The next time feel like taking a trip abroad, consider organizing
a trip around an inline skating marathon in a country or city
you have always wanted to visit.
This article highlights some countries and regions where
inline marathons will take place in 2004.
All of these places are wonderful travel destinations in their own right.
You might see warnings against traveling to a
few of these places, but you should not encounter any problems
if you follow the travel and safety guidelines issued by your
country's state department, and ask for safety guidance
and recommendations from the organizers
of the skating event you are attending (don't be shy about asking).
The Egyptian Marathon
takes place every February in Luxor
and that city is the most important destination for any visitor to
Egypt. Plan to spend at least two days
exploring the Luxor area, and it is advisable to hire a guide
from a reputable agency. Consider also taking
a 5 to 14 day Nile cruise, because this is
the easiest way to visit the major sights of Egypt.
Cruises run between Cairo in the north and Aswan in the south,
with Luxor being one of the most important stops along the way.
Accommodations on Nile cruises range from basic
to luxurious. Keep in mind that the "Upper Nile is the south (Aswan) end
of the river and the "Lower Nile" is the north (Cairo) end.
Skating Guide for Egypt:
Travel Guide for Egypt:
is very popular in South Korea and the city of
Seoul has a marathon every April called the Munhwa Inline Marathon.
There is also an inline marathon on Jeju Island off the south
coast of Korea, which is part of the Jeju Island Inline Games.
While you are in Seoul, plan to spend some time skating on
the bicycle trail that runs along the banks of the Han River.
Note that because
of the rapidly growing number of inline skaters in Seoul, there are
against skating in the streets of at least some parts of the
city. Skaters visiting Korea should take time to visit Jeju island
even if they don't skate the Jeju Marathon because it is a
beautiful island, very similar to Hawaii, which has a large
skating community of its own.
While you are in Korea, try to
also visit the historic city of Gyeongju and the beaches
and temples of the Hallyeo Waterway National Park on the southeast
Skating Guide for South Korea:
Travel Guide for South Korea:
In 2002 and 2003 there was an inline skating marathon
in the streets of Havana. In the 2004 the event is tentatively
scheduled for October 24th, and the Cuban Skating Federation is
trying to move the event to the popular international
resort at Varadero Beach. Watch for more
information later in 2004.
Adventurous travelers and photo journalists
love visiting Cuba, and beach lovers
from around the world flock to Varadero Beach.
Skaters visiting Cuba should try to spend time in the town
of Cienfuegos on the south
coast, which has a skating track in a beautiful location,
only steps from the sea.
The speed skating team in Pinar del Rio
trains on a local motorcycle speedway.
Several other provinces in Cuba
also have speed and artistic skating teams.
Skating Guide for Cuba:
Travel Guide for Cuba:
two well-known inline marathons in Austria:
the Vienna Inline Marathon and the "Skate the Lake"
Marathon in the Klopeiner See/Turner See region. The latter event
is a stop on the 2004 World Inline Cup tour.
Austria is one of the most
important cultural centers of Europe,
famous for music, art museums, historic palaces, skiing,
and the Danube River.
Visitors to Austria should
try to visit Salzburg, Vienna, Graz, Hallstatt,
Innsbruck, Tirol, and the spectacular highway
through the Tauern Mountain Range.
Skating Guide for Austria:
Travel Guide for Austria:
charming Danish city
of Odense is famous as the birthplace
of Hans Christian Andersen, and there is a running and skating
marathon in that city named after the famous fairy tale author.
Skaters visiting Denmark should include Copenhagen, Aarhus,
and Bornholm Island in their itinerary because all of those areas
have large inline skating clubs and there is a new outdoor skating
track at Aarhus.
Every August there is a 100 kilometer race around the Island of Bornholm
that was cancelled in 2003, but is expected to be revived in 2004
with all-new organizers and race directors. In addition to
visiting Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, and Bornholm, visitors to
Denmark should try to see the Limfjord coastline,
the chalk cliff formations on the Island of Mon, the port town
of Skagen in the north, and take a ferry to tiny
Skating Guide for Denmark:
Travel Guide for Denmark:
France is the perfect
destination for a skating holiday.
because it is the home of the world famous Paris Friday
Night Skate, the largest night skate in the world,
which every skater should experience
at least once in their life. France also has an inline racing
series called the French Inline Cup
with marathon events in many parts of the country including Dijon, Nice,
Rennes, Les Herbiers, Lille, Plouha, Pontarlier, and
Annecy. The most popular tourist destinations
in France are the Loire Valley,
the French Riviera,
the city of Paris,
the town of Biarritz,
the Palace of Versailles,
the Catholic pilgrim destination of Lourdes,
the Pyrenees National Park,
Mont St. Michel Island,
the beaches of Normandy,
and the French Alps.
