The Inline Planet is pleased to announce the first wave of events to officially join the National Roller Cup (NROC) race series.
The events, listed in chronological order, are:
We hope to add the NorthShore Inline Marathon (Sept. 13 in Duluth, MN) to the schedule later this month. The NorthShore Board of Directors is expected to consider a formal NROC proposal at its meeting Jan. 24.
In addition, we expect to announce the addition of one to three more events later this month. Talks with race organizers are ongoing.
NROC is designed to be a race series for both pro and non-pro skaters.
It will rank pro skaters using a point system and will crown NROC national champions at the end of the season.
It will also include a performance-based rating system (similar to the NASTAR ski racing system) that will allow skaters to evaluate their performance over the course of the season.
The Metrodome Inline Marathon: The world's only regularly scheduled indoor marathon is held on the buttery smooth concourse of the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. To avoid congestion on the concourse, skaters compete in waves and are set out on the racecourse one at a time. Drafting is allowed, although pacelines are limited to five skaters. The marathon also includes a team time trial. (Metrodome Inline Marathon web site)
San Francisco Inline Marathon: The organizers of this "destination" event hope to build it into the top inline marathon on the West Coast. Toward this end, they have shifted both the date and site for this year's event. The date moves to May when San Francisco's fog is less likely to make an appearance; the racecourse travels across town to the fabulous Golden Gate Park, where skaters will find smooth pavement and a post-race party and barbecue. (San Francisco Inline Marathon web site)
Saint Paul Inline Marathon: Like the goddess Athena, the Saint Paul Inline Marathon arrived on the scene full grown. In its first year (2004), it drew more than 1500 skaters, making it the second largest skate marathon in North America, a position it maintains to this day. In 2005, the marathon drew national attention as a featured stop on ESPN's Sports Center Across America. In 2006, it added a new feature, the Miss and Out elimination race, which attracted a stellar field including two-time overall World Champion Joey Mantia. (Note: Due to its size, SPIM is designated as a Mega Event, meaning double points will be awarded in the pro divisions.) (SPIM web page)
Hayward Inline Marathon: This 2-year-old event is set in the scenic Northwoods of Wisconsin, a couple hours drive from Minneapolis. The race starts and finishes in the picturesque city of Hayward, which is also home for the nation's largest cross-country ski race, the American Birkenbeiner. The event organizers are an innovative lot. Last year, they added a 39-mile race and prizes (prems) to skaters who are in first place at different stages of the race. This year, they are doubling the prems and adding divisions for "large" skaters: Clydesdale for men 200 pounds and above and Athena for women 160 pounds and above. (Hayward Inline Marathon web site)
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