Because, well, why not?
Much easier than the silly idea of running that far.
Generally people that are rollerskiing are training for Nordic ski racing or at least long endurance ski events but lack actual snow to train on. Standard training for endurance sports generally involves some long, light to moderate intensity sessions such as this. Longer Nordic ski races are 50 km (31.25 miles) or longer. Hence the potential motivation to do this. Plus being able to say that you skiied the marathon route adds another motivational factor.
" Hope he had a ride home after his workout."
Right, because someone who just roller-skied 26 miles is clearly in need of assistance transporting themselves?
I love it when I show up to a 50 mile bike ride and people are like OMG YOU RODE HERE FROM BOSTON? Yeah, all ten miles...amazing, imagine that.
FYI, took the early train out from Back Bay to Southborough a la the Midnight Marathon types. Blended in with the 7:30-to-Worcester-on-a-Saturday bleary-eyed crowd. And, yes, this was an excuse for ski training (hard to do in evenings in the dark). I may or may not know about ski marathons too. A little too much. As far as I know I'm the first crazy person to rollerski the marathon (but I would not be surprised if someone else has). And it was immortalized on Strava (and I skied a qualifier—barely).
PS—the tights are from a year coaching the ski team at Newton North. Go Tigers!
First of all: NICE PANTS!!!
Curious to know how long it took him, and if he had to survey the route before he went. Like, do those things require a certain amount of consistency in the terrain?
How do you stop when you're wearing those things?
How long did it take him to do the whole route?
Adam, I think you need to do a feature with this guy. Inquiring minds want to know.
Ha. You don't. I only skied this because I scouted the whole route by bike (#midnightmarathon this spring), and because after a decade on rollerskis I can scrub speed pretty well on downhills.
Can I ask about your gear? I love X-C skiing and would love to continue it during the off season, but I'm clueless as to where in town to begin looking for roller skiis.
A couple ideas. Marwes are "The Cadillac of Rollerskis" and imported from Finland via Minnesota. But there is a rollerski maker based in Boston (bet you didn't know that!) called Niflheim Nordic: http://www.niflheimnordic.com/. I hear good things (and know the owner).
For some reason I didn't answer all these questions last fall (other than stopping). I was on skis for 3:51, of which 3:41 was "moving time" according to Strava. That's for Cordaville to Cambridge. The actual marathon route took me 3:03:40, which means I would have qualified for Boston and made the cutoff by about 15 seconds. Of course, I had to stop for things like traffic, stop lights, railroad tracks, water, changing gloves on blistery hands and the like.
I'm planning to run it faster this spring.
As for terrain, any rollerskier worth his or her salt knows how imperative it is to scout a route before skiing it. This can be done by car or bike, but better by bike since you notice poor pavement and sketchy downhills. If I can't break 40 mph on a bike on a downhill I'll ski it, but only if it has good pavement, no large cracks (and if it has cracks, they are avoidable and mostly across the roadway), and no obstructions, like a curve near the bottom or a dead-end stop or a railroad track (or a combination, extra fun). If you don't scout, you run the risk of going ass-over-teakettle in to someone's lawn (a time-tested stopping method) or scraping your bottom on pavement (not suggested).
Some skis have a rudimentary braking system (usually called "speed reducers") which can help you go slower down hills. Mine don't. If you have coaches they can physically help you down steeper hills (see Annie Hart's blog here for some examples). I don't. I've gone about 30 mph on rollerskis down hills which on okay pavement if I know there's a good runout. You don't have the gyroscopic effect of a bike wheel so you try to get your center of gravity low. Or you stand up with your arms out to use the wind to slow you down. This actually works.
Other things to avoid: ice (obviously), wet leaves (killer, since you're pushing out and back on the pavement, and the rubber on the wheels is not designed for leaves) and the like. Wet roads are okay, but usually a good time to go for easy skis, since you do lose some traction. Ask two-time gold medal biathlete Martin Fourcade about that. (Also, Martin should be wearing a helmet.)
...he could have sailed all the way. ;-)
Not sure if I would have roller skied that route (kinda sucky), but good for him.
Route isn't that bad. Problem spots were:
Southborough T hill has construction
Mile 0: recent utility trench pavement is sketchy on a downhill (and it's narrow, but not much traffic)
Mile 16: Hill down to the Charles, need to keep speed controlled
Mile 16.5: Exit ramps to 128; not a non-car-friendly design.
Mile 16.5-17.5: Washington Street has no shoulder (but two lanes). "Double poling" necessary to stay right when there's traffic.
Mile 22: Hill and streetcar tracks in Cleveland Circle
Mile 23: Hill to Washington Square
Mile 24: Hill to Saint Paul Street after Coolidge Corner
Note: it's mostly the downhills, but none are that steep.
How'd you do on Heartbreak Hill?
You can go up most anything on those things. Downhills can be scary. Heartbreak only maxes out around 7%.
(As for the pants, anon below—and I believe you are holding up your sarcasm sign, are you?—they are quick to take on and off. Come to November Project most any Wednesday or Friday when it's below 30 and I'll be running in them.) Because why not.
I don't know about anon, but I'm sincere. Those pants are cool. I know I couldn't pull off the look. I say, if you got it, flaunt it!
...was the hill leading up to Hopkinton center, just before the actual start.
Then, the scary downhill right at the start. On Marathon day, they pace the wheelchairs on this downhill to avoid crashes.
Good job, Ari!
As the lay down bikes. Where do I sign up to be this cool, and how long does it take to put on/ take off those pants.
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