I'm loving online challenges. As a family man unable to make a bunch of contest/race trips, I am thrilled to be able do them on my own time in my home space. I know they aren't the same thing as being in a set location competing with others on the same course, but I am enjoying it very much.
The first online challenge I did was the Cyber Slalom Challenge through the NCDSA. I later ran my own Cyber Slalom Challenge through Facebook. A move from central Arkansas to the hills of northwest Arkansas coincided with taking up freestyle so I haven't competed in an online challenge since 2018. Of course, the World Round-Up Online Showdown kicked off the contests for me (I just practiced my run), but the IDSA (International Distance Skateboard Association) has started challenges as well.
I recently posted about the 10K challenge from them. It was a lot of fun, and I wanted to become more of a part of it. So, I paid the 20 bucks to join and became a member of the IDSA. I know I will probably never go to an IDSA event (unless they have one in Arkansas or Memphis, TN), but at least I can support the organization promoting something that I support. Skating for fitness is a great thing. Plus, they sent some cool swag for joining. I've been thinking about a hydration vest for a long time. So, to get one for the cost of joining the IDSA and shipping is great. I'm going to get a lot of use out of that over the next year.
SoNow, for the story of my 1KM Sprint:
I completed the challenge on Mother's Day morning. I warmed up by doing a freedance session (what I'm calling my freestyle/dance hybrid skating), and followed it with my attempt at the challenge. It should be of note that I knew my track wasn't the right place to do this. A straight stretch would be ideal, and there isn't much straight stretch on this course at all. However, as I mentioned, it was Mother's Day morning and I felt a little guilt leaving my wife behind to go skating on her day. While I should have been making her a breakfast in bed, I was out skating instead. So, I was at my usual spot. It is, after all, five minutes from home which is much better than driving 20 minutes into town. This way I skate for an hour and a half and I'm only gone for about an hour and a half.
I put my everyday board into the back of my truck and used my push board, a Bustin Sportster with 180mm Caliber trucks, 80mm Kegel wheels and Bones Swiss bearings. I pushed off, got to a decent speed and hit the start button. It felt great moving into the first, at speed, corner.
Unfortunately, I was going way too fast for this course. Turning and sprints just don't marry well. I came off the board just as I went into that first corner as my trucks couldn't turn fast enough. Luckily, I was able to run it out, and didn't land on my face. In fact, I was able to get myself back on the trail and hopped back on, but I knew I couldn't sprint at my the best possible speed. After all, I had several more turns each time around the track, and several times around the track. So, since I had already come off the board and because I had to slow down for each corner, I knew my time would be slow, but I did push like mad on the one long side of the track, and got myself nice and winded. They've started a 1 mile challenge and, now that I'm an actual member of the IDSA, I am going to find a straight path and I may just send my times into the IDSA. Judging from the times I've seen on Facebook, I think if I stay on the board and have a straight path, I may do okay.
I do hope, after the world goes back to a normal a little bit, they'll keep these challenges going. It is a great way to feel connected, at a distance, to other distance skaters.