Event Calendar



The Planet Articles
Recent articles and stories listed in reverse order of publication:

June 30, 2006
Skate Tip of the Week:
skatecyclethumbDraft Behind Bikes

Drafting behind cyclists is a great way to learn to skate faster. Inline legend Eddy Matzger explains how it's done without offense to the cyclist's ego.

- Go to Skate Tip of the Week.

June 29, 2006
Beat the Heat!

Too hot for skating? Never, says Skate Coach Kathy McSparran. In her latest column, Kathy shares her desert-honed tips for skating through the summer scorchers.
- Go to the Planet story.

June 27, 2006
'You Help Us, We'll Help You'
Now that USA Roller Sports is developing an inline-to-ice pipeline, the U.S. Olympic Committee is ready to take out its checkbook.
- Go to the Planet story.

Big Crowd Expected for Hayward Marathon
The new Hayward Inline Marathon in the North Woods of Wisconsin may turn out to be the fourth largest skate marathon in North America this year. ... Go to Planet story and photo preview. May 25, 2006

Salomon: On the Way Out?
Salomon's new owner is considering getting out of the inline market as it tries to transform the French company into a money maker. (Go to the Planet story.) (May 12, 2006)

Growing Skating One Kid at a Time

Rollerblade's Skate in School program hits a new milestone: 3 million students served. "I've never seen our kids so excited to be in PE class," says one school administrator. (Go to the Planet story.) (May 10, 2006)

Italians Dominate in Rainy Rennes
World Cup newcomer Simona Di Eugenio escaped with four others and won the sprint in today's Rennes World Inline Cup in France. MMCmicro Salomon's Massimiliano Presti made it two for four with a victory in the rain-soaked men's race. (Go to the Planet story.) (May 7, 2006)

Start Fast and Rest While You Race
In the last part of a series on advanced skills for marathon skaters, Canadian speed coach Barry Publow talks about the importance of a good start and how to "bank" rest along the way. (Go to Planet story.) (May 5, 2006)

Eastern Europe on a Roll?
Inline skating is becoming popular in parts of the former Eastern Bloc. But impediments remain, such as poor roads and a dearth of leisure time. (Go to the Planet story. ... And let us know how you like the redesign.) (May 4, 2006)

Upset in Basel!
Underdog Athleticum Rollerblade upset the big boys in today's Basel World Inline Cup in Switzerland with a dominating performance that added drama to the World Cup's first team time trial. (Go to the Planet story.) (April 29, 2006)

Skaters Needed to Roll the Palace
England is sprouting a new half marathon next month that ought to be a hit not only with skaters but with history and architecture buffs. Only hitch: the event (the Blenheim Inline Challenge) won't be back next year unless enough skaters show up. (Go to the Planet story.) (April 28, 2006)

World Inline Cup Tries a New Format
In an effort to improve, while adapting to the requirements of a twisting, narrow road course, the World Inline Cup is trying something new on Saturday: a team time trial with as many as 2500 skaters. (Go to the Planet preview of the Basel World Inline Cup.) (April 27, 2006)

Finster, Barbotin Win World Cup in Paris
Salomon's Nathalie Barbotin went on a solo breakaway to win today's Val d'Europe marathon in Paris. In the men's race, Australian Danny Finster marked his return to World Cup racing with his first-ever win. (Go to Planet story.) (April 22, 2006)

Peterson, Starykowicz Win Again in the Metrodome
Peter Starykowicz borrowed a tactic from the Indy 500 to win today's Metrodome Inline Marathon in Minneapolis. Kara Peterson finished third overall to win the pro women's division. (Go to the Planet story.) (April 22, 2006)

Rolling Out the French Mouse
I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto. ... You got that right! The Val d'Europe is in Paris, France, where the natives have different ideas about how to organize an inline marathon ... even if they are staging it at a U.S.-inspired theme park. (Go to Planet story.) (April 20, 2006)

Austin Gets New Training Program
Austin skate instructor Richard Littrell isn't easily discouraged. Despite the failure of Austin Inline Fit, he is launching a new marathon training program in the city next month. (Go to Planet story.) (April 18, 2006)

Cactus Classic Canceled Again
Unable to find financial backing, the Cactus Classic will once again skip a beat in 2006. "We've been trying to find some money — but there's just nothing," said lead organizer Edward Wachter. (Go to Planet story.) (April 17, 2006)

Joey Mantia
Luigino's duo lightning bolts Joey Mantia and Brittany Bowe blazed the way at the weekend's Tampa Classic Invitational in Florida. Mantia proved particularly dominating, easily winning all three of Sunday's outdoor events. (Go to Planet story.)