Skating Guide for France:
Travel Guide for France:
another great destination for skaters because
almost every German city has a night skate. Germany is also the home
of the largest skating marathon in the world,
the Berlin Inline Marathon, with up to 12000 skaters
participating every September.
There are many skate marathons in Germany,
in Rhein-Ruhr, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, and other areas.
The most popular tourist attractions in Germany
are Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Octoberfest in Munich,
the 220 mile Romantic Road, the remains of the Dachau
concentration camp, the Cologne Cathedral, the Black Forest,
the Frisian Islands, Lake Constance, Heidelberg, and
the city of Berlin.
Skating Guide for Germany:
Travel Guide for Germany:
Italy has an
inline marathon in Rome which is famous
for its beautiful route through the city. This marathon route
is unique in one other way: A great deal of it
is paved with cobblestones!
Italy is not a country where you will always be permitted to
skate in the street, but many large cities have car-free Sundays
when it is possible to skate, and some cities
even have regularly scheduled night skates (Verona for example).
Popular attractions in
Italy include the canals of Venice, the ruins of Pompeii,
the leaning tower of Pisa, the Byzantine treasures of
Ravenna, the Palio di Siena horse race, the islands of Capri
and Sicily, the Amalfi coast,
the white marble buildings of Assisi,
Gran Paradiso National Park, and of course the cities of Rome,
Florence, Milan, Naples.
Skating Guide for Italy:
Travel Guide for Italy:
The Dutch Federation
organizes an inline racing series
each year called the Univé Top Competitie
with marathons and other races in
many different parts of the country.
The Netherlands is one of the best countries in
the world for a skating or cycling holiday because the country is
very flat, and nearly every road
has a bicycle trail next to it.
Many Dutch cities have night skates, including Amsterdam,
Rotterdam, Groningen, Haarlem, and others.
For a very special treat, travel to Groningen and
join RJ Steenbergen's Friday Fun Skate and have
a studio photo taken of you in your skates by world
renown art and sports photographer Ewoud Broeksma.
The most visited sites in the Netherlands
are the Keukenhof Flower Gardens in the Spring,
Hoge Veluwe National Park,
the Kröller-Müller Museum,
Anne Frank's House in Amsterdam, the Burgers' Zoo,
the miniature city of Madurodam,
Castle De Haar in Haarzuilens,
the Rijksmuseum, Marken Island near Amsterdam,
and the windmills of Kinderdijk.
Skating Guide for the Netherlands:
Travel Guide for the Netherlands:
is famous for the running of the bulls,
an event where local residents and visitors try to outrun a
of angry bulls without getting trampled under their hooves.
The city also has a skating marathon called the
Pamplona Inline Marathon.
Skaters visiting Spain should also participate in the
Barcelona Friday Night Skate
and try a few of the many skating trails in Spain,
including popular skating route that runs along the water in
the coastal town of Sitges. It is also possible to skate
all over the island of Mallorca, using country roads that run along the coast,
through the mountains, and across the center of the island.
Some of the most well-known attractions in Spain include
the Prado Museum in Madrid,
Gaudí’s unfinished Cathedral in Barcelona,
the Alhambra Palace in Grenada,
the Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao,
the Tomato Festival in Valencia,
The Feria de Abril in Seville,
the Picos de Europa Mountains,
the World Heritage City of Toledo,
the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza).
Skating Guide for Spain:
Travel Guide for Spain:
of 2004 there is a large special
skating event in Stockholm.
As part of the grand opening celebration for
a new commuter tunnel in that city, skaters, runners,
and walkers are invited to skate in a
the tunnel on October 17, 2004. This is turning
out to be a very popular event, with 1500 tickets
sold in the first hour, and 7000 tickets sold after
only four days. While you are in Sweden you should also
try to visit Stockholm,
the medieval town of Visby on Gotland Island,
Skokloster Slott Castle,
the Viking Town of Birka,
Gripsholm Castle on Lake Maaleren,
Sareks National Park,
the tiny Island of Öland,
prehistoric Old Uppsala,
the Kingdom of Crystal,
and Lapland, where you can stay in a hotel
made of 100% ice (you sleep wrapped in reindeer skins
on a bed made of ice and snow!).
Skating Guide for Sweden:
Travel Guide for Sweden:
When most people
think of Switzerland they think of
Alps, clocks, chocolate, yodelers, and banks, but
when I think of that country I think of skating.
