The Ian Tilmann Lake Lousia State Park 5k and 10k Longboard Races in Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine!
What a great day to be out at Lake Louisa State Park for a fun filled day of skateboarding races!
If I can just find the dang place! Geez!
This GPS system in my phone has taken me to two different neighborhoods that were obviously not the State Park, and both times said cheerfully, "You have arrived at your destination".
NO I HAVEN'T! I replied both times! Doh! Technology, don't depend on it!
How can you give the same input to a GPS system and get two wrong outputs?...calculating.
I had to go old school and break out the hard copy map and reference it with a Post Man, and a Circle K employee whom lives in the area.
Yep, off to a great start and once I find the locale, I still have to jet over to Tampa to cover another skateboarding event before it ends!
"I was way off track" I thought to myself, as I passed about nine dudes that looked like the evil version of the "Duck Dynasty crew",
dragging a huge dead hog out of the woods. They looked at me like they'd seen a ghost, and I made sure not to stop so I wouldn't become a ghost.
Seventeen miles and two left turns later, I finally spot the entrance to the State Park.
Myself and two other car loads are directed to park our vehicles over to the side as the 10K Racers are approaching.
Boom! Timing is everything! I park my vehicle as instructed and jump out of my car with camera in hand, waiting for the participants to show themselves.
Whoa, the skaters don't even look tired as they approach the turn around point underneath this blistering Florida Sun.
As the skaters roll by I grab as many images as possible.
As the last skaters make their way back into Lake Louisa State Park, those of us who have been instructed to park to the side are now being told by the park ranger that we will be allowed into the park in a few minutes.
Well that worked out, I got the pics I wanted at the turn around anyway.
This distance race is taking place in Lake County Florida, where the second highest elevations exist in the state, the highest elevation is in Walton county, the city of Lakewood at three hunderd and forty five feet above sea level in the Florida Panhandle.
For the Peninsula portion of the state of Florida, the city of Clermont and Astatula have the most hills with Sugar Loaf Mountain being the second highest point in the state at
three hundred and fifteen feet above sea level. Florida isn't flat after all!
The State Park's paved trail has some small grade incline and declines, but nothing serious for these longtime competitors.
As the group of cars I'm boxed in with finally reach the interior parking lot, I'm able to quickly grab a spot and make my way over to the area where a huge crowd of spectators,
and participants have gathered for the timed results. I'm introduced over the sound system by Morgan Monroe of the Hollywood Summit show, "Coping Block Skate Mag is in the house"!
There are people everywhere and if this is a sign of things to come, then Longboarding in Florida is going to become even bigger than it is now!
The first thing I noticed is the amount of south Florida families that have made the trip to support their family and friends, also crews from north Florida including the Gainesville based "ECHO" Longboarding crew.
There are skaters from Miami to New York, from the northwest United States and Canada all at this Ian Tilmann Foundation and ISDA sanctioned Longboarding event.
There are two races at this event a 10k and a 5K, a slalom clinic by Keith Hollien, a Longboard dance contest, and a world record breaking attempt for riding on one wheel.
In my day we'd call it a one wheel wheelie! There are some familiar faces in the crowd including JORDI of Jords Boards out of south Florida and Cami Best of Bustin Boards out of New York city.
Look for Cami's interview in Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine real soon!
The 10k Race has already been run and now the 5k participants are lining up after about a forty five minute break and re-hydration.
And their off!
When all the skateboarders have crossed the finish line, it is announced that only the top ten skaters actually made the correct turn around.
So all the other skaters will have to race again to qualify for prizes or be disqualified. Skaters quickly agreed to race again and when I look at the stamina required to push a 10k, a 5k, and then another 5k, I'm impressed.
No matter what kind of skateboarding you do, if you want to be the best, or get good at it you're going to have to practice frequently to raise your skill level.
Skating an empty pool all day takes as much stamina as pushing does, you must take care of your body and mind and stay hydrated when skateboarding.
Longboarding has come a long way in this state and the popularity of the sport has rocketed to the top of skateboarding.
If you don't think so, ask a shop owner how many Longboards they sell verses street decks.
There's more to come on this event! Don't forget to visit www.copingblock.com