Top 10 Real World Skate Tips
thumbnail of Kathy McSparran
Hills, water hazards, broken pavement, snakes. (Yes ... even snakes!) It's a jungle out there on the trail! But fortunately we've got Skate Coach (aka "Skates With Snakes") to help us on our way. (Read Kathy McSparran's Top 10 Real World Skate Tips.) (April 14, 2006)

Jessica Smith, Max Presti Win in Korea
Skating solo, without the help of teammates, Hyper's Jessica Smith sprinted through the women's pack with about 300 meters left in the race and claimed a narrow victory in today's Seoul World Inline Cup in South Korea. "It feels really good," she told the Planet. In the men's race, Salomon Massimiliano Presti caught Rollerblade's Jorge Botero in the final meters for the win. (Go to the Seoul coverage.) (April 9, 2006)

Climbing Those Hills ... One Lung or Two
thumbnail of Kathy McSparran
Planet columnist Kathy McSparran explains how anyone — even an asthma sufferer — can learn to surmount hills on skates. In the process, she tells the story of the lung cancer survivor she helped scale the hills at the Disney Inline Marathon. ... It's a great read! (Go to Kathy's column.) (April 6, 2006)

Trail Accident Stalls Blade Across America
Blade Across America's Michael Sandler was taking an easy skate Sunday when he fell trying to avoid an errant toddler. He says it all happened so fast, there was nothing he could do. (Go to the Planet story.) (April 4, 2006)

Mantia, Bowe Rule the Mouse!
The young World Team stars Joey Mantia and Brittany Bowe scored victories today in what turned out to be the smallest, though perhaps the happiest, Disney World Inline Marathon. (Go to the Planet story and results.) (April 2, 2006)

Skaters Honor Unsung Champ of Long Beach
thumbnail of peggy girgenti
Peggy Girgenti won the master women's division of the Long Beach Inline Marathon for the sixth straight year last fall. So what did she get for it? ... Well, nothing ... at least until Saturday when her skate buddies decided to take matters into their own hands. (Go to the Planet story.) (March 28, 2006)

Cheryl Ezzell Returns to Win the Road Rash
Cheryl Ezzell thumbnail
Hall of Famer Cheryl Ezzell emerged from retirement today to win the women's division of the Texas Road Rash inline marathon. Among the men, Adam Miller was the winner for the second year in a row. After the race, Cheryl told the Planet about her return to racing. (Go to the Planet story and results.) (March 26, 2006)

The Texas Road Rash appears to be an event with a future. Organizers expect between 200-250 skaters for this year's event on Sunday. That would represent a healthy jump from last year's numbers. (Go to Planet story.) (March 22, 2006)

Rollerblade's 4Ds: Flexible and Fast
The big thing (besides the big wheels) about Rollerblade's new Crossfire 4D and Activa 4D models is their adjustable length frame: good for both rec and fitness skating. We put them through the paces and found them to be quite fast ... until we started climbing. (Go to the Planet review.) (March 21, 2006)

Surprise Winner in Vegas 10,000 Meters
A relatively unknown skater from Washington State surprised the favorites to win the 10,000 meters today in the Las Vegas High Roller Invitational. Nancy Lauritzen says that when she pulled away from the lead pack no one wanted to follow. (Go to Planet story.) (March 20, 2006)

Helping Champions Live Their Dreams
Send the Best is launching a new fund-raiser to help ensure that the top U.S. speed skaters can attend this summer's World Championships in South Korea. The fund drive is called "Helping Champions Live Their Dreams." ... Can you? (Go to Planet story.) (March 20, 2006)

The Beginner's Guide to Outdoor Racing
thumbnail of Kim Perkins
Finally — a comprehensive guide to inline marathoning and outdoor racing! We've got a2a champ Kim Perkins to thank for it. She put together a 5-part guide that covers all the basics, including what race category to enter, how to skate in a paceline, how to prepare for a race — and even how to turn pro. (Go to the ✯◆▼❄❏❏❒✲❁❃❉■❇✎✉ ✈✭❁❒❃❈✑✗✌✒✐✐✖✉

Skater Dies After Fall at Metrodome
Skater Carl Comparoni died Sunday from head injuries sustained when he fell during a skate session at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Comparoni, a regular at the dome, was not wearing a helmet. (Go to the
Planet story.) (March 15, 2006)

Kids Still Love to Skate
The idea has emerged lately that inline skating is primarily a sport for active middle aged types. But don't believe it. A study shows that most U.S. skaters are children between the age of 6 and 17. (Go to the Planet story.) (March 14, 2006)

Marathon Training for Advanced Skaters
Are you ready to take your skating to the next level? Then read Barry Publow's advanced guide to marathon training. In the first installment, the Canadian skate coach and author explains why it's a mistake for skaters to train the way runners do. (Go to the Planet story.) (March 10, 2006)

