Northshore Inline Marathon was great! The weather was near perfect (for an early Fall morning race). Not too cold, no rain and especially no wind! My better half and I both had our doubts coming into the race (as we didn't train a whole heck of alot; maybe 3 times in the last 3 weeks or so), however, we kicked last years time by over 45 minutes! We both came in within seconds of each other: 1 hour and 55 minutes. See the results for this years race here.
I would like to say it was a smooth, easy ride but honestly it wasn't. Yeah, we were pushed a little bit cardio-wise but I would say the hardest part of the marathon is leg-work in combination of riding on the roads/highways and all the vibrations it causes on your wheels thus to your legs and body. You get spoiled training on the smooth, debris-free trails. In contrast, try riding you blades on 35W in downtown Duluth! Needless to say my leg muscles were tired and sore as well as my lower back by the end of the race.
This year we ran into our neighbor down the street during the race and ended up going most of the way with her before she proceeded on without us. I told my wife it was kinda nice; a little friendly competition kept us going! This year I also saw a few more spills and evidence thereof. Within the first few miles of the start, there was someone in the ditch covered with a space blanket along with a few race volunteers. Eeek. I also saw a few people with road rashes and bloody scrapes on their thighs, chins and hands throughout the race. I was just happy that hasn't happened to me yet. The worst spill of all was near the last stretch where we were within 200 meters of the finish line when we passed a 'bigger' fella who was having a hard time standing much less on blading. As I passed him I said, "Keep it going. Your almost there!". As I was about to cross the finish line, I looked back to see him take a spill nearly hitting my wife. Ouch! I felt bad for the guy.
After the finish and seeing our final time, we were both surprised and very happy. Needless to say we signed up for next years' race and are looking forward to possibly beating that personal record we now each hold. I guess we plan on good weather, that seems to be the key!