The Swiss have a very well organized
Swiss Inline Cup series and in 2003 the SIC organizers
took over managing the World Inline Cup.
The Swiss racing season runs from May to October, and
events are staged in the most scenic parts of Switzerland
including Basel, Bern, Zurich, Engadin, Lausanne,
Zug and many other places.
Some of the top visitor attractions in Switzerland are
Chateau de Chillon in Montreux,
the Swiss National Park at Zernez,
The Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps,
the Jungfrau Region,
the luxury resort of St. Moritz, Mount Pilatus high above
the lakeside city of Lucern,
and the cities of Geneva, St. Gallen, Bern. Another "don't miss"
destination is the city of Lausanne,
world headquarters of the International
Olympic Committee, home of the Olympic Museum,
and site of the annual Urban Roller Contest, with aggressive,
downhill, speed, and cone skating events.
Skating Guide for Switzerland:
Travel Guide for Switzerland:
The second annual
London Inline Marathon will
take place in September of 2004 and there is a huge
multi-discipline skating event in Eastbourne
every July called "Eastbourne Skate 2004".
London also has an active skating community,
and there are weekly group skates
in that city every Friday and Wednesday nights.
Popular visitor attractions in England include
the Tower of London,
the Lake District,
Alton Towers Theme Park,
the Roman baths and pump room at Bath,
the medieval city of York,
Windsor Castle, and the
city of London.
Skating Guide for the United Kingdom:
Travel Guide for the United Kingdom:
Inline Marathon in the state of Victoria
takes place in February,
and there are many paved multi-use trails in the
Melbourne area that will be attractive to skaters.
Some of them are the Capital City Trail, the Bay Trail,
the Bayside Trail and the Main Yarra Trail.
Other attractions in the area include gold country,
the Port of Echuca,
Sovereign Hill Village, Melbourne River Cruises,
the Victoria Open Range Zoo, and Phillip Island Nature Park.
Skating Guide for Australia:
Travel Guide for Australia:
The Island of Tahiti
is stunningly beautiful, and the
nearby island of Moorea was the model for the
legendary "Bali Hai" in the musical South Pacific.
For a skating trip you will never forget, visit Tahiti in
November and skate with local Tahitians and visiting
skaters from around the world in the
Tahiti Nui Roller Marathon. After the race you
can spend the rest of your trip
swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving, and
relaxing in an over-the-water bungalow
perched on the edge of a coral reef.
Skating Guide for French Polynesia:
Travel Guide for French Polynesia:
The final marathon
in the 2004 World Inline cup
will take place in Bogota, Colombia, a country
where the top inline speed skaters are
treated like rock stars.
Some of the most popular visitor attractions in Colombia are the
seaport of Barranquilla,
the Andean city of Bogota,
the cobblestone streets of Old Cartagena,
La Guajira Desert,
Parque de Los Nevados,
the volcanic region around the city of Pasto,
Purace National Park,
the islands in the
archipelago of San Andres and Providencia.
and Villa del Leyva, a perfect example of a colonial town.
Skating Guide for Colombia:
Travel Guide for Colombia:
An inline marathon
is scheduled to take place in Venezuela
in October of 2004, and it will probably
be in the city of Caracas.
The most popular tourist attractions in Venezuela
include Angel Falls,
the historic port town of Ciudad Bolivar,
the high savanna of southern Venezuela,
and the beaches of Los Roques National Park,
Margarita Island. and Parque Nacional Morrowcoy.
The ten day Festival of San Sebastian
held every January also attracts many visitors every year.
Skating Guide for Venezuela:
Travel Guide for Venezuela:
The National Capital
takes place in the City of Ottawa every May and it includes
both running and skating events.
Ottawa is the capital of the Province of
Ontario and it is located on the banks
of the Ottawa River in Eastern Ontario.
Some of the top city attractions are
the Rideau Canal (which becomes the world's
longest ice skating rink in the winter), Gatineau Park,
the National Art Gallery of Canada,
Dows Lake Pavilion, and Nepean Point Lookout.
The city of Montreal in the neighboring
province of Quebec is about 100 miles from
Ottawa and it is well worth the trip.
Skating Guide for Canada:
Travel Guide for Canada:
The Cactus Classic
Inline Marathon takes
place every November in the city of Oro Valley near
Tucson. This race through the
Arizona desert has a notoriously difficult route and
it is popular with skaters who want to
"prove they can do it". Some of the top attractions in other
parts of Arizona include
the world famous Grand Canyon,
Petrified Forest National Park,
the beautiful landscapes and eclectic charm of Sedona,
and the Indian ruins in the red cliffs
of Canyon de Chelly National Park.
