It all started with a question – why does Paris not have any Push Races? Events like the Broadway Bomb start off small and local, but can grow to have a huge national and international outreach. Back in September, the time felt right to sow some seeds of change here in Paris so that we could build on the success of the GreenSkate. We would offer a different format to previous events with the aim of drawing more attendance but also to provide a focal point for the French, if not European scene and help promote it – the shops, the different associations and various groups. The support we received both from Parisian shops / brands as well those as further afield was tremendous – you just have to take a look at the flyer to see that. The night before, with 46 people attending, we could tell that this event would go off. People were coming from all over the Parisian region and even further afield; Annecy, Caen and even Prague! The only problem that we had a huge thunderstorm (yes, you read correctly!) which soaked everything right through. I set my alarm the night before the race, thinking that we would have to call it off. Sunday turned out cold, but with little chance for any rain we decided to press on. I left the flat with a bag full of home-made orange carboard arrows, the prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, some string and of course, my board.
After having set out the course in the Bois de Boulogne we made our way back to the meeting point at Porte Maillot where a handful of people were already waiting for us. People just kept arriving…
We then left the meeting point and made for where the start of the race was to be held. The start was to take the ‘Le Mans’ format with the racers on one side and their boards on the other. After the countdown, each person would have to run to their board and before starting to race. We made sure there was a good 20 metres between the competitors and their boards…needless to say that the a getting a good start was even more important than usual – it was carnage, but all good!
Not many pictures of during the race have surfaced, but generally things went mostly to plan. In the time between having set out the course markers and the start of the race, some of the arrows had already been stolen (people were obviously impressed with their quality). This meant that a few participants took some wrong turns and either got lost, or took a massive short cut…still that’s part of the fun, right!
The good thing about Push Races is that they can appeal to a wide audience, everyone who can longboard can challenge themselves to push a little faster than usual. It is then up to the organisers to try and cater for different tastes, some flat sections to keep things interesting, some light downhill for the adrenaline-seekers and some uphill for the endurance lovers.
At the start of the race there was a big straight on some horrible pavement complete with wet leaves, but nevertheless I got off to a pretty good start. There was then ‘the uphill of death’ with lots of leafy mush to slow things down even further before the start of a wide straight section…
…then a downhill section and finally a tight (due to roadworks) twisty section leading to the finish. The whole course in the end was around 9km, which despite being a little shorter than we would have liked, gave people a taster of what Push Races are about. I heard a lot of comments at the end from people who wanted more!
After having waited for everyone to finish, we then went en masse to a nearby skatepark at La Muette which is famous for being the only bowl in Paris. As someone who usually skates with a couple of people, riding as a group of 40+ really is fantastic, the group just takes over the streets…cars move out of the way and bystanders cheered and clapped us on. At the skatepark, Blackkross, had organised some drinks and snacks and it was where we would give out the prizes to the winners.
The results of the race were as follows:
- Romain Bessière & Antoine Badin (Mastaflex) 19min 48secs
- Eric Guérin (Rike) + 20min
- Petr Pufler (From Prague!)
- Laurent Perigault (Eneone)
From what I heard, the finish was a spectacular sprint between Romain and Antoine – I wish I could have seen it!
Overall attendance was really impressive, considering the forcast for awful weather – 75 people came in total, of whom 60 competed. We would really like to thank all those who participated in this first edition of the Paris Push Race and especially to those how helped organise the day. Cyril Cabri for the flyer, the president of the Riderz association Yohan, Fernando, Arno as well as all our partners for the very generous prizes and support they offered for the event: Riderz, Skatefurther, but also BourreHouseMédia, Blackkross, Hawaii surf, AlphaLongboards, UrbanDrfift, OctaneSport, Concratewave.de and Board-Z.
More racing to come soon…
For the first time on 18/04/10, Riderz organised a GreenSkate that took Paris by storm. Under a beautiful clear blue sky the warmth of the spring sun drew longboarders from around the Paris region to take part in this international event.
There were two sides to the The Paris Greeenskate. Those wanting to test their knowledge of the city and their legs could take part in an orientation race taking in many of Paris’s sights.
All together, more than 50 people took part in the race. Here are a few of the early starters:
In order to participate in the race, travel cards and metro tickets had to be given to the organisers for safekeeping. In order to confirm passage as a checkpoint, a photo had to be taken:
The race participants really gave it their all with the fastest completing all the checkpoints in around 2h30m for a total distance of around 35km. Proof that the longboard is a fast, environmentally friendly and sustainable means of urban transportation as well as being good exercise for the body.
Those wanting to spend their Sunday in a more relaxing fashion could just soak in the atmosphere around the start/finish area on the banks of the Seine.
At the end of the day an impromptu slide contest also took place with over 100 spectators:
Overall the event was a huge sucess which brought together more longboarders than I have seen together at any event in France outside of the 2008 Paris Slalom World Cup at the Trocadero.
It is important to note that the event was born from the collaboration of many people who were all brought together by the motivation that Paris as a major capital city should have it’s own GreenSkate – we did it and it rocked, proof that the Paris scene longboarding scene can rival any other.
If you haven’t organised your GreenSkate yet there is still time! Check out the official website http://greenskate.org/ for inspiration and all information.
Thanks to Fantom and Niko for the pictures!