Nov. 1, 1999
(this is a
preliminary report on the inline skating world record attempts made on Halloween weekend
'99 in San Francisco. These results are not yet official, but soon will be.)
Every sport has its heroes. Sometimes these heroes can bring their sports to the
forefront of the national sports scene like Brandi Chastain of U. S. Women's Soccer Team
or Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France after a battle with testicular cancer.
On Halloween weekend in San Francisco, inline skaters witnessed the birth of some new
heroes for the sport of super marathon distance skating. The event took place at the
Golden Gate Oval at the Polo Fields in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Eight skaters
took to the track to break the 24 hour, 12 hour, 6 hour and 100 kilometer records that now
stand in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Kent Baake from Washington D.C. along with Sandy Snakenberg of San Francisco went for
the 24 hour record. Kent, who skates with the Washington Area Rollerskaters has been
skating for only about 2 years. He had a great crew and his plan was a good one. However,
after nearly 20 hours on the track battling knee and nutrition problems, Kent was unable
to continue. Sandy Snakenberg was battling some of the same demons, but was able to
conquer them and come blazing through setting a new 24 hour record skating nearly 316
The 12 hour record was obliterated by Dan Burger of Berkeley Ca. He skated nearly 191
miles. Not only that, but in the process of going for the 12, he may have smashed the 6
hour record by skating just over 105 miles. Please stay tuned
Eric Kraan, a Dutch ice speedskater from Texas and Dana Eads from San Diego also skated
for the 6 hour record and put up a valiant efforts. Eric did not break the record, but
Dana may have. Please stay tuned.
Jamie Johnson is a strong skater that skates local events like the Napa to Calistoga
Roadskate and the San Francisco Friday Night Skate. When he heard about the world record
challenge, he thought he would try to break the 100 kilometer record. Things were great at
first, but as time went on, Jamie hit "the wall". His body just stopped. It was
a gradual degeneration of the ability, the skills and the stamina to skate on. The will
was there all the way. Afterward, Jamie took off his skates and volunteered to helped the
event continue all night long.
Both women in the event came through like the true champions they are.
Nikki Diamondtopolos set a new 6 hour womens world record at about 92 miles. Just a few
weeks ago Nikki won the 85 mile Athens to Atlanta Race. On the road or on the track. Nikki
has really established herself and her abilities.
Alice Eads was not there just to skate with Dana. She had her sights set on the Masters
6 hour world record. She was not about to let all the youngsters steal the day. Alice
rolled in establishing a new Masters 50+ record coming in at 78.4 miles.
The event was a great success. The California Outdoor Rollerskating Association was
honored to host this event. Johnathan Seutter, the event organizer along with Steve Novak
and Jon Lowden did a great job organizing. Skates on Haight, the Bay Area Inline Racers
and Tully's Coffee, need and deserve a big pat on the back for a job well done. The real
stars were the support crews both for the athletes and the event volunteers. This was a
great example of a community of skaters coming together.
Big thanks to Sandy Lee and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Dept. This was the
first event held in Golden Gate Park that went past the 10:00 P.M. closing time. Thanks
for giving skating the opportunity to move forward to a bright future.