Roller Ski News – 29th January 2008

Very glad to see lots of new and returning rollerskiers this January. With ski holidays coming up, this is an exciting time to get involved in rollerskiing and brush up on skills.

We have a 4-wk classic course beginning on Saturday morning, and a 1-day Dorney course with advanced and beginner groups this Sunday. Read on for more information and rollerski news.


We've had a huge turnout for our New Years' courses at Dorney and Hyde Park. It was great to welcome so many beginners and good to see a few old faces back again. We hope it will be the start of a good year of skiing and ski challenges.

This Saturday we have a 4-week classic rollerski course starting at 11.30 in Hyde Park - see


Have you ever wondered how many calories you burn off rollerskiing? Skier Ulf Rehnstrom recorded 3,200 kcal on his heart rate monitor at the last Dorney Level 2 course, compared with 1,900 kcal for the Level 1 course he did in the autumn. It just shows how the more you practice, the better the workout you get (we did 3 laps of Dorney Lake on the last Level 2 day).

Our next Dorney course is this Sunday, 3rd February then on Sunday 24th February. I've added a Level 2 group to the 3rd Feb day in response to demand. To book up - and burn off some calories - go to


I'd like to welcome new instructor Ekaterina Rachel to the coaching team at Dorney. Ekaterina grew up in Russia, where as a teenager she was one of her region's top cross-country ski racers. She came to England a few years ago to teach Russian and ended up marrying the school's rowing coach!

Ekaterina became qualified as a rollerski instructor back in October, through the Snowsport England coaching scheme, and will be instructing at Dorney this weekend.


With the growth of British rollerskiing, each year there seems to be more activities to get involved in. Each year I come up with a rollerski racing calendar (last year's is at ) but rollerski touring is an equally popular aspect of the recreational rollerski world.

The LRNSC recently published a UK wide rollerski tour calendar in its newsletter, which I've reproduced here - see


At the Dolomitenlauf (see below) I met up with Hilary Field of the London Region Nordic Ski Club - a remarkable character who had just celebrated her 70th birthday by taking part in the Jizerska Padesatka ski marathon on 13th January.

It's been good to hear of other rollerskiers who have taken part in ski marathons, and I've added their accounts at


I'm just back from a weekend trip to the Dolomitenlauf in the Austrian Tirol. Great snow up in the fairytale resort of Obertilliach made this an enjoyable race, despite a hilly course and fairly high altitude (the race was to be in the flatter and lower town of Lienz, but moved due to lack of snow). I finished the 42k race in just over 2hrs 40mins, which was OK, but wish I'd had more time to acclimatise!

I should possibly have taped on my ski pole tips as one was lost when someone skied over it (so skied 30k with just one pole). I took inspiration from Hugh Pritchard, who one year skied the whole 42k La Sgambda race one year with only one arm - the other was in a sling!


Snowsport England are running their on-snow cross-country ski course again this year in Kvitavatn, Norway from 29th March to 5th April. This is an excellent course with some very good instructors. Mike Dixon, Patrick Winterton, Mark Gee and Alan Eason will be the cross-country ski coaches: all have raced cross-country skiing or biathlon at an international level and are excellent communicators. They will make a real difference to your cross-country ski technique on snow, or help translate rollerski skills onto snow.

More info at (you will have to click on 'Event Calendar' and search around for it - unfortunately the website doesn't allow you to link directly to the relevant page)


The British Biathlon and Cross-Country Ski Championships began on Saturday in Obertilliach, Austria. You can follow results and goings-on at the British Biathlon website, Names to look out for include rollerski instructor Alan Eason, guest instructor Olwen Thorn, Barbara Baker of our Hyde Park sessions and Rupert Butcher, leader of the Wessex Biathlon squad. Good luck to them all!


This year sees some of Britain's top junior cross-country skiers take on the world's best at the World Junior Championships. 8 skiers from across the UK will take part in the races in Szczyrk-Wisla, Poland from 3-10 Feb 2008. They are -

Junior Women:
Fiona Hughes (Yorkshire Dales Cross Country Ski Club)
Sarah Young (Huntly Nordic Ski Club)

Junior Men:
PJ Barron (Huntly Nordic Ski Club)
Alastair Duncan (Cairngorm Biathlon & Nordic Ski Club)
Andrew Musgrave (Huntly Nordic Ski Club)
Simon Platt (Lakeland Cross-Country Ski Club)
Simon Spencer (Wessex Biathlon & Nordic Ski Club)
Alex Standen (Huntly Nordic Ski Club)



Good training, good holidays and take care!

Best regards

Iain Ballentine
Roller ski instruction & rollerski shop

M: 07968 286129
T: 020 8348 2540

Rollerskiing in thelondonpaper -

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The Rollerski Co & Rollerski Instruction 2008