordic skating, listed in reverse chronological order:

Snowed in? ... Maybe it's time for an ice marathon - Ice skating may not provide the same sense of freedom as inline skating. But it's the next best thing, especially outdoors with snow falling. If you are ready to give it a try, check out this year's Marathon Skating International schedule. It's got something for everyone. (Go to the Planet storylet.) (Nov. 21, 2005)

Win a Few, Lose a Few - Inline-to-ice champion Chad Hedrick may have set one new world record this weekend — but he lost another. His week-old record in the 5000 meters was snapped by a pair of Dutch skaters, Sven Kramer and Carl Verheijen. Kramer skated the distance in 6 minutes and 8.78 seconds, a full second faster than Hedrick's short-lived mark. The new record came Saturday at the World Cup meet at the Utah Olympic Oval outside Salt Lake City. Verheijen finished second in the 5000 meters; Hedrick third. ... A day earlier, Hedrick set a new record in the 1500 meters. (Go to event story in the Salt Lake Tribune.) (Nov. 21, 2005)

Hedrick Sets Another World Ice Record - A week ago, inline-to-ice champ Chad Hedrick slashed four seconds off the world record for 5000 meters. Yesterday, he sliced a half second off the 1500 meter mark — and in the process beat his rival, reigning Allround World Champ Shani Davis. ... Hedrick's time was 1 minute and 42.78 seconds, 1.5 seconds faster than his previous best. The record came on the first day of the Fall World Cup 2 at the Utah Olympic Oval. ... Davis posted a time of 1:43.41 to finish second. He was the previous world record holder. (Go to Houston Chronicle story.) (Nov. 19, 2005)

USA Today Picks Hedrick as Athlete of the Week Again - The nation's favorite airport newspaper is heaping praise on the Chad-meister ... and inline skating in general! "It's a familiar story by now," the paper says. "Inline skater wins a bunch of world titles, switches to the ice in hopes of Olympic glory and wins. And wins. And wins." ... It's the third time the paper has selected Hedrick as Athlete of the Week. (Go to USA Today story.) (Nov. 15, 2005)

Hedrick Smashes World Ice Record ... Likes to Hoist a Few - Inline-to-ice champ Chad Hedrick maintained a sizzling average speed of 30.3 mph on Sunday to smash the world record for 5000 meters on ice. Skating on the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Hedrick posted a time of 6 minutes and 9.68 seconds. The time slashed nearly five seconds off the old mark of 6:14.66 set by Jochem Uytdehaage at the 2002 Olympics. ... Now here's the crazy part: His coach says he comes to practice drunk "every now and then," but still "does his practice harder than anybody else." (Go to the story in the Toronto Star.) (Nov. 14, 2005)

Chad Hedrick's Racing Skates Stolen, Returned - Inline-to-ice champion Chad Hedrick had a few worried hours last week after his custom ice skates were stolen from a Phoenix parking garage. Hedrick had stowed the skates in a backpack, which he left in his pickup truck. Some time later, a thief on a bicycle smashed a window of the truck and snatched the backpack. A security camera recorded the theft. ... But within hours, the backpack with the skates still inside was recovered at a Phoenix homeless shelter. ... Hedrick was happy to get his skates back. He told a reporter that they are the same one's he used to set the new world record in the 3000 meters earlier this year. (Here's a KSL-TV news story about the theft.) (Aug. 8, 2005)

It's Gold or Bust for Hedrick as He Prepares for 2006 Olympics - "Anything less than a gold medal will be failure for me," inline-to-ice skating champ Chad Hedrick says in a profile in today's Houston Chronicle. Hedrick is a favorite to win the 5000 meter speed skating event at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. He says he has some work to do in the other distances: "At 10,000 meters, I need to relax on the straightaways. I'm out there sprinting 25 laps, and the guys who have been out there for years know where to relax and where to focus their efforts to be efficient. ... At 1,500, it's all about keeping my upper body relaxed and going hard through the turns." (Here's the Chronicle profile.) (May 11, 2005)

Chad Hedrick Slashes 3 Seconds Off World Ice Record - As if trying to erase the memory of his second place finish in the recent World Allround Speed Skating Championships, inline-to-ice phenom Chad Hedrick set a new world record yesterday in the 3000 meters. His time of 3 minutes 39.02 seconds demolished the old record of 3:42.75. That mark was set by Gianni Romme of the Netherlands in 2000. ... Hedrick set the new record at the Olympic Oval Finale in Calgary, Canada. He got some help from fellow U.S. skater KC Boutiette, who set a jack-rabbit pace for the race and positioned himself to allow Hedrick to draft behind him in the early going. (Boutiette gives an account of the race in this thread on the Hyper forum.) (March 11, 2005)

