Zen and the Art of Speedskating

January 6, 2009

Nationals pics, day 2 & 3 & 4

Filed under: from the coffee shop — andrew @ 8:44 am

Jeff Edwards was the chief referee for nationals this year. I asked him, “of the 50+ US national championships you have been to as both a skater & official, what memory sticks out the most strongly?”

Here is what he said:

It was National outdoor Championships, on lake Como, Minneapolis, the temperature was 30 degrees below zero.

It must have been 1965 or 67. Everybody showed up at the start line with their warm-ups on. And we took them off and we insisted that the gun go off the very moment the last skater disrobed. They did accommodate us, so off we went.

Yaknow how after you cross the finish line you are supposed to skate a little bit? When we crossed the line there, we immediately hockey stopped to get our clothes back on as quickly as we could.

If your forehead gets cold, it’s brain freeze, and you can’t even think, the signals don’t even get to your legs. Yeah, I was skating during that championship.

A few posts ago, I relayed the idea that I would love to have nationals outdoors on a lake, after reading Jeff’s memory, I think that like most nostalgic concepts, this one is less fun in reality.

I have a massive amount of images and commentary, so in no particular order, I might as well just jump in.

One of my favorite shots of the competition- this is Elli Ochowicz, coffee in hand & cheering on her younger brother Alex, during his 1500m.

There is a youth movement happening now, actually it is more aptly termed a youth earthquake. Alex is just one of many fast young skaters who are starting to skate MAN times.

The final Allaround podium has 2 juniors on it, Trevor Marsicano and Brian Hansen. Here they are flanking Chad Hedrick on the podium, and below, skating amazing 10k’s, a race that Trevor M actually won in an awesome distplay of focus & power.

I think the most exciting place to watch races is not at the finish line, it’s next to the coaching box. They should put the coaches on the homestretch and let the crowd see them urge their skaters on.

Coaches often wear in their expressions what the skaters are going through. In this pile of coaches you have Anglea Seulean, Paul Marchese, Nancy Swider-Peltz, Kip Carpenter, and Bart Veldkamp.

(This post is incomplete!! I will be adding more to it tonight… I am just nuts busy, posting what I have so far will make me finish it!)

8 Comments »

  1. Andrew: I’ve been thinking a lot about skating in the cold temps. We’ve been having a cold snap in Anchorage (currently -11F), and it’s just not super fun skating outside. You put on so many clothes you don’t move well, and any exposed skin starts to get frost nipped. I know it gets cold in Roseville at times, and I’ve been thinking about the folks in Edmonton who skate outdoors a lot this time of year. You’ve just got to cover everything. The US National cross-country ski championships are in Anchorage this week, and they lost two days of racing due to the temps. (See: http://www.adn.com/sports/story/643642.html) They have a cutoff of -4.0F for racing. I think the cancellations have led to a lot of pent up frustration. I finally skated last night at +3F and after 20 laps my toes inside my bootwarmers were frigid and I was probably working on frostnip on my cheeks. All that complaining aside, I do love skating outside, and seeing the sky, trees, and mountains. Indoor skating is super fun and comfy too, and I guess in the end I think it’s good to be thankful for whatever you can do.

    Cheers, Peter

    Comment by Peter H — January 6, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  2. This talk of cold weather reminds me of 2 seasons ago when we hosted North Americans in Winnipeg(often called Winterpeg). The first day of competition saw temps in the -30 C range but everybody toughed it out. I still don’t know how the officials coped. The second day saw a temp of mid -30’s, but combined with wind chill it was -52 C. After 2-3 hours of deliberation the officials cancelled the meet. It was a tough call as they only needed one more race to make the meet official, but it was the right one, as when its that cold its dangerous to be outside. I was willing to skate because I was the only guy in my age class and had a lock on the Championship, but the only distances left were the 1500 and 3000 and that was too much to ask for (several other masters were in the same boat as me). Currently we are in the grip of a cold snap that has lasted 4 weeks and isn’t letting up(overnight lows of -30s and daytime highs in the -25 to -20 range).

    Comment by Bernie — January 7, 2009 @ 8:02 am

  3. I skated in the North americans a few years back at then my home track of Roseville. I remember it being at least it being -35.
    Someone took a glass of water and thru it into it air and it never hit the ground as a liquid.
    I have to wear glasses, they always would creep down my nose, so the wind blowing in my face down the back stretch made my eyes water and froze my eyelids slightly shut to the point all I could see were orange blurry markers on the track.
    I broke a North American Record, but it need to be backed up by hand held time, and couldn’t be because all the hand held watches had quit working because of the cold.

    Comment by mike — January 8, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

  4. classic roseville! gotta love it…it DOES have its nice days though. last tuesday was a gorgeous afternoon. and i’ll never forget last year when a bald eagle went cruising overhead into the park next to the track. sigh. lately my eyelashes have been freezing together more days than not, however…

    Comment by mel — January 8, 2009 @ 5:51 pm

  5. I skated Lake of the Isles a few weeks back in Mpls. where the National Marathon champs were held a few years ago. It was -8 and i had all skin covered but i only had revo glasses on. I should have had goggles as my eyeballs froze.

    I had two layers of neoprene skate coverings and still my feet went numb. Gotta love skaten in the adversity. Now back in the desert of Arizona skating on wheels and miss the ice so much…..

    Comment by jay — January 11, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  6. -24 right now in iowa

    Comment by mike — January 15, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  7. Hi there. Nice story. When was this set of nationals?

    I (obviously) wasn’t there for that one, but I’ll be there at the end of January shooting pics.

    I hope you don’t mind me mentioning my site…but you might even find something there you like. If you do, drop me a line…

    Tom
    http://www.milwaukeesportphoto.com

    Comment by Tom — January 22, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

  8. […] Paul Marchese (shouting) coaching alongside Anglea Seulean, Nancy Swider-Peltz, Kip Carpenter and Bart Veldkamp Image courtesy Andrew Love […]

    Pingback by >Marchese: The Beginning / CadoMotus - Inline Speed Skates, Ice Speed Skates - pure skating company — November 25, 2013 @ 2:50 am

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