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IISA Press Release - October 30, 2002
Skate Manufacturers Support Marathons

Inline Skating Manufacturers Unite in Support of Inline Marathons

A Collective Industry Effort Fuels Growth in the Increasingly Popular Events

Wilmington, NC - The Event Committee of the International Inline Skating Association (IISA) decided today to go full speed ahead with a plan for the Association and its participating members to support inline marathons in 2003. The members of the not-for-profit trade association include Rollerblade, K2, Salomon, Bauer, Nike, Roller Derby,
Roces, Ultra Wheels, Verducci, Hyper Wheels, Twin Cam, and Concept Sports

The IISA will utilize the industry’s extensive national and specialty retailer networks and its relationships with local skate instructors, volunteers and media to build on the fast-growing interest in inline skating marathons. The Association will encourage skaters to try an inline marathon and give weekend warriors a new reason skate. The Association will kick off its new program and the 2003 Inline Marathon season this spring with the Inaugural Walt Disney World Inline Marathon to be held March 30, 2003.

"The Association and industry leaders are committed to the development of inline marathons and to working with event organizers to produce bigger and better inline marathon events for skaters" remarked Jeremy Stonier, President of the Association and Director of Sales and Product Marketing for Rollerblade. "Inline Marathons offer an achievable challenge for completing a the marathon distance of 26.2 miles which take half the time required to train for and finish a running marathon. Inline marathons are picking up momentum. In September 2002, 4500 people, a record number, came out to skate a marathon in Duluth, MN. The field included elite racers, but most of the participants were weekend skaters and people skating for fun and fitness."

"More and more people are discovering that long-distance skating makes them stronger, lighter, more agile, and more flexible and is a great alternative or complement to marathon running. Inline marathon skating is easier on the body, faster and more fun".

"We want to help provide people with opportunities to challenge themselves and to take their skating to a new level".

The IISA’s Event Committee is charged with exploring how the Association and its members can work together with event organizers to serve as a catalyst for inline marathon events. "The Association is particularly excited about working with Disney to launch the Inaugural Walt Disney World Inline Marathon this spring" stated Kalinda Mathis, Executive Director of the IISA. "We have received fantastic responses from running marathon race directors who want to add inline skaters to their events." "Inline marathons make perfect sense to veteran running marathon race directors because they allow the directors to "super-size" their events with little or no extra cost". The group plans to add four events to the inline marathon calendar in 2004. The Association predicts that inline marathons will eventually grow to the size of the New York and Boston running marathons.

"The Walt Disney World Inline Marathon this spring will be the first step in our effort to re-energize inline skating", remarked Keith D’Entremont, Chairman of the Association and President of Roces USA.

The Association and its participating members will sponsor and be present at designated inline marathons in 2003 to ensure a great experience for the participants and give consumers a chance to see and try the latest inline products, participants in the Disney Inline Marathon will get a sneak peak at the new 2003 inline skate models before they hit the stores.

About IISA
The International Inline Skating Association represents the manufacturers of inline skates and related products and the 26 million people who are regular inline skaters. The IISA conducts educational and safety programs in inline skating and promotes the benefits and pleasures of inline skating for sport, recreation, fitness and vitality.

Contact at IISA
Kalinda Mathis
Email - Director@iisa.org
Phone - 910.762.7004
Web Site IISA.org

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