Hedrick Weighs His Options
Thumbnail of Chad Hedrick
The asphalt has turned to gold for inline legend and now Olympic champion Chad Hedrick. With the Torino Games behind him, the endorsements, television appearances and movie scripts keep coming. But Hedrick is also looking for a way to give back to inline skating. (Go to the Planet story.) (March 8, 2006)

How Fast Are You?
Lots of skaters use GPS devices these days to monitor their speed. But GPS may not be the only way to go. A New York company has come out with a non-GPS device which it claims accurately measures speed and distance for skaters. (Go to Planet story.) (March 8, 2006)

Skating in Paradise
Tahiti marathon thumbnail
Planet correspondent Ilene Kummer flew half way around the world—and then back again—to get us this report on the Tahiti Aito Inline Challenge. ... Yep, she did it just for us. Well, maybe she also liked the idea of spending another week in paradise. (Go to Ilene's report.) (March 6, 2006) (March 6, 2006)

Review: Rollerblade's New Crossfire 90
thumbnail of the Rollerblade Crossfire 90
The 2006 Rollerblade Crossfire 90s are comfortable, well balanced and fast. We put them through the paces, tallied the pros and cons and decided that these high-end rec skates deserve a four-star rating. (Go to the Planet review of the Crossfire 90s.) (March 3, 2006)

Publow Brings the Skate Camp Home
Sign up for Barry Publow's SkateCamp Ottawa and you'll get technical training from one of the best along with eight days of fun in the Canadian's lovely hometown. "Aside from being a technical workshop, I really want it to be a fun vacation," Publow says. (Go to the Planet story.) (March 2, 2006)

Will Freestyle Be 'Fancied Rotten' in the USA? - photo of Naomi GriggEnglish freestyle champ Naomi Grigg says her cone-centric specialty is "a ludicrous pastime ... a dumb thing to do." But it's also a great thrill, she says, "like new love to a teenager." So far, this European invention hasn't caught on in the New World. But Grigg says it's just a matter of time. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 28, 2006)

Inliners Save Team USA! - Former inline skaters accounted for nearly a third of all the medals won by the U.S. Olympic team. ... And here's the kicker: the U.S. Olympic Committee has cut off funding for the national governing body of inline skating! .... Hard to figure? (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 27, 2006)

Colombian Wins Season's First Marathon - Colombian thumbnail of breakawaychampion Julian Rivera pulled away from the pack near the finish line to win today's Mardi Gras Marathon in Lafayette, La. U.S. junior world team member Courtney Bellais won the women's race. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 25, 2006)

Spoiler Alert! ... Hedrick's Final Race in Torino - Chad photo of Chad HedrickHedrick finished (CENSORED) in today's 10,000 meters in Torino. The event left the former inline champion with (CENSORED) medals. So what is the 28-year-old Texan going to do next? That's censored, too, for the benefit of TV viewers who don't want the ending given away before they see it for themselves. (But if you're ready for the factoids, go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 24, 2006)

U.S. Racer Faces Long Recovery - One of USA's top inline speed skaters is facing an uncertain future after suffering multiple fractures in a work accident. Bret Whitman, winner of last year's St. Paul Inline Marathon, fell from a two-story roof on Monday. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 22, 2006)

New Faces Vital to Team Rollerblade - logo rollerblade worldRollerblade team faces two big challenges in the World Inline Cup this year. The first is how to hold its own against the mighty new Salomon team. The second is how to fill the void left by the defection of the rising French star Alexis Contin. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 20, 2006)

Inline Gold Rush! ... Joey Cheek's Will to Win - For former inline skater Joey Cheek, it was never a question of whether he could make it on ice—just how long it would take. That's part of what we learned when we talked to the new gold medalist's first ice coach, Kent Thometz. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 13, 2006)

Minnesota Skate Oval Needs Donors - Minnesota skate promoter Mike Cofrin describes the John Rose Oval as the "point where inline and ice converge." But the oval has proved a financial drain on the city of Roseville. And now it needs help. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 10, 2006)

Young Chad: Sleeping on the Floor - It wasn't always talk shows and glory for Olympic speed skater Chad Hedrick. The night before one of his first outdoor races, he slept on the floor next to the bathroom with skaters stepping on his head all night long. (Don't believe it? Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 9, 2006)

Inliners Poised for Their Olympic Moment - Rejected as an Olympic sport, inline skating will nonetheless provide a subplot for the Torino Games, as commentators talk about the new-found strength of the inline-fortified U.S. speed skating team. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 6, 2006)

Talley and Yeh Lead the Way in Redondo - The outdoor racing season opened Sunday in California with Brian Talley winning the Super Bowl Sunday 10K in Redondo Beach. Right behind him was the always competitive Howard Yeh. The two Southern Californians broke away midway through the race and finished about a minute ahead of the chase pack. (Go to race photo and storylet.) (Feb. 6, 2006)

