Mid-Minnesota long-distance skate race returns Friday

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A three day long distance skate race returns to St. Cloud this weekend, and to do well you have to be good at one thing.

“You have to be good at suffering,” said organizer Calleigh Little. “That’s really what it comes down to.”

The Skate Central Lakes Endurance Festival kicks off Friday, marking the event’s second year. The first event took place in 2019. There was no event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, the three days of racing will require participants to tackle just over 200 miles of track. Day one is a 106 mile route from St. Cloud to Fergus Falls on the Lake Wobegon Trail from River’s Edge Park. Day two, Saturday, is a 62-mile stretch from Fergus Falls to West Union, and day three, Sunday, a 35-mile round-trip sprint to St. Cloud.

Little is the web and communications director for SkateIDSA (Skate International Distance and Supercross Association), which sanctions the race.

He organized the Skate Central Lakes Endurance Festival after a bike trip to Georgia to participate in a three-day skateboard race. He called the time spent on the Lake Wobegon Trail en route to Georgia a “festival of utter suffering.”

And he didn’t want to keep that experience to himself.

it’s hot. The wind is brutal (especially this year, which should have headwinds from day one, the longest run of the festival). There is no shade. And skaters must carry all of their supplies. There are aid stations, but they are purely utilitarian: shade, snacks and water.

From 2019:Embark on the first-ever long-distance skateboard race in central Minnesota

Skateboarders participating in a remote skateboarding competition.

2019 winner Andrew Andras will be back this year, Little said.

This year’s itinerary is reversed from the 2019 event, which had skaters starting in Fergus Falls and heading to St. Cloud. Little said the change makes it easier for attendees to travel to the event, which attracts skaters from all over the United States and, in 2019, a few different countries.

The first year was for skateboarders, but this year’s event also welcomes people on roller skates and kickbikes (a kind of scooter). Basically, Little said, they’re looking to accommodate those who use non-motorized transport and don’t yet have organized forums for running (so, cyclists and runners – you’re missing).

“We want them to be able to join our community and be a part of what we’re trying to build,” Little said.

Registration is open until race day, and Little said participants can choose to compete for one, two or all three days. There is nothing wrong with choosing and choosing.

But for Little, the “party of suffering” is half the fun.

“That’s what’s fun testing me,” Little said.

Sarah Kocher is the business reporter for the St. Cloud Times. Contact her at 320-255-8799 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @SarahAKocher.

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