The Rollerblade® battle at the Berlin Marathon was a great experience, everyone should join next year.
First and foremost, we would like to mention that the 2014 Berlin Marathon was a blast. Even though it is considered a competition, its first priority is to have fun, and along with the other 5600 inline skaters at the event, we had a lot of it!
It doesn’t matter what kind of discipline of inline skating you love, we definitely recommend that you come and skate with us next year. If you are an urban skater, speed skater, street skater, fitness skater or an ice skater, this event is for you. The combination of a family feeling on inline skates, mixed with one of the most impressive and dynamic cities of the world, makes the Berlin Marathon an experience you will never forget.
This year’s marathon included an “underground” contest for four of the biggest Rollerblade® icons. Speed skating legend Jorge Botero and urban skating idol Greg Mirzoyan (Team 1) raced against former Olympian and Rollerblade (President?) Ippolito Sanfratello and street skater and X-Games winner Sven Boekhorst (Team 2). It was Greg’s and Sven’s first marathon and now they’re hooked!
Let’s see how the teams experienced the race and event.
The two experienced speed skaters, Jorge and Ippolito, made a strategy for their teams: tactical decisions, how to approach the race, etc. Important for a marathon is the start. Save your energy and don’t blow up yourself in the first part of the race. (this sentence doesn’t make sense) For first timers in the marathon, Greg and Sven this made the race more accessible. Both of them felt some pressure for the race and both wanted to exceed their own performance During the race, Greg and Sven skated and communicated with their teammates, at certain moments forgetting they were racing each other. Fully enjoying the moment with hundreds of skaters and soaking in the scenery made things even better, getting in the zone and overtaking other participants. Average speed of the teams was about 32km/h (20mph), which is a performance in and of itself!
Team 1, Jorge and Greg, took the lead from the start and switched from group to group, increasing their lead on Team 2 at every opportunity. Feeling fresh during the race is very important for mental morale. They knew the sprint at the end would be essential so they kept riding in a group. Greg listened to Jorge’s tips and tactical advice and felt really at ease. Five kilometers to the finish, Team 1 pushed to the front of their group and wanted to settle in for the sprint. What they didn’t know was that Ippolito and Sven were breathing down their necks. According to Greg, “I started to feel relaxed when we were half way through, thinking that Sven & Ippo were far behind; I wasn't even taking it as a race anymore.”
Team 2, Ippolito and Sven, were chasing Team 1 for almost the whole race. Sven felt a bit tired pretty quickly and had some troubles, but with the help of Ippolito and a group with the same speed he got his confidence back. Maintaining a good speed, while Ippolito gave Sven little pushes, Team 2 helped and motivated each other. Feeling better now and getting in front of their group, they were able to close in on Jorge and Greg. Ippolito told Sven to wait and then overtake them. At the right moment they gathered all their energy and overtook them, only one kilometer to the finish line.
Sven recalled, ”I remember Ippo telling me, ‘I can smell them’ which was really motivating.” Crossing in front of the Reichstag building, Ippolito and Sven could smell victory. But Jorge and Greg would not let this happen. Both teams were going full speed and giving it all they had; it was a very close call. Eventually, Jorge and Greg passed Ippolito and Sven 500 meters before the finish line and earned first place in this epic race. Getting together behind the finish line, the four icons paid their mutual respects for their shared accomplishments. They didn’t even feel tired. Euphoric would be the right word to describe their feelings, especially for Greg and Sven, who finished their first inline marathon alongside two Rollerblade® speed skating stars. They were rightfully proud that they finished the marathon in a time they could only dream of. Mates as they are, they toasted together and planned a rematch for next year.
Will you be there too!