Eric Heiden, 25 Years Later: Just How Great Was He? - Twenty-five years ago this week, Eric Heiden won five gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. His haul of speed skating gold has never been duplicated and is unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon. ... To get some idea of the magnitude of what he did consider the recent World Allround Championships in Moscow. USA's Shani Davis won the title by finishing first in the 1500 meters, second in the 500 meters, and fifth in both the 5000 and 10,000 meters. It was a great event for Davis, but seems almost lackluster compared to Heiden's 1980 Olympics, in which he won all five of the speed skating events (the 500, 1000, 1500, 5000 and 10,000 meters) and set one world and five Olympic records. Now that was a performance! ... (Here's the U.S. Olympic Committee's anniversary tribute to Eric Heiden) (February 18, 2005)

Shani Davis Holds Off Hedrick for World Allround Title - Chicago's Shani Davis had a great day; inline-to-ice skater Chad Hedrick had an off one. As a result, Davis replaced Hedrick as the World Allround Speed Skating Champion. As expected, Davis won the 1500 meters. (He is the world record holder in the event.) Hedrick took second, 0.9 seconds behind him. ... Hedrick was then in a position to retain the championship with a strong performance in the final event, the 10,000 meters. But he finished fourth with, for him, an unremarkable time (13:22.25). Davis, on the other hand, skated surprisingly well -- usually the 10,000 meters is his worst event. He finished fifth with a time 3 seconds slower than Hedrick's, but still fast enough to earn him the Allround title. ... Hedrick had a tough week in Moscow, where the championships concluded today. Earlier in the week, he was apparently the victim of an aborted kidnap attempt. (See Skaters in the News for the story.) (February 6, 2005)

"Inline-to-Icelandia" Wins Bronze at the World Allround Championships! - Inline-to-ice skater Chad Hedrick may not have repeated this year as the World Allround Speed Skating Champion. But the three U.S. inline-to-ice skaters in Moscow this weekend did so well that lumped together they would have finished third as a team (behind the United States and the Netherlands). Not only did Hedrick finish second in the standings, but K.C. Boutiette finished sixth and Derek Parra finished tenth. (Hedrick, Boutiette and Parra all started out as inline racers.) Inline-to-Icelandia was particularly strong in the 1500 meters with Hedrick finishing second, Boutiette third and Parra fourth. ... Although a true ice skater won the championships this year (see below), it is clear that the U.S. would not have had much of a team without inline skaters. (February 6, 2005)

Shani Davis Leads Hedrick in World Ice Championships - With the first day of competition over, Chicago's Shani Davis holds a slim lead over defending champion Chad Hedrick in the World Allround Speedskating Championships in Moscow. Davis finished second in the 500 meters and fifth in the 5000 meters, while Hedrick finished third in the 500 and second in the 5000. That gave Davis 74.969 points and a 0.13 lead over Hedrick. ... Davis also led Hedrick after the first day of last year's World Allrounds in Norway. But Hedrick, an inline-to-ice skater from Texas, came from behind to claim the title with strong performances in the second day events: the 1500 and 10,000 meters. Davis is the world record holder at 1500 meters, but not a top contender in the 10,000. The championships conclude Sunday. (February 5, 2005)

Chad Hedrick Was Reportedly Victim of Kidnap Attempt in Moscow - Here's how the story goes: Inline and ice speedster Chad Hedrick, in Moscow for the World Allround Speed Skating Championships (Feb. 4-6), decides to do a little sight-seeing. He visits Red Square and then hails a taxi to take him to his hotel. When the taxi arrives at the hotel 15 minute later, the driver demands 4000 rubles ($143 US). That's crazy, Hedrick says, and offers 1200 rubles ($42). But the driver won't bargain and instead, locks the car doors and speeds away. Hedrick has heard horror stories about Moscow. So when the taxi slows at a crossing, he throws 1200 rubles at the driver, breaks a window with his elbow, and escapes. ... It's not clear whether Hedrick was injured. But he is quoted as saying he will be fit enough to compete in the Championships this weekend. (The Russian newspaper story is posted in Yahoo's speed skating forum.) (February 3, 2005)

Barry Publow Wins Sixth Ice Marathon - Barry Publow's dominance of North American marathon skating continued yesterday with a come from behind win in the Big Rideau Lake Marathon in Portland, Canada. The man from Ottawa was in the lead pack throughout the 50 K race. But a mile before the finish, his teammate, Aaron Arndt (Breakaway Skate/Bont) broke away and took a commanding lead. Publow gave chase on the last lap and passed Arndt around the final turn. Publow, author of Speed on Skates, has now won six of seven events in Marathon Skating International's point series. He finished second in the other. ... Peter Doucet's string of mishaps continued at Big Rideau: He sheared a blade and suffered a painful fall, which forced him out of the race. Nonetheless, he posted a nice race report and a pile of photos. (January 30, 2005)

