Race Preview

ESPN Will Highlight St. Paul Inline Marathon

12 Minutes of Features to Include Race Highlights, Chad Hedrick Profile

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

Inline skating will grab a sliver of the media spotlight Sunday when the ESPN cable news network broadcasts live from the finish line of the St. Paul Inline Marathon.

But don't expect start-to-finish coverage of the race.

Instead, ESPN will feature race highlights, along with other Minnesota sports features, including a possible story about the state's women's roller derby league.

ESPN's visit to Minnesota comes on the 37th day of its SportsCenter Across America tour of all 50 states.

ESPN's Steve Berthiaume will anchor the broadcast live from a stage near the marathon finish line at St. Paul's Mears Park, said producer Marc Weiner.

He will be on during the 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. (Eastern Time) SportsCenter broadcasts.

The marathon starts at 7 a.m. local time in St. Paul, which is 8 a.m. Eastern Time. So the first racers should be finishing about the time ESPN goes live.

A video crew will film the start of the marathon and other parts of the race, Weiner said.

Highlights will be shown on the morning and evening SportsCenter broadcasts.

Evening broadcasts are scheduled for 6 and 9 Eastern Time. (Check your local listings.)

ESPN will produce about 12 minutes of video features from Minnesota, Weiner said. The race highlights will be among the features.

Another will be a story about inline-to-ice champion Chad Hedrick, Weiner said.

Hedrick, who is signed up for the race, is the winningest racer in the history of inline skating, having won 50 inline world championships before turning his attention to ice a few years ago.

This year, he has only skated in a few inline races. (He won the 10,000-meter elimination race in Gross-Gerau, Germany).

He has been devoting most of his time to preparations for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Other top skaters registered for the marathon include:

  • Men: Eddy Matzger, KC Boutiette, Dane Lewis, Troy Atwell and Adam Miller
  • Women: Jessica Smith, Cecilia Baena and Stacey Eldridge.

ESPN's 12 minutes of Minnesota content will include a feature on the state's "top sports moments." A similar piece is being done for all 50 states.

The rest of the coverage is still in the planning stages, Weiner said. Potential stories include a feature about a one-legged marathon skater and a story about the Minnesota Rollergirls, a roller derby league.

Women's roller derby has proved a magnet for TV cameras this year.

The same cannot be said for inline skate racing, which in the United States seems to have had almost no coverage since 1998 when the Outdoor Life Network broadcast the Northshore Marathon.

(posted on Aug. 18, 2005)

Related Reading:

Racing News

Travel Advisory! ... If you are flying Northwest to St. Paul this weekend, be prepared for a possible strike. The mechanics union has set a strike deadline of 6:01 p.m. (EDT) Friday. (Here's a Seattle Times story with strike travel tips.)


Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

Planet Extras!
Full Coverage of the World Championships
Photos of the St. Paul Inline Marathon
Sneak Peak: the 2006 Rollerblades
Napa Marathon Photos
a2a champ Kim Perkins Tells Her Story
Salomon to Abandon U.S. Skate Market

The Basics
Beginner's Guide to Inline Skating!
Top Seven Mistakes of Inline Skaters
Protection From Mr. Bumpy
First Time Buying Guide
News Departments
Product News
Skating Events and Updates
Racing News
Skate Industry News
Skate Governing Bodies
Skaters in the News
Olympic Inclusion

Skate Trips and Travel
Where to Skate
Race Previews
Race Reports
Racing Skates and Equipment

Inline Marathoning
Advanced Skating Skills
How to Skate Safely
Skates Previews
Product Reviews
Buyers Guide
Skate Maintenance
Speed Skating
Inline Downhill
Roller Hockey
Aggressive Skating
Artistic Skating
Ice Skating
The Inline Edge!
If You're Injured
Skating Laws
Inline History
Planet Forum