I wanted to write a whole lot of you at once. I have over 100 of you on an email list, and you represent the core of active masters speedskaters racing in the USA.
I’ve surely missed people though, I’m just one person, so PLEASE forward this around– it’s important.
1. Marty Haire is organizing a purchase of some really FAST long track Skinsuits, with USA MASTERS printed on them. These will be the equal of the Nike Swift Skin. Contact Marty !!immediately!! if you want to be part of our group order, at email@example.com
2. My main reason for writing is to let you know what you will need this fast skinsuit for. Two INCREDIBLY exciting events will be happening this year, absolutely unprecedented in USA masters racing-
3. For the first time, the International Masters Sprint Speedskating Games, (the true Masters Sprint World Champs) will be coming to the USA. They will be held at the Pettit Center in Milwaukee, February 6th & 7th. It will be a true 500-1000-500-1000 Metric meet.
4. We expect about 100 European masters will be making the trip to this. Dutch, Germans, Norwegians, Finns, Russians, Swiss, as well as our Canadian buddies from across the border. It will be an unforgettable experience. A world-cup style event for working folks.
5. The Europeans asked for an event in Salt Lake City as well- so the weekend previous, January 30-31st, there will be an International Masters meet in Salt Lake City. A short allaround (500-1000-1500-3000), as well as a sprint classification. We have been promised fast ice, and the Masters records book will be re-written. Be part of that.
6. At International Masters events, about half of the athletes are really serious. The other half are there to have fun, experience some international fellowship/partying, and do something they love deeply. It’s the best kind of Speedskating, as everyone is welcome, skate these events, and you will come away with friends from all over the world. The language most Europeans use to communicate with each other is English, so it’s easy to chat, and we all have a common shared passion.
7. Registrations for these events will open the first week in October at http://www.imssc.org/index1.html, For worlds, it closes December 10th, for SLC, January 9th. Worlds has a registration limit of 40 Americans, but I am hopeful most wait-listed skaters will be able to compete. It will be a 200 skater meet! SLC has no registration limit. Register early, and train hard!
8. If you are in Milwaukee or SLC and want to help with the meet, send me an email, we can always use volunteers. LOTS to do.
9. The Executive Director of US speedskating, Bob Crowley, once asked me: “Andrew, what do Masters want?”.
Hard question. Masters are 39% of US Speedskating’s membership, there are at least 800 of us, and ZERO percent of their budget. If you want to help me answer Bob’s question, and increase our visibility within the organization, email me privately, and be part of a group recommendation to him. I made a few proposals to US Speedskating this past spring, and the board was bewildered and tabled them. More voices than just me stands a better chance.
10. I’ve seen many international examples of how National associations work with their own Masters . Some are very good, others quite dysfunctional. We have allies within US Speedskating if we can articulate our needs, and back our ideas up with some political weight of numbers.
11. This is a pivotal time for Masters Speedskating in the USA. We need to be recognized/organized the way cyclists, swimmers, track & triathlete Masters athletes are, and the way many European Master Skaters are. I hope to take the first steps with you. Quality events are crucial. Then comes other things
12. Thanks for reading..
USA Rep to the IMSSC
Huge thanks my IMSSC deputy, Martin Haire, who was instrumental in getting us the Masters International Sprint Speedskating games this year at the annual meeting in Bjugn, Norway. Thanks Marty!!
p.s. If you want a taste of what Masters Worlds will be like, Here are 2 videos I have done from these events. This is what they “feel” like.
2008 Erfurt Masters Allaround Worlds
2007 Calgary Masters Allaround Worlds
High quality quicktime