Marathon Skateboard Race Rolls Onto Governors Island
GOVERNORS ISLAND — Governors Island will turn into a skateboarding raceway on Saturday when nearly 150 boarders are expected to invade the island for a marathon ride.
The Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon, a 26.2 mile longboard race, will kick off in New York before it rolls out to several other cities around the country.
The event has been pitting skateboarders against one another in cities around the country since last year. This will be the first time it graces one of New York's parks.
"We wanted to do something that was very good for the world," said Adrenalina race director Jonathan Strauss, of Miami. He said the race isn't just about entertainment, but also about promoting a form of fitness.
"It's a green alternative transportation, and we wanted to put on an event that caters to this demographic," he added.
Viewers expecting fancy flips, dives and other daring tricks may be disappointed. At an average of about 40 inches, the longboard skateboard resembles a snowboard with wheels and is generally used for transportation and racing, rather than for tricks.
"At the end of the day, it's something that's accessible to everyone," Strauss said, referring to the ease of riding on a longboard. "The whole family can compete in the race."
The longboard pros will circle the island 12 times, racing for the $15,000 prize. Amateur skateboarders can compete, too, but are only expected to do one full lap
A winner of one of last year's races, Jeff Vyain, completed the course in 1:40:58.
The event will begin at Picnic Point, the island's southernmost point, and lap counter-clockwise.
The day will also include live music and skateboarding demonstrations.
Months before the festival even set wheels in New York, longboard enthusiasts who attended the first year's competition, held in Florida, sang the extreme sport competition's praises.
"The Adrenalina Skateboard Competition is something that needs to happen, and it's beautiful to see it being organized properly by guys who have put their heart and soul behind it," pro skater Aaron Enevoldsen said in a promo video for the competition.
"This event has given us an opportunity to come together as a community or as a whole," skater Paul Kent, of Canada, added. "It's finally connecting all the different groups all around the world."
Kent, who's planning to compete in this year's event, also admits that there's a lot of work to do to prepare for the event.
He created a training video which shows him lifting weights, as well as jumping up porch stairs, using rubber bands to do leg resistance exercises, skating and doing lunges and full body swings.