This Saturday saw the successful launch of the Skate The Bay speed skating marathon on the bay at Webster, NY. It was a close call; it seems the weather gods are not fully behind the event. Last year it was planned and organized for the first time but then a week before thaw set in. This year the race was held but only just. It starting thawing the night before. Luckily there were 16“ of ice so if one ignored the slowly increasing layer of water one could race just fine.
I missed the first half of the 50km marathon. Its start time of 9am overlapped with the broadcast of the Allround World Championships speed skating in Norway and I couldn’t resist its pull to see/hear how van Deutekom and Kramer et al would do. For several of the marathon racers the distance was quite a distance. There was one very brave soul riding on hockey skates. After the marathon the 1km community race took place. It was a lot of fun to see the young kids sprint away. I put under the steel for a little while as well. Not easy. Natural ice is so much harder than the artificial ice at ice rinks and having had no maintenance for the last 12 years or so my skates aren’t exactly sharp. Still, it was fun.
Originally I planned to also watch the Sunday events but with the high temperatures I didn’t think that was going to be much fun: soo much water. But still, it was great that on the second try the race did take off and together with the organizers I hope this will become a regular stop on the calendar.
Pictures in the gallery.