Jordan Malone Wins Place On U.S. Speed Skating Team - Inline racer Jordan Malone is a fast learner. Less than a year after beginning his transition to short-track ice skating, the 20-year-old Texan has earned a spot on the U.S. World Cup team. He did this by winning the 1500 meters at the ADT American Cup in Ohio on Saturday. His time was 2:25.86, well off the U.S. record of 2:10.639, held by Apolo Anton Ohno. Fortunately perhaps for Malone, the Olympic champion did not lace up for the meet: He had already qualified for World team. ... Malone is the latest inline racer to tear it up in the ice world. Others include Ohno, Jen Rodriguez and Chad Hedrick. ... Malone has enjoyed a brilliant, although sometimes painful (he has broken his leg and jaw), early career on inline skates. He topped it off last summer by winning one silver and two gold medals at the Inline World Championships in Italy. But it doesn't sound like he plans to do much inline racing in the near future. Here's what he told his home town paper about his future plans: "If I get too old for short track, then maybe I’ll go to long track [ice skating]. After that, maybe I’ll go back to inline -- that will always be my passion. Right now, I’m just thinking about what I have to do to get to the Olympics." (registration required) (January 27, 2005)

Nordic Skating Beneath the Chopper Blades - Winter can be miserable for inline skaters in Norway, considering it lasts most of the year. So some of them switch to Nordic ice skates when the landscape is frozen. One of the contributors to the rec.sports inline skating forum tells the story of his first Nordic skating river trip, with a couple friends, a few days ago. He says he loved it. But "we were not the only people to think it was a blast. Someone thought, 'Blasted kids trapped on the ice again!' and dailed 911." Soon the fire brigade arrived and the rescue helicopter started circling overhead. "The first time I waved, but afterwards I thought that it maybe wasn't such a good idea." ... He has been asked to call 911 and warn them before the next time he goes skating! (January 25, 2005)

Barry Publow Talks About His Return to Racing Form
Barry Publow has a pretty spiffy resume: former Canadian National inline speed champion, current coach of the Canadian National team, author of Speed on Skates (often referred to as the Bible of speed skaters), and founder of the popular Breakaway Skate seminars. But that wasn't enough from the man from Ottawa. This year, he has reinvented himself as master of the North American ice marathon. ... So what's going on with Barry? We thought we better ask. Here's the Planet Interview. (Tuesday, January 25, 2005)

Skater, 72, Braves Sub Zero Weather to Better His 100 K Mark - Only a few skaters joined Pierre Gagne on the ice Saturday for his 100 K challenge race at the Pointe-aux-Lièvres ice track in Quebec City, Canada. But that's not surprising. The air temperature was minus-28 degrees Celsius (minus-18 Fahrenheit)! Nine skaters tried the 100 K. Only two, Pierre and Yves Garneau, finished. "The others had to stop because of frozen toes or hands," said Gaetan Rochette, a friend of Pierre. Despite the brutal cold, Pierre, who is 72, managed to shave eight minutes off his time from last year. He skated the 100 K in 3 hours and 38 minutes. That's an average speed of 27. 5 kph, or 17 mph. ... Imagine what he could do at minus-10 degrees! (Here's more from Marathon Skating International) (January 24, 2005)

Rodriguez Wins World Ice Speedskating Championship - Jen Rodriguez has become the second inline skater to win a world title in ice speed skating. Rodriguez won the Word Sprint Speedskating Championship on Sunday in Salt Lake City. She is the first American to win the title since 1996. In winning the title, Rodriguez, who is not known as a sprinter, set a new U.S. record of 37.94 seconds in the 500 meters. ... Another inline skater who did well at the championships was Joey Cheek. He finished third in the men's division. ... Former and now occassional inline skater Chad Hedricks won the overall World Speedskating Championship last year. (January 24, 2005)

At 72, This Canadian Speedster Flies by Most Skaters Half His Age! - The unstoppable 72-year-old speed skater Pierre Gagne will be testing the mettle of younger skaters again this Saturday during his second annual Pierre Gagne Challenge. Last year, Pierre skated the 100 kilometer event in 3 hours and 46 minutes. His average speed was 16.5 miles per hour, which is pretty amazing all things considered. The race is on the wondrous Pointe-aux-Lièvres ice track in Quebec City. (You'll find a nice photo of it here on the Roller-Montreal site.) Money raised by the event goes to support the Deaf Foundation. (January 21, 2005)

Barry Publow Sweeps Another Ice Championship - Is this the second coming of Barry Publow? The racing career of the inline skater and coach has faded in recent years. But suddenly he has become the king of the North American ice marathon. Over the weekend, the 34-year-old Canadian won both the 25 and 50 K races on Lake Morey in Vermont. A week earlier, he won both events at Lake Placid. Barry, who puts on the Breakaway skate clinics, says if his winning form continues in the spring, he hopes to race the marathon at the World Inline Championships in China. Last time he skated the Worlds was 1994! (January 17, 2005)

Visit Lake Placid Without Freezing Your Toes - Rod Willmot of the Roller-Montreal inline skating club has spent lots of time this winter at Lake Placid, where he serves as official timer for the National Marathon Championships. And he has apparently grown quite fond of the place. In an article on the club's web site, he writes about the lovely scenery, the intimacy of the race oval, and the dark, frothy Ubu beer at the local pub. He also talks about the inevitable -- and always humorous -- timing mishaps. (In one race, the computer mysteriously quit counting finishers after the first skater crossed the finish line.) Amazingly (although less so considering Rod is a Canadian), he finishes the whole piece without once mentioning the F-word: freezing! (January 16, 2005)

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