Skate Sales Fall ... But Not So Much - The skate industry got good news and bad news in the latest SGMA report. The bad news is that skate sales continued to fall in 2005. The good news is that the massive bloodletting appears to be over. The report says the key for the industry is new skaters. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 2, 2006)

Ice Skaters Suffer More Head Injuries - Ice skaters may suffer less road rash than their inline counterparts. But they make up for it with more head injuries, according to a new study. (Go to the Planet story.) (Feb. 1, 2006)

Skating for Attention Deficit Disorder - Michael Sandler plans to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records this summer by becoming the first person to skate from Los Angeles to New York City. But making it into the record books may be the easy part. His other goal is to raise $1 million to help people with Attention Deficit Disorder. (Go to the Planet story.) (Jan. 26, 2006)

Skate Coach: See and Be Seen - Invisible might work for the Invisible Girl. But not for the night skater. He or she must remain visible to motorists or risk undesirable "meetings." Fortunately, we've got Skate Coach Kathy McSparran to advise us on the gear we need to stay out of Hummer's way. (Go to Skate Coach.)

Missouri Town Bans Skating - This appears to be another one of those unfortunate situations in which a town passes a law based on the misbehavior of a few of its citizens. ... We talked to Ava's police chief about it. He accused us of trying to start an argument ... which we would certainly be willing to do if it would help. (Go to the Planet story.) (Jan. 20, 2006)

10 Ways to Avoid Getting Hit by Cars - Of course, you could just stay home. But that's no fun. So here's a guide to how to skate in the street safely. It's adapted from Michael Bluejay's excellent guide for bicyclists. Among the topics are where to position yourself at stop lights, how to pass slow moving cars and how to make it more likely that drivers will see you. ... Study it! The best piece of safety gear is a well-tended mind. (Go to the guide.) (Jan. 18, 2006)

Salomon Goes for the Win - Salomon is serious about winning the World Inline Cup this year. The team it announced today is the strongest (at least on paper) that anyone has put together in years. Topping its roster are the two top WIC skaters from last year. Rollerblade may have a hard time keeping up. (Go to the Planet story.) (Jan. 13, 2006)

USOC May Find Way to Help Roller Sports - The U.S. Olympic Committee may reconsider its decision to cut funding for inline skating after the Winter Olympics. But it will depend on whether the governing bodies for inline skating and ice speed skating can agree on a joint plan to develop athletes for the Olympics. (Go to the Planet story.) (Jan. 12, 2006)

USOC Bites the Hand That Feeds It! - Apparently, it's true: No good deed shall go unpunished. Just as inline skaters prepare to make their greatest contribution to the Olympic Games, the U.S. Olympic Committee cuts their funding. ... How's that for gratitude! (Go to the Planet story.) (Jan. 11, 2006)

Fila Skates Arrive in U.S. Market - The competition heats up again in the U.S. skate market with the introduction of Fila skates. And Fila won't just be selling skates in the United States. It will be putting them on the feet of its new Fila USA racing team. (Go to the Planet story.) (Jan. 9, 2006)

Latinos Are More Likely to be Skaters - Here's some good news for skate makers: According to a new report, the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States also happens to be the one that likes skating the most: Latinos. (Go to the Planet story.) (Jan. 4, 2006)

Two Inline Races Set for Long Beach - Long Beach may be without an inline marathon in 2006. But it won't be without skate races. Audrey Winthrop of the Beach Bladers Inline Skate Team is producing two Long Beach events this year, including the Parkinson's Open Road Race on Oct. 1st. (Go to Planet story.) (Jan. 3, 2006)

Inline Skates Become Darling of Transit Strike - The New York City transit strike is doing a nice job of showing off the commuter potential of inline skating. Lots of stories have listed inline skating as one of the creative ways New Yorkers are getting to work. And a favorite strike photo has featured commuters on skates. (Go to the Planet story.) (Dec. 22, 2005)

Rollerblade Drops Pro Aggressive Team; Adds National, Regional Teams - Rollerblade says it's not turning its back on aggressive skating — just changing its strategy. With few big aggressive events left these days, it is replacing its salaried TRS team with a 10-member national and 50-member regional team. (Go to Planet story.) (Dec. 20, 2005)

Long Beach Drops Its Inline Marathon - Inline skating is no longer a part of the Long Beach Marathon. After a bruised inline history, organizers have decided to drop skaters from the 2006 event. They cited safety and racecourse logistics as the reasons. (Go to the Planet story.) (Dec. 15, 2005)

Organizers Push Ahead With Plans for 2006 A2A - The Athens to Atlanta Road Skate looks like a go for 2006. Organizers have set an Oct. 1st date for the event and have developed a multi-tiered approach to entry fees which they hope will help resurrect the 25-year-old event. (Go to the Planet story.) (Dec. 13, 2005)


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