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Adrenalina – watching from the outside

It’s 1pm (GMT+1) last Saturday, the 30th July 2011 and I am sitting in the Pschorr brewery in Munich, Germany, eating würstl and Fass-sauerkraut accompanied by a glass of their refreshing Helles beer.

 As nice as this all is, beer, smiling mädchen and all, my mind keeps on wondering how is everyone getting on at the Adrenalina marathon in NYC. I’m pretty sure that two names will be on the podium but as we all know, these events often bring surprises. When I finally saw the top three results I was not disappointed:

1. Jeff Vyain – 1:31:41
2. Paul Kent – 1:32:10
3. Robin McGuirk – 1:38:07

Both Jeff Vyain and Paul Kent’s times speak for the themselves, this was no doubt an epic race at an amazing location, perfectly described by Alex Bangnoi:

 Ideal (weather) conditions…a gorgeoous setting! Imagine: the starting and finishing in front of the Statue of Liberty! Classy! What better motivation!

Alex Bangnoi went on to set himself a new personal best time (I think!) of 1:48:20, placing him in a solid 30th place out of 110 starters in the male category.

With around 6 minutes separating 2nd and 3rd place this was clearly a dual for the last lap or so as apparently both the front racers were working together to maintain pace…the following pick captures this:

But the race was worth it from the expressions at the finish line:

1st place Jeff Vyain:

2nd place Paul Kent:

All this makes for a great podium: Epic!

Adrenalina photo credits: ShRED Magazine

Let’s not forget the women – woop!:

1. Cami Best – 1:59:16_Bustin
2. Sara Paulshock – 1:59:48_Bustin
3. Priscilla Bouillon – 2:04:42

The full results are available here – only one rider from outside the America’s…there’s bound to be more hidden talent out there!

Those of us who couldn’t get to the race got to have the next best thing, a live report by PushCulture News, all the videos which were broadcast live can be seen at by clicking here. There are great interviews with the winners and many racers including  an epic 5 mins with Alexandre Bangnoi at 14m32! Bravo!

Other noteworthy people who were also interviewed are Dan Gesmer of Seismic and Jack Smith, the first person to cross America on a skateboard, and founder of this wonderful sport.

Another thing which has stood out is the amount of attention that this event got from the media, national and international alike:

Yahoo:  Bustin’ Boards Jeff Vyain wins Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon’s maiden NYC run
ESPN: Skateboarding meets marathoning in NY
Sports Illustrated/CNN: Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon

Also, what could be better than a picture in Times Square!

Congrats to all the participants, the organisers and everyone who is playing their part in making what distance skateboarding is what it is today and for continuing to push things forward. Bring on the next races, with hopefully one in Europe! Failing that, I’m going to get out there to the States in 2012 for sure!

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.