Robin “The Leg” Mcguirk just sent us this recap of the Rapid Movement distance race in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He took 3rd overall despite sustaining some gnarly roadrash!
Over 100 riders came out with several skateboard marathon record holders in attendance. The course was a freshly paved bike path loop of 6.5 miles, we did 4 loops to complete the distance of 26.2 miles. It had two downhill sections with speeds of 30mph and two uphill sections, the rest mainly flat but very smooth.
Local hero Jason Yerke and I broke away from the pack early on. For 3 whole laps we traded positions drafting each other with a grueling 20mph headwind on most of the course. Bustin rider Andrei Hippix slowly reeled us in and caught up to us at the beginning of the final lap. We all traded turns leading into the wind when we approached the last downhill section that had the only hard corner near the top of it. It was almost impossible to sprint away from each other in such a strong headwind, so we stayed neck and neck until the end. I was in 3rd at this point planning to draft them both down the downhill and pass them so I could have a lead for the final half mile sprint to the finish. It was Jason in front, Andrei right behind him, and myself right behind Andrei going into the sharp 90 degree left. Jason was setting up for the turn good on the outside as I was too. But Andre was taking it too early on the inside. I was starting to dive in when I had to give Andrei a very slight bump draft with my hand to his back to keep my wheels from running into the back of his. The tiny bit of extra speed I gave him was just a little too much for him and he started to drift. Crashing in front of me on a 6 foot wide path there was no where for me to go! I hit him and was knocked off balance causing me to go off the path and flip off onto my back. I landed on gravel and slid down the hill a bit as my board went down the hill 50 feet or so. Andrei was still higher up on the hill at the corner, got his board quickly and pushed down the hill past me as I was running down to get my board. With less than a mile left Jason and Andrei were gone as I managed to still place 3rd. It was an exciting and unfortunate end to such a long race being very close most of the way. It would have been interesting to see a 3 way sprint out for the last half mile and see who came out on top. The results may have been the same, but we’ll never know, and that’s part of racing! Jason finished in 1 hour 39 minutes, Andrei 30 seconds back and myself another 30 plus seconds back. The next group of riders came in as a pack about 4 minutes behind the top 3. The event was a success overall with only one major injury. One of the women riders fell in the same corner earlier in the race, her helmet busted off and she had to have several staples in her head.
Big Thanks to Daddies Board Shop for getting me there and to Jason Yerke and Mike Dallas for hosting me. These guys showed me around their hometown’s Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan where longboarding is spreading like wildfire. It was great to come out to this part of the country and share the stoke with them at their first major longboarding event – The Rapid Movement Skateboard Marathon – Organized by Grand Rapids local Chris Preville. And sanctioned by IDSA – http://www.theidsa.org/
FB Event – http://goo.gl/QTh6b
Photos by Mike Dallas from Bustin Boards. (Road Rash Photo with Chris Preville)