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Inline Planet Skate Forum • View topic - SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Post announcements, stories and photos about skate events

SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby Robert on Sun May 04, 2008 10:39 pm

Did you skate it? ... Tell us about it ... or if you were taking photos, post a few for us to see.
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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby TimFellman on Mon May 05, 2008 4:41 am

Wow, what an awesome event! As a 1st time inline marathoner from San Diego, my wife and I found the organization and hospitality of the staff first rate. The course was marshalled well, the pavement was smooth and the wind was, well........a good reason to improve my aero positoning. The friendliness of the workers and spectators even offered my beloved wife, who stood and/or sat on the curb through the chilly windy conditions of my 2hr.+ marathon, chairs and coffee. Being able to skate first and then watch the elite racers was also a treat. We fully plan to return next year, hopefully with a friend or two. Thank you to the organizers, sponsors and city of San Francisco.
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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby bldegle2 on Mon May 05, 2008 1:33 pm

Nice. Absolutely smooth pavement. It would be nice to see the numbers up some more. Awards went fast, awesome food catered by Outback Steakhouse, good to see everyone again....

I definately would like to see this event grow, the San Francisco Bay Area has a lot to offer, someone will figure it out, Savant certainly is heading in the right direction.....

Nice to see more players in the promotion biz...

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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby policedutchdog on Mon May 05, 2008 3:19 pm

If you missed the SF Marathon this last weekend, you missed a really super event. The road couldn’t have been smoother and the Golden Gate Park location with the tree-lined course was outstanding. All the negative comments and safety concerns that surrounded this event were completely overblown. The course was completely blocked from traffic. Course marshals and staff lined the entire race route. I don’t believe there was a single incident of other park users getting in the way of the skaters. It was nice to have the other park users stop to watch the race and cheer us all along the course. I looked at it as great exposure for the sport.

Rarely do you see an inline event with a full-blown medical team and ambulance on the scene. The Pro/Pro Master race started right on-time, the results were tabulated quickly and awards were handed out before I could get my skates off. Needless to say the race director and Savant group did a super job of putting on this event. I can only hope that this event will be on the race calendar 09’.

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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby orangechevy on Mon May 05, 2008 5:10 pm

Great Event. Payment was smooth as silk. 3 pics via the link below. Slideshow mode provides the largest image.

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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby dinobot71 on Tue May 06, 2008 3:46 pm

I'm not a big fan of hair pin turns, but sometimes they are necessary to make the course workable. Otherwise it was an awesome event, some good cheering, the course was clear, only 1 or 2 non event participants found a way on to the course in front of my pack. I think it was really well organized and had a great atmosphere. I couldn't believe there were so many prizes being given away, wow! I myself got gift certificates and a warm up jacket.

I hope they do it again next year, I'm guessing the logistics are more management if it happens earlier, but mid day is my preference as a skater, SF seems cold in the morning/evening. Relating to logistics; having the timing display there at the race was VERY cool, I'm all about instant gratification and not having to wait for results.

My only suggestion for improvement would to have a couple of jugs of sports drink somewhere and bigger water bottles or some jugs of water with cups. The little stubby bottles are great for carrying, but when you finish a race, your depleted and you really want something bigger. I couldn't find any sports drink afterwards and was kicking myself for not buying my own before hand.

Overall great event though, I hope they do it again.

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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby ultrask8 on Tue May 06, 2008 4:00 pm

Many factors came together to produce a safe event - including the pre event pressure placed on the organizers to "ramp up" course protection , the cold weather keeping a LOT of normal park users away, last minute volunteers providing additional control at critical intersections, the last minute addition of an on site ambulance, etc.

For the racers it might have semed like "safety concerns were overblown", but for us manning the intersections it was close call after close call - myself having to physically place my bike several times to actually block some pissed off cyclist or pedestrian from walking, running or riding onto the course right in front of the racers - seeing rangers actually RUN and grab people after they jetted onto the course on bikes with shouted "!@#$ off I do what I want", that sort of thing.

I think it was a great event in that no one got hurt - but many times if not for diligence, tourists, park users or dogs would have come onto my section of the course and caused carnage.

Savant personal all seemed to me (in the very brief time I spent talking to them) to be all very competent and involved, and happy to be there.

The one other volunteer I was in contact with, was barely competent and very timid in his demeanor (not a good combo in a critical position at major pedestrian crossing).
You can see him sitting down on

While being one of the more vocal posters about safety concerns before the race, I "put up or shut up" and went to the venue before the pro race to offer my help to the organizers . ("I am here to help - put me in your most critical danger spot" I said upon introducing myself to the race director and to the Savant owner).

