Kent Roller Girls Marathon Challenge

On Sunday 29th July, a car-full of Kents drove to Dorney Lake in Berkshire in the pouring rain, strapped on their skates and skated over 26 miles each for charity. This may seem crazy to many people but with fundraisers we’re always aiming for ‘the crazier the better’ and this time it paid off, quite literally! So far our marathon skaters have raised over £500 for Pilgrim’s Hospices, our chosen charity this year, with more donations still trickling in.

The influx of donations for the skaters has pushed KRG over this years target of £750. With 5 months and many more charity events already planned, the team have now increased their target to £1000. The generosity and support from team-mates, friends and family definitely kept the marathon team going as they battled the elements.

We interviewed each of the marathon skaters to find out how and why they took on this marathon challenge.

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Name: Shep (Commander Pain Shepard)
What wheels did you skate on?
Reckless Envy Hybrid wheels (80A)… Fun fact, I skated indoors on these for the first few months of my derby life, and wondered why I couldn’t slide!
How many marathons (if any) have you done before?
This was my second.
Do you do a lot of outdoors skating?
Not as much as I’d like to. I like skating along sea fronts, but usually the paths aren’t quite smooth enough.
Why did you want to do a marathon?
I really wanted to raise money for our charity, Pilgrim’s Hospice, as my family knows first-hand just how invaluable hospice services are.
How was it?
It was tough! The wind and rain made it much harder than my first marathon, but I couldn’t have asked for more supportive people to be skating with. I’d particularly like to thank Meg, who skated an extra lap to keep me company on the final 4km (even though she’d already finished!).
Any tips from your experience to pass on?
Fuel yourself properly the day before and the morning of the marathon, and keep drinking plenty of water throughout. My best advice though is to skate alongside your friends, because they make the hard miles feel much shorter!

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Name: Kim (Mortal Kimbat)
What wheels did you skate on?
88s on crappy old Riddell skates (probably my 1st mistake!).
How many marathons (if any) have you done before?
When it comes to on skates marathons, I was a virgin, but I’ve done one on feet before.
Do you do a lot of outdoors skating?
Outdoor skating is a bit hit and miss for me – just once this summer; I managed 15 miles to make sure I was semi-ready for the marathon.
How was it?
I think the weather was the worst part of it – tackling the driving rain/wind. I was surprised at the hills too, I assumed it’d be pretty flat. The first 7 laps were ok, the last 4 were tough.
Any tips from your experience to pass on?
Rest and eat well the night before, make sure you have snacks, plenty of water, music and blister plasters to keep you going and be prepared for all weather!

The author would just like to point out that whereas Kim’s tips are all brilliant, she didn’t actually do any of them!

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Name: James (JC)
What wheels did you skate on?
78 kryptonic’s (not the good ones) with my old bont hybrid boot.
How many marathons (if any) have you done before?
I’ve done one other marathon on skates.
Do you do a lot of outdoors skating?
I like to skate outside, my knee does not…
Why did you want to do a marathon?
I like to try and push myself and at the moment this is about as hard as it gets for me.
How was it?
In all honesty, it was terrible after the first 26km but that’s down to the knee. The weather was shocking too; hail is not marathon weather!
Any tips from your experience to pass on?
I’d say take friends with you. It’s surprising how much having supportive people around you can help. The guys this time where brilliant (even on my last two snail pace laps).

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Name: Jenna (Sharpe)
What wheels did you skate on?
Really old, really big, really soft 76s; they’re like tires for your skates!
How many marathons (if any) have you done before?
This is my third marathon overall but my first one post knee reconstruction.
Do you do a lot of outdoors skating?
I love outdoor skating but sadly rarely get the time or weather for it! I love the cycle track at Betteshanger park though, there’s so much space to pick up speed and you often see bunnies and squirrels!
Why did you want to do a marathon?
I wanted to do the marathon for two reasons. Firstly I knew I could raise a lot of money for Pilgrim’s Hospices and it would be a great opportunity to show people just how passionate I am about supporting this charity. Secondly, I wanted to prove to myself that my body and my knee were still (almost) as good as they were pre knee op.
How was it?
I completed it in 3hours and 12 minutes, not my best time and not my slowest. The weather was horrific and I still managed to get sunburn even through the cloud and rain! I honestly couldn’t have done it with a better bunch of people though, I think that’s what kept me going!
Any tips from your experience to pass on?
Number 1: Bumbags are cool. Number 2: My ‘power flapjack’ recipe for when you need an energy boost: Melt 125g Butter, 150g Soft brown sugar, 125g peanut butter and 75g golden syrup in a pan. Pour over 200g Porridge oats and 150g of any dried fruit or nuts you have lying around (I used pecans and cranberries this time). Bake at 160 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

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Name: Meg (Shut Up Meg)
What wheels did you skate on?
78s Atoms
How many marathons (if any) have you done before?
2
Why did you want to do a marathon?
I love a challenge and I love skates and friends. It’s the best combo!
How was it?
Amazing. I love skating, I clocked 24kmph at one point.
Any tips from your experience to pass on?
Just push yourself and eat loads! Carb load the night before and make sure to eat enough sugar while skating. It’s vital or you’ll run out of energy. Also do some cool down at the end and set a time to complete to motivate yourself. Did I mention… I love skating?!

If you would like to add to Kent Roller Girls’ total for their chosen charity this year then keep an eye out for our upcoming fundraising events or head over to our JustGiving page and donate a couple of quid!

For more info on the roller marathon organisers and their other events, check out South East Roller Disco’s Facebook page.

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