ROLLERSKI NEWSLETTER - 12th February 2013

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ROLLERSKI NEWSLETTER - 12th February 2013

Rollerski preparations for snow - and for fitness - continue. �The season has been good so far - skiers have reported good snow across Europe.� Thankfully it is not disrupted us too much in Hyde Park / Dorney.

Right now we're busy with the ski-marathon build-up - the Engadin Skimarathon looks like it will enjoy record numbers of UK-based entrants this year.� At the top level, GB's young cross-country ski and biathlon racers are breaking new ground, which is good news with the Winter Olympics only a year away.�

We have a busy programme in February and March, and great plans for the Spring and beyond, so I hope you can join us -

On Sunday 3rd March we will heading East, with a one-day course at the excellent Redbridge Cycle Circuit. �Redbridge is located close to the M25, at the bottom of the M11, making it very accessible to skiers in East Anglia, Essex and Kent, as well as East London.

The course will be for beginners and more advanced skiers, and you can sign up here -�

The venue is probably the best rollerski track in the London region - there's a flat section for beginners an excellent hill for more advanced skiers, and the tarmac is beautifully smooth.� If this day is a success, we will run this as a monthly venue, like Dorney, between September and the Spring.

We'll be in Dorney Lake this Sunday, 17th February and again on 17th March and 14th April. �(The March date is changed, to avoid Mother's Day, and we'll start at 10.30 to avoid clashing with an earlier event). �You can book here -

I've also added another 4-week SK rollerski beginners' course, starting this Saturday, see -� and we have a classic 4-week course taking place in March, see -

With our regular Hyde Park training group growing both in numbers and in competence, the club has appointed a new 'Head Coach', to give the group a little more structure. �Mantas Strolia has taken on the challenge, and you can read more on this here -

We have yet to pass on the increased prices of a stronger euro - most of our rollerski stock was bought when the pound was stronger - so now is a very good time to invest in rollerskis. �Our shop is here -� I'll keep prices unchanged for now, and review the situation in early March as new stock comes in.

This time next year the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games will be well underway. �Leading the charge on the cross-country ski side will be Andrew Musgrave, who has been in good form this season, with a 4th place in the World U23 Championships and two World Cup top 20 Sprint finishes (one at the Tour de Ski, and one at the Sochi test event last week).

There's a good profile on Andrew at the BBC website here -�

Lee Jackson looks set to be GB's main biathlon hope, but others are doing well in the team, including Kevin Kane who finished 62nd/136 at the World Championships on Saturday. �The young 'civilians' of Aviemore's Cairngorm Biathlon Club are snapping at the heels of the more established Army skiers: Calum Irvine achieved a great 21st/108 at the IBU Youth World Championships in Obertilliach last month, while Robert Sircus was the best Junior skier at the British Biathlon Championships, despite still being a Youth.� He claimed first place in both the 10k Sprint and 15k Individual biathlon races. �Results are here -�

Our instructors Felicity and Katya have played their part in the junior athletes' success - Flic was helping the British Nordic Development Squad at the British Champs, and Katya is heading out later this month for the European Youth Olympics. �It's great to see the young racers doing so well with very limited resources.

GB currently has 162 racers registered for the Engadin Skimarathon - including me - see �I don't know what it is about the Engadin, but it seems to capture the imagination of Brits like no other ski marathon. �I'm teaming up with Joss Ridley, who was on the very first rollerski course I ran in January 2005, and who now runs a very excellent pub in Essex, the Compasses -

Alan Eason will be there, running a week of preparation, to get us ready, see �and Katya might also be putting in an appearance. �The Engadin is a good one if you're on a budget, as the race entry pays for half the train journey from Zurich Airport, and you can stay in budget accommodation like the Youth Hostel in Pontresina, or the dreaded nuclear bunkers (which I wouldn't necessarily recommend).

Besides the Engadin, there are many other marathons across Europe (and the world) worth doing, see

* �Race prep - �here are some good racing tips -�
* �From ISPO, here is a prototype rollerski with brake -�
* �Canadian cross-country ski team bus -�
* �Blog from a skier who rollerskied the whole length of Sweden -�

Hope to see you soon, on rollerskis or snow,

Best regards,
Iain + The Team

Iain Ballentine
Roller ski instruction & rollerski shop

M:� 07968 286129
T:�� 020 8348 2540

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