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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Finally - The Marathon!

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia.

After the marathon in Cali 2007Yesterday I raced the marathon in Cali, it was the race I was most anticipating to race. Even more so after I was unable to complete the full leanght of any other long distance race during the championships.

The day began with pouring rain, all the skaters, myself included, changed over to rain wheels. The junior ladies skated in the rain. Followed by the junior men who skated in the remaining mud. Senior ladies skated in rather dry condition, and finally, for me in the senior mens division, the road was completely dry, and the sun came out - way out.

After waiting for over four hours for the previous races, we finally lined up on the staring line. There was quiet a crowd lining the street from both sides for as far as the eye could see. Excitement mounted as the motorbikes took their place, and the official judges gave out final instructions.

Without much warning, we were off. Due to the huge amount of skaters and tight quarters, the start of this race was snail paced compared to all the other I participated in during the worlds. I manged to get in the pack, and kept the pace for a few kilometers.

A tight turn with a wet strip at the apex nearly sent me to the ground. A quick jump averted the disaster. As the pack began to shuffle and pick up the pace, I began to fade farther and farther into the back of it. After another kilometer or two, I finally lost the last skater - staying in the pack for what I estimate was no more than 6-8 kilometers.

I skated alone for a kilometer or two, during which a Chinese Taipei skater began catching up with me from behind. I tried to fall in behind him and take advantage of the draft, but he clipped my skate as I was moving in behind him - nearly sending me to the ground again. By the time I recovered, he was long gone.

After that, a pack of Indian skaters, along with one from Hong Kong, caught up with me. I joined them, and together we caught up with a Costa-Rican skater that subsequently joined our pack. After changing leads for a while. All the skaters in the pack faded back but one Indian skater that stayed with me.

We changed leads for 12 kilometers or so, but towards the end my new partner began loosing power, and pulling less and less. I finally decided to take my chances, and pick up the pace at the price of loosing my drafting partner. He held on to me for a few kilometers, staying in my draft, but faded a short while later. If your reading this #71 - Thanks for the pull!

At this point, less than halfway through the race, I found myself alone, in blistering heat, and battling wind that seemed to always blow opposite to my direction of travel, regardless of which way the road was going. In other words - exactly like I was used to training in Israel :)

Even tough I was slow and alone, the thinner crowd along this section of country road cheered me along waving flags, yelling "go Israel" or "Vamos Israel, Fuerte!", making me feel great and giving me the energy to keep going.

As I was skating alone, I saw quiet a few pro skaters who had lost the pack and given up. I saw skaters from New-Zealand, Australia and more. These pros, who beat me in every race up to now, were going to lose their placing in the marathon to me - simply because I had the willpower to continue regardless of my final placing, and they didn't.

When I finally reached the finish line, the crowed cheered me in, even though I arrived over half an hour after the first skater. Crossing the finish line I felt amazing. I had a good race, and probably scored my best placement in the worlds so far.


  1. What a suspense ! Sounds like an amazing race.

    Vamos Israel :-)

  2. I think it was only compare to reading this without a breath.
    great post.

  3. Way to go :)
    go go Israel!

    Boaz, You have put us on the World map! No one could have done it better than you and not only because you are the fastest.
    You made me proud!

  4. Way to go!
    Good job!
    Albuquerque, NM