So when a racer says "safety concerns were overblown", they really have little idea of the last minute safety additions that were enacted in the days leading up to the event - the main factor there was no control over, and that was the cloudy sky, wind, and cold, kept the nightmare of those of us very experienced in GGate Park skate race safety issues, from being a reality.

My action report:

Dogs physically chased off the course as racers approached - 3 . (all running loose with owners nearby and angry I chased their dog with a siren bullhorn)

Pissed off cyclists, physically blocked by myself as skaters approached , using my bike as a barricade - 2.

Cyclists I couldnt stop, who rode their bikes down the course - as racers approached - 2 on the wrong way - that the ranger chaced and grabbed after I shouted to the ranger on my bullhorn - 4.

People many times had to be shouted to STOP thru my bullhorn, after ignoring the timid volunteer at the crosswalk.

Cell phone using oblivious teenager who didnt event stop when I used a siren! I stood on front of her to stop her. 1.

Items thrown on the course intentionally to trip skaters, a handfull of 1" steel nuts, by a messenger looking cyclist with dreadlocks - 7. (Scott Dutch Dog, your group skated by 30 secs after I picked up the last nut)

I could go on but you get my point.

Pre race pressure was a factor in improving safety, in my opinion, I am sure a big pain to the organizers and cost additional money to implement.....

I noticed at my 8th street position , when the sun did com out, at 12:07, almost immediately the number of pedestrian interdictions increased dramatically...

Thanks to Savant for putting on this event! The potential of this venue is huge, and I personally saw the Savant chief Tom B, skating up and down the course during the race putting out fires... now THATS a guy who loves skating!
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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby BusBoy on Tue May 06, 2008 4:48 pm

I didnt see many Safety Concerns.. I did see a dog on the course, nowhere near anyone skating. There was a bike or two that I saw trekking thru the course... again no one around. Not sure who in their right mind would call an ambulance "overblown" :roll:

The race seemed to go off without a hitch and it ran smoothly from what I saw.

Next time I would suggest that the raceorganizers place a mat across the ENTIRE lane for timing purposes. If and when this race gets bigger what was in place will not work. It limits the field from spreading out and making a jump for the line. From what I heard the lynx camera couldnt detect someone who didnt cross the mat at the finish.

Heres a link to some pics... ... 900730239/

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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby dinobot71 on Tue May 06, 2008 5:36 pm

I know its hard to clear a course completely of cyclists and other "haters". I am impressed with how well this was done given how heavily the park is used by non-skaters. I don't think there is much you can do to avoid friction with people from those other user groups; there will always be some portion of those groups that believe for whatever reason they have first rights to the venue. Personally I think they're just donkeys. But thats just me.

At our club in Ottawa we do a similar loop, on a parkway of brand new pavement, and we have to fight off the cyclists as well, even though I'm sure they actually know they are doing something unsafe for both them and us. It just amazes me how much ego some people have: ... temId=7531

That reminds me...come out to our race! We have even smoother pavement than SF, lots to see in Ottawa, and this year we have a 21k team relay (in addition to usual half/full marathon). The team relay is intended to allow sprinters to come to the front and really shine, teams of 4, each skater doing one leg of the 21K. As always, lots of prizes and eats after the race. More details:

Anyways, like say I hope SF happens again, I'll be there for sure :)

PS. While in SF many skaters commented on the loss of NCM. I grieve with you... (I'm also the prez of the local inline skating club) There is so much I would like say of the NCM organizers, but in the interest of moving forward in our sport in a positive way, I will choose silence and ask that folks check out our Festival and give us feedback on how to grow/improve it. It can't be NCM, but I think it can still be something great for skaters.

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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby 1flatworld on Wed May 07, 2008 5:05 am

Good event all the way around. Thanks to those who posted pics above. Here's my lens' take on the SFIM as posted on Flickr.

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Re: SF Inline Marathon - May 4, 2008

Postby unicycle1234 on Wed May 07, 2008 7:56 pm

I guess you see what you want to see.........all I see while racing were friendly faces, cheers, music, curious looks, admiration, happy dogs.

I've been to the Canada Road race a couple of times, there are walkers, kids on little bikes, strollers, and once a section where cars can come in, but people know what to do. I skate along with the cyclists, and sometimes even draft them (don't tell the official:-) and they cheer me on. I've seem videos of WIC races where people just standing around the street corner when the whole pack passes by, there were no barricade.

No, there was no overblown of safety concern for SFIM, but some overblown egos maybe:-)

My recommendation to the race organizer would be:
- Have a ceremony for the half marathon, super K, and the last person who finish, so it is not just the pros who got cheered:-)
- get the skate companies to donate bearings, wheels (and a lot of them:-) to get more rec/adv participation.

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