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On 29 April 2018 at 18:04 | updated 29 April 2018 at 18:21

Gene Balfour: about the NorthShore Inline Marathon


Gene Balfour: about the NorthShore Inline Marathon

The NorthShore Inline Marathon is a 26.2-mile inline skating race on Saturday, September 15, 2018 in Duluth, MN. Gene Balfour wished to share a story that may interest some of us about the previous edition.

Gene Balfour (Toronto, Canada) about the 2017 edition of the NorthShore Inline Marathon

On September 16, 2017, I completed my first marathon (26.2 miles / 42 km) as a Nordic Cross Skater. The web site for the North Shore Marathon is http://northshoreinline.com/events/rollerski/. This event occurred as part of a much larger Inline Skating marathon with about 1800 entrants (the largest in North America) http://northshoreinline.com.

The race took place in Duluth MN and was officially a "roller ski" race. With special permission from the Race Director, Skeeter More, I was allowed to participate as the only Nordic Cross Skater ( no one had ever heard of Nordic Cross Skates and I received a great deal of attention for the SRB xrs06 skates (see picture) that I used. It was a wet (rainy) day, and my big wheels were the envy of everyone who wore the smaller, less stable roller skis :-).

This video shows a good example of the Nordic Cross Skating sport



My time is for the roller ski marathon was 2:45:17. This is slow compared to the roller ski racers and the elite Inline Skaters. Roller skis are lighter and faster than Nordic Cross Skates but the techniques is virtually the same. 

I am a former long distance runner. I participated in 18 running marathons and many other shorter road races between the years 1975 and 1981. My best marathon  time was 2 hours and 54 minutes in Detroit in 1980.

Today, as a 66 year old man, I greatly prefer Nordic Cross Skating over long distance running because it is less strenuous on my older joints, ligaments and muscles, and because it is more fun than simply running.

In 2018, I hope to enter this North Shore race again next year but I will use my Skike V8 LIFT skates with SPEED (125 mm PU) wheels so that I can have a chance to keep up with the roller skiers :-). 

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