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Inline Marathon Destinations

by Kathie Fry of SkateLog.com

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.

Travel Warnings: 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).


Flag of Egypt Egypt
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:


    Flag of South Korea South Korea
    Inline skating 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 new laws 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 coast.
  • Skating Guide for South Korea:
  • Travel Guide for South Korea:


    Flag of Cuba Cuba
    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:


    Flag of Austria Austria
    There are 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:

    Flag of Denmark Denmark
    The 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 Christianso Island.
  • Skating Guide for Denmark:
  • Travel Guide for Denmark:

    Flag of France France
    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:

    Flag of Germany Germany
    Germany is 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:

    Flag of Italy Italy
    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:

    Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands
    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:

    Flag of Spain Spain
    Pamplona Spain is famous for the running of the bulls, an event where local residents and visitors try to outrun a stampede 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, and the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza).
  • Skating Guide for Spain:
  • Travel Guide for Spain:

    Flag of Sweden Sweden
    In October 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 marathon through 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: http://www.skatelog.com/countries/se/
  • Travel Guide for Sweden:

    Flag of Switzerland Switzerland
    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:

    Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
    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 Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, prehistoric Stonehenge, the Lake District, Alton Towers Theme Park, the Roman baths and pump room at Bath, the medieval city of York, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Windsor Castle, and the city of London.
  • Skating Guide for the United Kingdom:
  • Travel Guide for the United Kingdom:

    Pacific Oceania

    Flag of Australia Australia
    The Melbourne 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:

    Flag of French Polynesia French Polynesia
    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:

    South America

    Flag of Colombia Colombia
    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:

    Flag of Venezuela Venezuela
    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:

    North America

    Flag of Ontario Canada Ontario Canada
    The National Capital Inline Marathon 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:

    Flag of Arizona Arizona USA
    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:

    Flag of California California USA
    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

    Flag of Florida Florida USA
    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:

    Flag of Minnesota Minnesota USA
    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:

    Flag of Nebraska Nebraska USA
    Lincoln, Nebraska 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:

    Flag of New York 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 Catskill Mountains.
  • Skating Guide for New York:
  • Travel Guide for New York:

    Flag of Texas Texas USA
    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:

    Flag of Wisconsin Wisconsin USA
    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
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  • Guide to Skating in 100 Countries
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