Sunday, January 18, 2009


This weekend was the Provincial Long Track Championship. It was FKEARNIG awesome!(good luck pronouncing fkearnig.) In the mornings they had Olympic Style, and then in the afternoon they had Mass Start. There was a slight mix up with me and not being registered for Olympic Style, but they let me skate on the second day because i DID tell them when they asked "i want to do Olympic Style." Then in Mass Start, it wasn't really "Mass Start", because all the Intermediates (people who are like done high school or 16-17) get really good as Juniors (15-16) and then they decide that staying in Manitoba, having to PAY for higher education is a stupid idea, so they go to Calgary, and train with the National team, and get free jobs and then free education (somewhat). So, I'm the only intermediate who stays behind...
Now, Paul's Guide to Speed Skating for utter morons! Hooray! and the rest of you can read it too.
Speed skates are really different from hockey skates or figure skates, because the blade is almost flat. They're "rockered", meaning the blade is curved. The radius is huge, like 24m for my skates, and the blade is only around 30 cm. If you get into really high level skating, like a national or international level, then the blades are also bent to the left, so you can go faster around the corners still.
In speed skating, there are two different "kinds" Long track, and Short track. The long track is normally outside, and sometimes inside, like in really nice ovals, and it's a 400m track. In long track, you use different skates, which have a hinged blade, so you can get a longer glide, and more extension, so you go faster and farther. They're also lower on your ankle, because you don't have as tight a corner, and don't need that much support. Instead, you can get lower, and more aerodynamic.
Short track is done inside, on a hockey rink. The track is 111m, and you use 'short track skates' You can use short track skates for long track, but you can't do the opposite... Short track is generally faster, because the corner is so much tighter, and so you can get going faster.
Olympic Style is (obviously) the style they do in the Olympics, but only for long track. In the Olympics, they do mass start in short track. Olympic style is like time trials almost, you're racing for time, not position. They skate in pairs, one in each lane. Every lap they switch lanes. Inside lane has a corner with a radius of 25m, outside 29m.
Mass Start isn't divided into lanes, you can cut in whenever it is safe to do so, which means that the people starting on the outside have a long way to go in a very short time, or they go really wide on the corner and don't get anywhere. The inside people have to go really fast also, or they get boxed in by the other skaters, and have to slow down into the corner...
Short Track is all Mass Start, except they also do Team pursuit. Team pursuit is just freaking crazy. It's a relay where each skater does two laps, then pushes the next skater, so they get a boost. If you watch it, then you have to agree that it is just frakking nuts, and also really exciting. People fall lots, because there's a lot of people in the way, and they run into each other all over the place.
That's all i can think of right now about speed skating, but seeing as how you're already on the internet, you could do more reading if you wanted to.
It was actually beautiful outside. It was minus 6, with little wind. It snowed a bit, but that wasn't really that bad. it's a massive change from this past week, which was like minus a billion, and with the wind like minus another billion and a half...
Now, on to homework and studying. Blech.
Before i go, there is one actual newsworthy thing to say. I scheduled my road test(finally)! Except now i have to reschedule it, because nobody likes me enough to take me to the driving centre.


guitargirl said...

If you think rescheduling your road test is bad, try not being able to get a book to STUDY for the test because the stupid driver's license center is closed all this week for Martin Luther King Jr. day :P What tha...?!

Paul said...

That's dumb too. That kind of happened to me, but here you can just take the test a whole bunch of times online for free, THEN you go and pay for a real copy.

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