Skating Guide for Arizona:
Travel Guide for Arizona:
Northern and Southern
California each have
their own distinct culture, but inline skating
and quad roller skating are very popular in both areas.
The Long Beach Marathon in Southern California
has a beautiful route that runs along the coast,
and the Napa Valley Inline Marathon runs right through
the heart of Northern California wine country.
In San Francisco the "Mecca" for recreational skaters
and roller dancers is
Golden Gate Park, and in Southern California it is Venice Beach.
You will not find many organized recreational skating clubs
in California, but quite a few cities and towns have weekly group skates
and other special events for skaters on a regular basis.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in
Northern California include
the giant redwood forests, gold country,
the wild coastal regions in the far north,
and wine country in Napa and Sonoma counties.
Popular tourist attractions in Southern California include
Disneyland, Venice Beach, the Hollywood film industry,
and miles and miles of sunny beaches with bicycle trails.
Skating Guide for California:
Travel Guide for California
The number one
tourist attraction in
Florida is Disney World in Orlando,
and that is also the site of a popular new inline
marathon that made its debut in 2003. Florida
has an extensive network of paved multi-use
trails, quite a number of well-organized skating clubs,
several annual road skating events, and a February
party weekend called the "Miami Great Es-Skate".
In addition to Disney World, popular tourist attractions
include the Florida Keys, the Everglades,
and the beaches of
Miami, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale,
and Tampa Bay.
Skating Guide for Florida:
Travel Guide for Florida:
The largest inline marathon in North America
is the Northshore Marathon in Duluth, and in 2004 there will be
a all-new skating marathon in the city of Minneapolis.
Minnesota has a huge number of rural and urban
paved multi-use trails, making it a
very attractive holiday destination for skaters and cyclists.
Minnesota also has more than 11000 lakes,
6500 rivers, 1 boat for every 6 people, and
more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined.
Skating Guide for Minnesota:
Travel Guide for Minnesota:
has an annual inline marathon called the Cornhusker Classic,
but there are several other attractions that make this city an interesting
destination for skaters. Lincoln is the home of the United
States Roller Sports Federation, the U.S. National Roller
Skating Museum, and "Rock 'n' Roll Runza", one of the few
places in the world where you can still see roller skating waiters.
The most popular tourist attractions in Nebraska are focused
around the area's rich pioneer history, and regional, state, and
national parks such as the Homestead and
Agate Fossil Beds National Monuments.
Skating Guide for Nebraska:
Travel Guide for Nebraska:
New York USA
New York City
usually has two or three inline marathons a year,
and plans are underway for a possible new "Ground Zero" Marathon that
will start or finish in the vicinity of the September 11th
terrorist attack. The idea is to make this new
race a very special memorial event. Watch for more information
later in 2004.
New York City is one of the top skating spots
in North America, with Central Park being the hub
of skating activity in that city.
Top attractions in New York State
include New York City's Statue of Liberty,
Lake Placid, Niagara Falls,
the Great Lakes area, and
the Appalachian, Adirondack, and
Skating Guide for New York:
Travel Guide for New York:
The Great Skate
of Texas is an annual inline marathon
and colon cancer fund raiser near Dallas, and the
Road Rash Marathon in Central Texas will take place
for the first time in 2004.
Some of the most popular visitor attractions in Texas
are the Alamo in San Antonio,
the Sixth Floor JFK Museum in Dallas,
the Padre Island National Seashore,
Big Bend National Park,
the Guadalupe Mountains,
and the cities of Dallas, Austin, Houston,
San Antonio, El Paso, and Corpus Christi.
Skating Guide for Texas:
Travel Guide for Texas:
The Big Granite Marathon takes place
every year in Ashland, Wisconsin, and
the Cheesehead Classic Invitational
is an annual indoor speed skating event in Watertown.
Wisconsin also has a network of multi-use
trails suitable for skating including the
90 mile Oakleaf Trail in Milwaukee and the 14 mile Fox River Trail
in Green Bay.
Popular visitor attractions in Wisconsin include
the Ice Age National Scenic Trail,
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore,
San Croix National Scenic River,
and the cities of Milwaukee,
Green Bay, Madison, and Oshkosh.
Skating Guide for Wisconsin:
Travel Guide for Wisconsin:
Skating and Travel Resources
Inline Marathons Around the World
Guide to Skating in 100 Countries
Countries and Cities of the World
Kathie Fry of SkateLog.com