It’s been a rough week up here in the Northeast after being absolutely torn apart with the unusually early snow storm that struck over Halloween Weekend. Power had been out for 10 days for many people, some just getting it back last night. While life has been returning to normal slowly for many people up here, it didn’t miss a beat in Hallendale Beach, FL.
This past Saturday marked the first ever Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Championship in Hallendale Beach, FL. The 4th leg of the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon (ASM) series and the 5th ever ASM set the stage to be the most exciting and to-the-wire race yet with previous winners Jeff Vyain, Paul Kent, and Keifer Dixon all in the running for a win and other top finishers such as Robin McGuirk itching for their first taste of Adrenalina victory.
Sure enough the race was exciting just as expected with the two top favorites, Paul Kent and Jeff Vyain, duking it out for the win lap after lap. Both Paul and Jeff posted nearly identical times for laps 1 and 2, it wasn’t until lap 3 that Jeff pulls ahead by 3 seconds (averaging a pace of 3 mins 28 secs/mile this late in the race) to take 1st. The next lap, however, Paul was able to catch up, instead of duking it out in an all out finish the two decided to finish hand-in-hand and cross the finish line as a tie — sharing the win. Despite deciding to share the win this time, Paul Kent was named Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Champion, having edged Jeff out of the title spot by just one point during the course of the season.
Update: Having poked around on Facebook a little more I stumbled across conversation between Jeff Vyain and Paul Kent talking about the race. After a couple of laps Paul had a collision with oncoming racers that forced him off the road and to a dead halt in the grass, an accident that would have taken him out of the running for first place had Jeff decided to capitalize on the accident. Instead, Jeff said on Facebook:
Since they decided to share the first place victory together, the two also took their prize checks, cut them in half, and re-taped them together, a silly yet symbolic gesture showing that the two were willing to split their earnings in a true sportsmanlike fashion — something I’m quite confident you will rarely find in other professional sports today.
While they ended up in the top spot, Paul and Jeff had to fight for their position against Jason Yerke from Lansing, MI (who I believe is the same guy who fell and lost his board in the water at the NYC ASM having been in 3rd place) who kept the race pretty spicy according to time splits. Jason actually went out faster than Paul through lap one, trailing just behind Jeff by about a second going into lap 2. In lap 2 he was able to overtake Jeff and actually lead into lap 3 with a 2 second lead on Jeff and Paul, who were neck and neck. Unfortunately he burnt out right after holding that pace and added three seconds to each of the last two laps, bringing him in third place just over a full second after Paul and Jeff.
Kiefer Dixon and Robin McGuirk, two of the other projected top contenders, both showed a steady race maintaining their positions at 4th and 5th, respectively, for the entire race and allowing them to round out the top 5.
The women’s side of things was also exciting, coming down to a two second split between the winner and runner-up. Bustin’ Boards rider Cami Best was able to come back strong after a challenging race in Plano, TX that put her 9 minutes behind winner Sarah Paulshock. She was able to drop an unbelievable 16 minutes from that performance, however, and best Sarah Paulshock by 2 seconds — finishing the race in 1:59:30. Anna O’Neill rounded out the podium for the women, finishing in 3rd place in 2:08:19 — also posting an incredible 16 minute drop in time.
What I think is clear here is the fact that this is just the beginning for competitive long distance pushing in the world of longboarding. If you look at the vast improvement in times seen by many competitors. According to my research online and through looking at past marathon results from the season, this year’s ASM Championship saw both the men’s and women’s world records shattered once again. For the men, Paul Kent and Jeff Vyain, who tied on purpose, now both share the title having finished in 1:30:48. On the women’s side of things Cami Best was able to break her previous women’s World Record (also set at the NYC ASM) by about 2 minutes. So, unofficially the mens and women’s Skateboard Marathon World Records stand as follows:
- Men’s: Jeff Vyain & Paul Kent 1hr 30min 48seconds
- Women’s: Cami Best 1hr 59mins 30.09seconds
It’s clear after seeing the first full season of the ASM circuit that the sport of distance longboarding is clearly just starting to develop, and that this really is just the beginning of what we’ll see in the future. In just the year since the first ever Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon was held in Hallendale Beach we’ve seen the men’s World Record broken multiple times and drop by about 10 minutes total — that’s just in one year! As the field grows and competition becomes fiercer we’re going to see a lot of close, exciting races for sure.
I think the outcome of the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Championship also allowed the sport of longboarding to show what it’s really made of. The decision for Paul Kent and Jeff Vyain to share their combined prize money shows exactly just how close and upstanding the longboarding community is — something we should strive to foster and instill in new riders just beginning to shred. We’re all here to spread the stoke, Paul and Jeff were perfect examples of sportsmen and role models for younger shredders. Congrats to all the racers and a big thank you to Adrenalina for a successful and exciting first marathon season!
Update #2: Jeff Vyain just posted his first-hand account of the ASM Championship on the Bustin’ Blog. It’s an inspiring and moving story that shows the unreal amount of sportsmanship and determination both Jeff and Paul exhibited and is well worth the read.
In case you just want a quick list of the top 5 men’s finishers, here it is:
- Paul Kent/Jeff Vyain (tie)
- Jason Yerke
- Kiefer Dixon
- Robin McGuirk
You can also check out the official results list and splits here.