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Goodwood – bringing some French touch to the English countryside

Last week-end a mini French invasion took place as Alex, Philidar and myself made the trip over to the UK for the 2010 edition of the Goodwood Roller Marathon. Alex and I knew roughly what to expect as we had already taken part in the same marathon in 2009. For Phildar however, it was a new venture into the world of distance longboarding. This year exceeded everybody’s expectations.

On the Sunday morning, Tim joined our little contingent for a meat feast of an English breakfast before heading to the track to set up camp ‘further’ and to catchup and meet with the other racers and longboarders.

Last year there were 320 participants, this year according to the organisers there were over 350 on the starting line. Having started in the middle of the pack lastyear, I managed to start pretty near to the front, next to the legendary Matt Elver whom I parted with once the race had started. You can just pick out my black helmet on the very right in the picture below.

As you’ve no doubt read in my previous posts, I was determined that I would give this marathon my best shot. In the end I managed to maintain the pace I had set for myself – something which I didn’t know I could do.

Once the race started Alex and Matt Elver were ahead of me which I wasn’t surprised by. For the first few laps I had a good battle for third place with Issac Allen but I managed to get away from him. I was chuffed to be in third place and for a while I thought that the results of the race had been decided…then I realised that slowly but surely I was catching up with Alex. His motto for the race went along the lines of ‘take no prisoners’ so I wasn’t about to do him any favours. We were both pretty tired as it was around lap 9 at this time but somehow I managed to shake him loose and take second place. We both really went for it and I still don’t really know what happened. What I do know though is I was mega, probably scarily, sweaty!

Positions aside, it was all about the sub 2 hour time this year. Through my various previous experiments with times and speeds I worked out that to achieve this goal I would need an average speed of 21.4km/h. During my little battle with Alex we were both a little annoyed to still be racing after the 2 hour mark…little did we know that we had done not 11 but 12 laps…it appears that simple things like counting during a race are beyond me.

Here are the readings from my GPS:

As you can see, my average speed was 22.1km – very probably helped by the fact that both the weather and wind (or lack of) were with us…nevertheless an achievement I’m very pleased with!

Here is a breakdown of the lap time for the 5 top longboarders:

In the end, the results for the longboarders were as follows:


1 – Elver (01:43:18): the magical man in white does it again and extends his record – LEGEND!
2 – Vallender (01:53:33): didn’t know I had it in me but should learn to count!
3 – Bangnoi (01:53:37): great race buddy and thanks for driving all those miles!


1 – Hatwell (02:21:24): The one and only distance skate queen!
2 – Liles (02:55:55): Woo – more girls next year!
3 – O’Leary x 2 (first skateboard trailer transported ladies EVER)

Other notable results:

– Tim Pritchard got an astounding time of 01:58:09 – the first recorded sub two hour marathon using an LDP setup.
– Phildar, who was not even sure about even being able to complete the marathon finished with a very respectable 02:34:04 – a really good effort, well done! It was great to have you along.

Full results are available here and international longboard distance rankings, including the marathon are here.

This marathon is the only one of it’s kind and it would be great if others like it existed…all who took part had a blast. It should be possible to organise the same thing in Europe, be it in France or elsewhere. Does anyone have any ideas where? Once a year is not enough!

One thing is for sure – we’ll be at Goodwood next year!

One response

  1. Pingback: The Paris LDP Challenge « Here & there – Ici & là

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