King of Pain, US world cup qualifier

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running round my brain
I guess I’m always hoping that you’ll end this reign
But it’s my destiny to be the King of Pain

-Sting & the Police

I’ve been involved in sports my whole life; hockey, baseball, cycling, triathlons, ice & inline speedskating, and I can state with certainty there is nothing approaching the pure lactic-acid brutal agony of an ice long track 1500m.

In just under 2 minutes, you can do more damage to your body than a hard 2 hour hilly bicycle race inflicts.

Even the best in the world truly suffer while doing 1500’s.

I was a participant and a spectator for the first day of the US fall world cup qualifier 500m and 1500m races. To be a good 1500m skater involves becoming the “King of Pain”. I’ve always loved that song too, so it fit the video clips Marco Bucci and I shot of the first day of racing.

Click here to start the Quicktime, or the YouTube below.

It is worth mentioning, that as much as speedskating might hurt, its still just sports, there are many more awful things.

During the races it was great to see Glenn Koshi from Bont Skates, Glenn lives in the area of California affected by the recent wildfires, and had to evacuate. Thankfully he & his home made it through ok.

here is another reason to be thankful for small things, I finished this video on the Amtrack that runs from NYC to Vermont. I was riding in the passenger car right behind the engine.

About two hours out of the city, the train jolted with a violent BANG! & started rattling up & down on the tracks like a car on a washboard road. Blue smoke poured up from the tracks & the train screeched to an emergency stop.

Some idiot kids had pushed a shopping cart off an overpass bridge into the path of the train! A shopping cart holding a 55-gallon steel drum full of big rocks!!!

They were trying to derail the train! Myself and the 70 other passengers & crew are lucky they failed! Yeeeow!!

15 Responses to “King of Pain, US world cup qualifier”

  1. Wow…Glad to hear you are ok after that train trip.

  2. wow…that train story is NUTS. and I thought it was bad when I walked out of my apartment yesterday and a 3 foot tall kid told me he’d “shoot me, lady.”

    anyway, the footage was awesome. I really miss watching great skating, but the slow motion video is even better for seeing “how it’s done.”

  3. Man Andrew- that sounds like scary stuff with the shopping cart. I am glad you’re ok. I hope the people who did this are ok as well….

  4. Ohh!! I’m glad you are ok. I will never understand the things some people do.

    Glenn! I didn’t know he had to evacuate…glad he is ok, too.

    Congratulations to everybody on record-breaking 1500s and more. (One of the very few benefits of completely lacking sprinting ability is that a good 1500 is actually…fun. But I am still not ready for one this season!)

  5. I can honestly say that I couldn’t even get up to sit in a chair after that race. Mike Kooreman had to pick me up and put me in the chair; hahaha and I still have the 1500 meter hack to this day.

  6. Andrew that was the best thing on skating I’ve ever seen. Keep up the great work that gave me goosebumps. Made me feel better about my blowup in my 1500…..i know you have the ugly video and thanks for not publishing. That is a hard race and this is a hard sport. Yes and what’s up with crazy kids today…..when i was young we used to shopping carts with nothing in them on the train tracks and small rocks and coins…

  7. to viewers/readers, Mike Blumel is the fellow in the video who has trouble sitting up after his 1500m, he is part of the next generation of really talented sprinters coming into their own now…

    and Carla, 1500’s being FUN???? you are truly a slow-twitch mutant!!!

    and what Brian is talking about, is that he is the guy in the blue suit with the open mouth in the video, that particular part was him 750m into the 1500, I told him I also have his final backstretch taped, 1250m in, where he is in a huge world of ugly staggering pain…

    I really debated publishing parts of this Video, there are a lot of people I am close friends with in great physical and emotional pain during it.

    On the train, I showed a rough draft to a News Journalist I struck up conversation with and she emphatically said “yes, the faces are what make it special, real, it’s good, don’t tone it down”.

  8. I always liked the 1500m more than the 1000m. In the 1000, you’re balls to the wall and it’s going to hurt. In the 1500 you have a little time to ease into it.

    For a sprinter there are two ways to skate a 1500m. You can either sprint at the beginning, or you can sprint at the end.

    Everyone has the way that works for them, but in my opinion, sprinting at the end is much more fun.

  9. Hey Fred?, I’ll take a 1000m anytime….but as you can see from my almost fall in Teri’s pictures ( I was in a lactate haze in my 1000 as well. I think back in your day (your old aren’t you?) the 1500 and 1000 were probably harder on fixed blades just because they were longer????

  10. and skated outdoors in the wind & snow!

    actually, I imagine that a crucial difference is that clap blades don’t punish you as badly as hardtails when your technique collapses, so one would need to be a tad more precise & less crazy-lactic

  11. Well Brian, you might think that the 1000m and 1500m were tougher back in the fixed blade days - but that wasn’t really a problem as we were able to compensate for the added difficulty by having bigger balls.

  12. Really great stuff Andrew…keep it up!

  13. Andrew,
    For your next video music, try Talla 2XLC…
    Song ‘No In Betweens”

    You can find it on, search Talla 2xlc…

    Thanks and love speedskating.

  14. Hey andrew a few non skaters have seen this video and they thought it was cool. Even my wife who says about Long Track…. “oh they are turning left again how exciting”, thought it was cool. I really think you need to be the marketing guy for our sport in the US. Unfortunately, you weren’t hired. Your site is the living breathing community of skaters in the US and worldwide. I’ve watched this at least 6 times and it really is incredible that one guy with a camera (actually two guys-Marco and you) with one camera could get this kind of action. It’s better than anything I’ve seen by NBC or ABC for Olympics or Worlds in their prepackaged preview with a big budget and lots of cameras. Get to work on the next one!! You have such a God given talent for this video work.
    And to Fred, I’ve got damn BIG BALLS!!!

  15. Andrew,
    Just saw The Police in concert…great song!!!

    I get to skate on Tuesday! I’m really excited.

    Thanks for the video,

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