NW Push Culture Update – 2011
April 9, 2011 1 Comment
Update: P-Town Throwdown Success! May 22nd, 2011
Over 500 pounds of food was donated for this event with over 80 riders participating. This 7th annual race went off on a nice 70 degree partly sunny day. Robin McGuirk of Eastside Longboards joined forces with Josh Burt of the Portland Pusher Series to organize this race from Mt.Tabor to Sellwood Park. Daddies Board Shop donated big time with loads of prizes as they have all the previous years along with Subsonic Skateboards, Longboard Larry and of course Eastside Longboards. Many others from a far like Timeship Racing and Abec 11 threw down as well along with local supporters Yoga Union and Hot Lips pizza. But none of it would have happened without the generous longboarders of Portland who came out to donate all this food to the hungry in Portland!
The News Media also caught the spirit of this event and Channel 2 got the coverage and put it on the Sunday night news later that day: http://www.katu.com/home/video/122474364.html
The race was once again won by Robin McGuirk with Will Best 2nd, Brandon Dejarlias 3rd, and Abel Cardenas 4th, all of which broke Robin’s previous time record set in 2008. Full Results and Times
(Original Post below)
Reporting on the Push scene here in the NW, I wanted to spread the word about the three longest running endurance races in my area. Inspired by the infamous Portland Pusher Series from 2003 -2008, they all represent what push racing means here in the NW. The courses consist of varied terrain that challenge the rider’s skill at making the course as fast as possible. The Pacific Northwest is a breeding ground for many all-around skaters like me, doing a lot of downhill, freeride, park, and just plain pushing through traffic, up and down hills, to get places. I believe doing it all is what makes you a more diverse skater, able to tackle anything with confidence. These races bring out everyone in the local longboard community because they are not too long and have a lot of fun sections of downhill with corners to handle at speed while riding the different routes. This variety is what shaped my style of push when battling other top racers in the world at events like the Broadway Bomb and Adrenalina Marathons.
Race 1: Vancouver Vixon 3
On March 27th, 2011 the Vancouver Vixon was ran for the 3rd time. The first was in 2008 in the fall, which was rainy and the trail was covered with leaves making for a lot of resistance. The second time was in 2009 during the summer, which was very dry and clean. And this recent third run was wet again but with no leaves, just really slick with mossy sections. The whole course goes along a section of the Discovery Trail in Vancouver, WA for 13.5 miles (half marathon), which is just across the Columbia River from Portland, OR. Along with the Portland Pusher Series, these races have been the two most popular Push races in the area. Winner of the last two Vixon races, I had invited some riders from outside the area to challenge me. James Peters of Paved Wave from Seattle and Conan Gay from Eugene, both of whom I raced in the Adrenalina Marathon in Florida last year.
42 riders showed up on a wet but not raining morning at 10am to meet the organizer Chris Stevens of Northwest Shirts.
He had maps ready for the riders and explained the route in detail (even though some people still got lost at times). The start and finish are the same with the course going to one end and coming back the same way. As Chris said the route was a mixed bad of flat, smooth, rough, uphill, and downhill with some hairy wet corners. One of which corner has claimed a few riders over the years sliding off into a nearby creek, which happened to me the first year hahaha! The diversity of the course kept you on your toes and made it more challenging to skate fast than just a flat route.
The race started out not raining but about a third of the way through it started coming down but it didn’t faze too many by then as the blood was pumping and the race was in full swing. I started out in the back of the pack to give everyone a bit of head start.
I wanted the chance to pass everyone eventually and make it more challenging for me. Little did I know I had a few more challenges ahead of me. About halfway to the turn around point I caught up to the leaders Abel Cardenas, Brandon DeJarlais, and Conan Gay. There was a small pack of 3 or so a little ways behind us 4. Then we came upon a road crossing where we followed Abel who misread the map he had and led us the wrong way. It being 2 years since I last skated the route, I was not sure either and us 4 took a detour diverting us about a quarter mile by the time we got back on track. The 3 pack behind us was now ahead of us and beat us to the halfway point. I knew there was time to catch them but I had to notch it up a gear in pace to track them down.
I didn’t panic or go too crazy, but the feeling in my stomach was not good and it took a second to calm down and set my pace towards them. Sure enough I had them in my sites soon after the mid point. I passed them, one of which I knew, Max Wipperman from Seattle. Then I started to relax a bit knowing there was about 5 miles left in the race with a comfortable lead. Abel, Brandon, and Conan eventually passed the 3 pack as well. All I could see was Abel a good 30 yards behind me as I came upon another crossing. In the pouring rain I missed another trailhead and went up a cross road too far. Damm I couldn’t believe it happened again as I looked down the road to see a group of riders crossing into the trailhead that I missed. This time I did panic and started sprinting to chase them down. It took a while and I was breathing hard, but not long after I passed most of them until I got up to Abel. He was running strong and pushed with both feet fairly well. My style is dominantly pushing with my right leg then tucking for a bit, and only pushing with my left leg on uphills. Abel was pushing equally and keeping a good 10 feet ahead of me for a while.
