Wrap-up: 1st Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Championship

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:

Truthfully, I just think it is a little unfortunate what happened with the collision. I just hope we learn from these sort of occurrences and adjust the courses however possible to keep that from happening again. I’d have loved to just straight up battle with you for the remaining lap and a half to see where that put us. It just didn’t go down like that. I pressed hard but didn’t try to capitalize on what happened (for my own personal integrity), you still caught up…you earned it. Your face shows it at the end of the race. I feel great about how it ended, with the slight exception that the time chips separates us by .08 seconds and that creates some level of confusion, but I think we can get over that.

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:

  1. Paul Kent/Jeff Vyain (tie)
  2. Jason Yerke
  3. Kiefer Dixon
  4. Robin McGuirk

You can also check out the official results list and splits here.

Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Championships & Interview with Jeff Vyain

Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Championship trophy.

The biggest names in both men’s and women’s push racing will be making their way down to Hallandale Beach, Florida this Saturday (11/5) for the  fourth and final leg of the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Series. The course for Saturday features longer laps, requiring the racers to only complete 4 of them, as opposed to 12 in New York and 13 in Puerto Rico. Bustin’ Boards’ Cami Best had said in an interview with Adrenalina after the Plano, TX race — which also featured long laps — that fewer laps “makes it seem more attainable,” and allows you to focus on skating more rather than what lap you’re on. While the weather looks like it will be in the high 70s and sunny it’s not going to be just another day at the beach for competitors.

As with the previous legs of the ASM a whopping $30,000 prize purse is on the table, half of which (yes, that’s a full $15,000) goes to the first place male finisher. In addition to the prize money, the winner will be crowned the first ever Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Champion and hoist the 20 pound trophy (which they unveiled 4 days ago) on the podium alongside the women’s ASM champion. In the previous 3 legs of the ASM we’ve seen three different winners: Jeff Vayin who won in New York City, his teammate Kiefer Dixon who won in Puerto Rico, and Paul Kent who won the last ASM in Plano, TX. Not only has every race seen a different winner, but the top 5 changes dramatically from race to race — for all intents and purposes this is really anyone’s game on Saturday. Favorites, of course are the previous three winners alongside Robin McGurik and Enrique Cubillo, both of whom posted impressive finishes in other recent push races. While there doesn’t appear to be a clear winner one thing is certain: Saturday is going to be one of the most exciting stops on the ASM this season.

I had the opportunity to talk to Jeff Vyain of Bustin’ Boards, and winner of the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon in New York City earlier this summer, via e-mail and asked him a few questions about the race coming up. Check it out below:

STE: What, if anything, have you done differently to train for the Championships on Saturday? If you didn’t make  any changes, are you wishing you had?

JV:” I have done a few workouts, so I guess that’s a change from the past two races anyway. I’ve also started drinking distilled water. That’s more of a lifestyle thing, though…not sure if it’ll have any impact on my racing. Been drinking a lot of Smoothies and I’m taking a suppliment powder that Paul’s been on since day 1, so I’m cutting that variable out of the mix! I wish I got a couple more workouts in but I’m going in mentally prepared, and that’s what’s most important.”

STE: Do you have any traditions or superstitions you try to abide by before a race?

JV: “I’m not superstitious in the sense that if I don’t get to do something, I don’t think it will impact my performance. I try to get decent sleep, though before Adrenalina NYC, I got about 2 hours, and that’s the only race I’ve won this year, so I can’t say that that matters all too much either. This is a mental game more than anything, and I don’t like to rely on things I may not always have control over. I’m always ready to race.”

Jeff Vyain, right, battles against Paul Kent, left, on his custom Bustin' Board

STE: With the Championship title and all that cash on the line, whats the atmosphere between competitors like  going into the race?

JV: “Kiefer is always quiet and kind of serious. Paul and I are always joking around, playing up our “rivalry” but talking strategies and trying to push each other to get better. Cami and Sara are always partying it up and endlessly bothering me with setup questions. I think everything’s pretty normal.”

