Midway Speedskaters brought home the hardware after the Northshore Inline Marathon in Duluth, September 15. Giorgia Birkeland of White Bear Lake won the ladies 15-17 age category and was the second fastest female overall with a time of 1:09:36. The Midway men swept the podium in the 15-17 age category, with Adam Johnson of Oakdale taking first place at 1:08:22. This was also the 4th fastest time for non-elite men. Mack Hanson of Mounds View took second place for men 15-17 at 1:09:36 and Michael Johnson of Oakdale in third place at 1:18:52.
The Northshore Inline Marathon, in its 23rd year, is the fourth largest Inline Marathon in the world. The course runs along Lake Superior, from Two Harbors to Duluth, mostly following the Grandma’s Marathon route. Thunderstorms the night before the race had skaters expecting a long, wet skate, but the weather cleared in time for the race. Cool, but humid, temps and a nice tailwind made for a very fast skate. The course record, which was set in 1998, would likely have been broken, but for a slight shortening of the course due to construction near the finish line. Elite Skater Ken Kuwada of Argentina finished in 56:56:12
Midway Speedskating Club, based at the John Rose Oval in Roseville, has been using Inline Skating as off season training for their main sport, Speed Skating. Many skaters are moving back and forth from Inline to Ice skating. The 2018 US Olympic Speedskating team included several members that were inline skaters that transitioned to ice. US Speedskating and USA Rollersports have recently announced a collaboration to encourage athletes from both disciplines to learn and work together.
Here are shots of Adam and Giorgia coming into the homestretch: