San Diego’s First Official Skateboarding Marathon
San Diego is home to all kinds of races — from charity walks and triathlons to 5Ks and Ironmans. But Saturday marks the city’s first official skateboarding marathon. More than 100 skaters from around the country, mostly longboarders, will compete in a 26.2-mile race around Fiesta Island. Though there will be plenty of seasoned skaters on the course, the marathon is also open to locals, beginners and kids. We caught up with 22-year-old Sasha Popper, a longboarder from New Jersey who skated across the country to promote the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon. He explains how it all works.Q: What exactly happens in a skateboard marathon?
A: It’s basically a 26.2-mile race that you can skate with a longboard or a shortboard. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as there’s no motor on it.
Q: How good do you have to be to participate?
A: Just be able to skate to your corner store.
Q: Really? That’s it?
A: Well, it’s a long time on your board, but it can be done even if you’re not that good. And the joy you’ll feel after accomplishing something like that will change your whole aspect of life. It changes what you think you can do and what you can’t do.
Q: Most people train months for a marathon — do you need to train for a skateboarding one?
A: It does help to have an athletic background; a lot of skaters have done half marathons before. But skateboards are low-impact and it’s a little easier than running, so you don’t have to be super active. We have some people in their 60s and 70s doing it; everyone takes their own time and goes at their own speed.
Q: What’s the point of a skateboard marathon?
A: I think it promotes physical activity and it draws people away from their TV and video games. It encourages healthy living and thinking about what you eat.
Q: But isn’t skateboarding basically fueled by burritos and Slurpees?
A: Sure, everyone has their own diet. You eat what you eat. But what fuels me is the companionship of all the skaters and knowing that for one hour and 45 minutes, we’ll be battling it out, racing at our full potential, as fast as we can, to see who is the top dog.
Q: How do you think you’ll do after having just skateboarded 3,000 miles?
A: I’m really not sure. I just got into San Diego on the 26th, and I’ve been sleeping nonstop.
By David Lekach