photo: Thong Nguyen
Team: Adams Inline
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia (currently residing in Mankato, MN, where his wife is a student at Minnesota State University)
When did you start skating?
"It was a long time ago when I was about five. But I didn't start to train seriously until I was 12. That's when I started to skate with the Bogota team. We trained together at Salitre Park, which has a 200 meter track and a 400-meter road course. It was a big team with lots of good skaters. With so many skaters, you had to have good technique to succeed."
What have been some of the high points of your skating career so far?
"About six or seven years ago, I won my first national championship, and later I won a gold medal at the Central American Games and a relay gold at the Pan American Games. I also won the ultra-marathon (84K) at the 2000 National Games, beating Diego Rosero.
Last year in the United States, I won the 39-mile race at the Hayward Inline Marathon and the Chicagoland Marathon. I also finished second in the New York 100K and a2a."
How do you train?
"When I was in Colombia this winter, I was skating a lot. We trained for two to three hours a day. When we weren't skating, we would cycle or go to the gym. We skated two hours every day from Tuesday to Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, we biked. On Monday, we rested.
Here in Mankato, I skate on the trails, and it is difficult because the weather is so bad. Today was a good day: about 35 degrees. And I thought about skating. But then I said, Maybe tomorrow."
How is skating different here than in Colombia?
"In Colombia, people know about skating. They see the World Championships on TV. But here, people don't seem to know what it is. They know about ice speed skating, but not inline. Sometimes when they see me on the trail, they look at me like, Wow. What's that!"
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