Watching and waiting from afar
This weekend was one that many of us had been waiting for with baited breath, as on Saturday 6th November the biggest skateboard marathon was to take place in Miami, Florida. Main roads were to be cordoned off, riders were present from Egypt, Europe and all over the USA and above all $17500 was up for grabs. Infrastructure was put in place which had rarely been seen before in a skateboard race.
I wasn’t able to get to the race, but given that this was the biggest event ever, it was difficult for me to not be curious about the outcome. Would the favourites dominate?, would it rain?, would underdogs claim the win? It turns out that I wasn’t the only one clicking frenetically on the refresh button of the Andrenalina Twitter feed.
Excited was an understatement, some proof in the form of Skatefurther’s Laura and the legend Rob Thompson:
This resulted in an impromptu 2hr 45min conference call with about 15 people being hastily put together on Skype – all of us waiting for the updates. I even phoned PushCulture News’s Brian Davenport to get some on the ground info when the tension got too much – thanks very much for taking my calls!. Information was also exchanged with Bustin’s Mike Dallas, strengthening the feeling a community getting together. In the end we were all in for a surprise as the riders from NYC claimed the top 3 spots, with France’s own Alex Bangnoi claiming 14th place out of over 100 riders.
The official results are available both here and here but I am particularly looking forward to the records held on Pavedwave being updated. So why is this event a big deal? Zalman Lekach one of the organisers from Adrenalina summed it up perfectly in the Miami Herald article from the event:
“Skateboarding as a whole is a massive industry and the longboard culture is a small part of that industry. Since Adrenalina is now giving the chance to win big prize money, we are going to see the birth of essentially a new professional sport. The athletes were not only excited at the chance to compete but are also recognizing that we are all on the ground level of something very big.”
The next marathon race is to be held early in 2011 year in San Diego with a repeat of this event in Miami next year, which is really good news. Fingers-crossed that I’ll be able to get there to be a part of it…a big thanks goes out to all the organisers and participants who made this event go off. Hat’s off to the winners for certainly raising the bar…this race resulted in new marathon records in both the men’s and women’s categories!
Everyone who was following this from their computers sure had a good time too. Hopefully, as more events get organised, such web conferences will become continue to happen in order for people to come together when they aren’t available to go.