We had a couple miles left coming to an uphill section that was a fast downhill during the first part of the race. I had spent a lot of energy catching back up and could tell Abel was tired but determined to give me a run for my money. No one else was really close to us at this point and we battled on the uphill. I stayed with him and as we passed each 2 or 3 times until we got to the top and the last mile or so of flat. This section had a good quarter mile of ridiculously rough pavement like little spikes pointing up. We hit it in the beginning but with a lot more energy. The trick was to not put that much weight on your board and push fast through it so you don’t feel it as much. Now that we were tired it was much harder and very draining on the legs. I was pulling away now but he was still in striking distance if he had something left for the last half mile of smooth to the finish. About 100 feet from the finish there was a small crowd cheering me on and I thought this was the new finish line for some reason. So I did a stand-up slide across and stopped. I looked behind me and Abel was tearing towards me as fast as he could go. The crowd yelled at me saying to keep going, I got back on my board and we had a push-out to the finish! I just barely stayed in front of him around a small corner to the end.
It was very close but somehow I pulled it off despite the extra challenges I endured. In the end I’m glad I had them as it made for an interesting race forcing me to change my pace several times.
Brandon, Conan, and Max came in shortly after for 3rd, 4th, and 5th place. After everyone had finished there was a huge prize raffle with money spent on raffle tickets going to the local group called the Urban Growers Market in downtown Vancouver. Over $200 was raised for this backyard growers market and community food resource. Chris Stevens handed out the prizes from all the sponsors including:
- Bad Monkey Bike and Skate – Eastside Longboards – Northwest Shirts – Brickhouse Bar & Grill – Daddies Board Shop – Fat Lip Industries – Subsonic Skateboards – Rip City Skate – One World Merchants
There were plenty of prizes for all including some hand made art from local old school skater Skip Marcotte for the DFL (Dead F**kin Last) and Best crash/road rash award!
All in all the entire event was a great success and no one got too hurt. The after party was at the Brickhouse Bar & Grill who served delicious Bison Burgers yuummm! Daddies Board Shop photographer Spencer Morgan took some photos and made a little video of the race.
Race 2: The Seattle Pusher
This event is organized by Shane Donogh of Northwest Longboarding.com. The first was in 2008, second in 2009, and third in 2010. I won the first two and forfeited last year’s race due to a family wedding, and had to hand over the cup to the new Champion Rain Daley of Seattle. All of the different routes have been between 8 and 13 miles, but all followed the tradition of Push Races in the NW by being very rugged over varied terrain. A mix of uphill, downhill, flat, and some gnarly obstacles like expansion gaps over bridges to cross, which claimed at least one longboard into the water below haha. The Seattle Pusher Cup provided by Shane is very nice and heavy, hopefully someday I will get it back we’ll see! Next Seattle Pusher should be later this summer, check Northwestlongboarding.com for updates.
Race 3: P-Town Throwdown
The next on-going annual race in the area is called the P-Town Throwdown. This year it will be on May 22, 2011. Formerly known as the Annie Ross Open for the last five years, it was a charity fundraiser for the homeless organized by local skater Will Best. Before that it was the original course for Portland Pusher 4 in 2005. The Portland Pusher Series went from 2003-2008 organized by local skateboard enthusiast Josh Burt. He had 2 races a year for a total of 10 in the series, all on different routes in Portland.
This year’s race is a charity race for the Oregon Food Bank: The P-Town Throwdown. 4 cans of food are required for entry. Racers will get one raffle ticket for every 4 items of food they donate. More food, more tickets, more chances to wins prizes at the raffle from all the generous sponsors: Daddies Board Shop, Eastside Longboards, Longboard Larry, Subsonic Skateboards, and more. The course is 8.5 miles long down the lower Eastside of Portland from Mt.Tabor to Sellwood Park. Going along a city bike route, there are very few stop signs and only 3 light signals to watch for. And as a bonus, skating on the streets of Portland is completely legal, a city ordinance set back in 2000 (20.12.205). The first 5 miles is a slight downhill with two 6-10 block sections of downhill that riders can get up to 30mph on. There is very little uphill and the last 3.5 miles is on a flat bike path going along the Willamette River to the finish line. P-Town Throwdown Map I have never been defeated on this course and would love for someone to push me even harder than before – Hint Hint – Come on out NYC boys!!! My record time is 25:11 set in 2008. Last year it was 26:18.
Here are all the details on this year’s P-Town Throwdown. NCDSA.com SIGN – UP Link
Let’s have another big turnout and bring lots of food!!! NCDSA.com SIGN – UP Link
These are my favorite local Push Races, which has formed my style of racing today. Now putting that on the line in different parts of the world, against tougher competition, on flatter and longer courses is the greatest challenge I’ve faced… As you can tell, I’m extremely excited on the recent announcement of the new Adrenalina Marathon World Tour, expect to see me at the first event at Governors Island, NY July 30th, 2011.
Big Thanks to Daddies Board Shop for sending this Northwest rep out to battle!!!