With a new name but the same partner, the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON for Inline Skaters has now become the most important national race at the start of the season. On April 2, 2006, about 2,000 professionals and skate-for-fun athletes are expected on the 21.0795 km course through the heart of the capital. As a special service, the event organisers are offering free training on the great skating road, Kronprinzessinnenweg. In addition, you are invited to have your gear checked at the INLINE VILLAGE at the BERLIN VITAL Fair.
“We are happy that the inline skaters aren’t being scared off by the bad weather we are having at the moment,” said Alexander Uphues, who heads the organisation for the inline skating at SCC-RUNNING, adding: “So far we have always had excellent road conditions at the half marathon.” Based on the registrations received so far, the organisers are expecting about 2,000 participants, which would mean one new record for the 26th Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON for Inline Skaters before the race has even begun.
German and international elite athletes to participate
The fastest 100 German inline skaters are expected at the start. Following a long winter break, the Berlin race is of great importance for figuring out where the athletes stand at the beginning of the season. For the women, last year’s champion in Berlin, Jana Gegner (ZEPTO Skate Team), hopes to repeat her victory. Her greatest competitor is expected to be Sarah Bak of Denmark, the winner of the German Blade Challenge 2005. Another candidate for the podium is Tina Strüver (like Bak, also from KIA Motors Germany).
For the men, last year’s champion, Sutton Atkins from Great Britain, will also be competing. This year he will be competing for the Berlin team, Orthomol Sport Team. His primary opponents from Germany will be Daniel Zschätzsch (Creative Rollerblade), Clemens Rubick (VERO-Powerslide), Nico Wieduwilt, and Matthias Schwierz (both ZEPTO Skate Team). The field will be complemented by Mathieu Grandgirard, multiple French champion and European champion, by the Italians Giacomo and Elio Cuncu (all Creative Rollerblade), Jan van Loon of Holland, and Wayne Begg from New Zealand, who is considered to be a secret favourite (both ZEPTO Skate Team).
In addition, the fastest Berliner, Victor Wilking (Team VERO-Powerslide), has committed to the race. The 18-year-old gained recognition at the last real,- BERLIN MARATHON by crossing the finish together with the head of the field in an excellent time.
The first real test for the newly formed teams
Following the last season, numerous skaters changed teams, and the half marathon will be the first real test for the newly formed teams. The bronze medallist at the European Championships, Daniel Zschätzsch, will no longer skate for the Luigino Powerslide Team in 2006, but will race now for the Creative Rollerblade Team. Nico Wieduwilt transferred to the ZEPTO Skate Team, the German team expected to be strongest this year. The Powerslide Team, including the German Blade Challenge 2005 champion Clemens Rubrick, transferred completely to the Berlin VERO Skate Team and will compete as the VERO- Powerslide Team.
Free training for all skaters
SCC-SKATING and the XSpeed-Team from SCC are offering three free training sessions in preparation for the season start, beginning on Saturday, March 11. The skating trainer André Unterdörfel and two other trainers will demonstrate how to get prepared, even if it is not yet possible to roll on the streets. The programme includes riding in the slipstream and in a group, imitation training, and the correct skating position. The meeting point is at 3 p.m. on March 11th, 18th, and 25th at the Hüttenweg parking lot on Kronprinzessinnenweg. Training will only be cancelled if it is pouring rain—but will still take place even if the roads are wet or snowy. In that case, training will not take place on wheels, but rather with running shoes. Helmets are always required when on wheels!
INLINE VILLAGE at the BERLIN VITAL Fair
The 26th Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON for Inline Skaters will be accompanied by an attractive programme at the BERLIN VITAL Fair. The INLINE VILLAGE is considered to be an important meeting place for the skating scene. Participants will also have the opportunity to have their gear checked one last time at the SCC SERVICE STATION, and when necessary, small repairs can be made on site.
Further information is available at: www.scc-events.com.