STE: What’s the first thing you plan on doing if you win in Hallandale Beach?

JV: “I’m probably going to pay my dad off on some college loans he helped me out with a couple years ago. He’s been very patient with me 🙂 Thanks Dad! And I’d like to take Maribeth on a little vacation sometime this winter, maybe hit some slopes out west or something. And maybe one day I will build a pyramid.”

STE: So what comes next after the Championship? How do you plan on training through what looks to be  another harsh winter in NYC?

JV:” I’m going to get as deep into board building as possible. I’ve been happily put in charge of doing a lot of the prototyping for Bustin, and I’m having a really good time with it. I’m still learning, but it’s coming quickly. My goal for the winter is to get as deep into my work as possible and release some really sick boards next year.

Most of my training will probably be cross training. I’ll skate whenever I can, but I really want to get into a climbing gym and get my body back into shape. I’ve suffered from back problems ever since the NYC race, and the racing schedule has been so tight that all I’ve really been able to focus on is recovery rather than strengthening to prevent injury. That’s my main goal physically–to get as strong as possible so I can train a lot harder next year. New York was the only race I’ve really been able to train for, and at the time, I thought I was just getting started. Hopefully that is still the case and that it’s all just on a bit longer timeline than previously expected. I want to break some records next year. I still hope to do well in Florida, though. I’m not counting myself out!”

If you’ve ever seen Jeff’s custom Bustin’ Board that he designed with Subsonic (which he is riding in the image above) you know you should be extremely excited to see what he comes up with during the off-season! We’ll cover more of that when it comes time, until then get ready for what looks to be a very exciting race weekend in Hallandale, Flordia!

Best of luck to all the competitors, especially the East Coast constituency that has been doing so well!

Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon & Expo in NYC — July 30th

I’ve been waiting to post this one for a little while, but with July finally here, the prize purse decided, and a sick deal from GroupOn for registration (more on that in a second) it seemed like the perfect time to get this out there. The Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon & Expo is going to be big with a lot of riders and a ton of companies coming out to show their new products and talk to skaters. It’s going down on Governors Island and the race will begin promptly at 7:00AM.  The competitions are a “mini-marathon” 2.6 mile race and the main event, the 26.2 mile full marathon. Registration is $35 for the mini-marathon and $100 for the full. If that seems a little steep for you, good news! GroupOn today posted a deal that will get you riding in the mini-marathon for $9 and $39 for the big race.

Each stop in the Adrenalina Marathon series will post a prize purse of $30,000 (yes, you read that correctly) and will be divided amongst the top 5 finishers with the winner taking home $15,000 ($5,000 more than last year), second place taking $5,000, third place $2,500, fourth place taking $1,500 and the fifth place finisher walking away with a cool $1,000. Not too shabby for a fun morning skateboarding on Governors Island.

If you’re looking to participate you’ll need to register with Adrenalina and meet at the docks at  5:30AM for a 6:00AM ferry over to the Island. Like I said, the race is going to begin promptly at 7:00AM so you’ll want to make sure you’re at the docks on time so you don’t miss your chance to skate! The course is 12 laps around Governors Island (map embedded below) which is closed to cars and will be virtually empty, racers will have a 3 hour time limit to finish the marathon otherwise you’re disqualified. As of this posting only 2 people are registered for the mini-marathon and around 60 registered for the main event with big names including Kiefer Dixon poised and ready to go (although it looks like another 12 have bought the mini-marathon GroupOn today).

We’ll post more information as we get it, but the ASM is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year and doesn’t sound like it will disappoint anyone.

UPDATE: Adrenalina has posted a full course description which you can find here. They run you through the entire course, turn by turn so you have a better idea of what to expect come Saturday. From what I can tell it doesn’t look like the map has changed all that much from the original one I posted on July 2nd, but it’s worth a look to make sure.

Rayne and Loaded/Orangatang have also been posting some videos from last year’s Adrenalina (the first ever in North America) and recently posted the 3rd in the series, showing the actual race from last year. The video got me AMPED for Saturday, hopefully it’ll do the same for you.