Vakava Team Photo

Vakava Team Photo
Vakava Racers at the Mora Last Chance Race

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Des Moines by rollerski

This past Sunday was the Des Moines Marathon. My wife Nichole was running, and I was looking for a good way to see as much of the course as I could (and my bike has a flat tire that I have not fixed in months), so I threw the rollerskis into the trunk and away we went to Iowa. The morning of the race I did all the helpful husband things to get her ready for the start. We jogged a warm up together and I took her warmups just before the gun went off. After watching the start I sprinted to the car parked a few blocks away and got my boots, skis and poles on. Then I sprinted to the mile and a half mark to spectate.

Watching a running race on rollerskis actually works quite well - assuming there are parallel streets to ski on. I would watch the race go by (taking Nichole's long sleeve, or handing her a gel as needed), then I would head over to the parallel street, hammer for a mile or two, and head back to the course to cheer again. She got the feeds that she needed, and I got to see her at many different points of the race while getting a decent workout in the process (I'd call it natural intervals).

The most entertaining part of rollerskiing along the race course was the looks I got from the spectators (and a number of calls of "hey, thats cheating"). I guess there are not a lot of rollerskiers in Des Moines. Even funnier were the looks I got from runners - especially the Kenyans in the elite pack. They looked at me like I was crazy. I definately don't think there are many rollerskiers in Kenya.

Near the end of the race I got back to the car, back into running shoes, and back out to watch the last half mile. Nichole was hurting pretty good at that point (i.e having a hard time running in a straight line), and it was nice to have the mobility to be able to jump the finish barrier to help her hobble to a cot in the medical tent (she was fine after some rest). Her race went well. She finished in 2:55:53, which was not quite as fast as she was hoping, but still a new personal best, and it puts her less than 10 minutes off the Olympic Trials standard.

Check out her blog for the first hand account

No comments:

Post a Comment