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Interview: Adam Kocinski

April 18, 2004

This August, organizers will hold the inaugural St. Paul Inline Marathon. The 26.2 mile event will wind through the streets of St. Paul and is expected to draw well over 2,500 participants.

We interviewed the event's general manager, Adam Kocinski, by email on Friday, April 16th.

  • Skinnyski: Tell us a little about the St. Paul Inline Marathon... how did the idea get started?

    Kocinski: The Saint Paul Inline Marathon is a certified 26.2 mile marathon along both Werner and Shepard roads in St. Paul, parallel to the Mississippi River. The race is well suited for inline skaters at every ability level, from the professionals to recreational skaters.
    Marilyn Franzen and Mike Cofrin, co-founders of the Saint Paul Inline Marathon have had the vision of producing an inline marathon in the Twin Cities for almost 10 years now. Marilyn always thought that the course was perfect for an inline marathon, but the roadways on Werner and Shepard roads needed work before it could ever be considered. In 2003 the final touches on both roads were complete and are now in perfect condition, "paving" the way for the genesis of the Saint Paul Inline Marathon. It was decided over lunch that the event must go on, and the rest is history. I was brought on board as the General Manager for the marathon and am the point person for all aspects of the event.

  • Skinnyski: What is the course, roughly?

    Kocinski: Staging area and start: The staging area of the certified 26.2 mile marathon will take place at Lower Landing Park, which is on the riverside of Werner Road, just east of Sibley, with the start line on Werner Road, adjacent to the park.
    The On-Course Route:

    • Participants start heading west in the eastbound vehicular lanes on Werner Road.
    • Continue west to Shepard road all the way to the turn-around at or near Gannon Road.
    • After the turnaround, the skaters will be heading east in the westbound lanes on Shepard Road.
    • They will continue onto Werner road and at Fish Hatchery Rd. continue up the hill on the right side of all the cones for about 1/10th of a mile towards Hwy 61 and take a 180-degree turn around the last and largest cone.
    • Head down the hill on the left side of the west bound lane and jag right between the median and Fish Hatchery Road and head west in the east bound lane on Werner.
    • Go past the starting area for the second lap to the turnaround at or near Gannon.
    • Make the same 180-degree turn into the westbound lane on Shepard and head east to Jackson.
    • Turn left onto Kellogg
    • When crossing at Wabasha, take a quick right to left jag into the westbound lane and continue past St. Peter, Market and Washinginton Streets.
    • The Finish line will be on Kellogg in front of the Xcel Energy Center, at or just east of the skyway.

  • Skinnyski: Are there other urban marathon events around the country?

    Kocinski: The Saint Paul Inline Marathon is currently ranked #3 in the nation behind the North Shore Inline Marathon (4,000 plus skaters) and Disney, (2000 plus skaters) and we have yet to run our event. There are other urban events similar to the Saint Paul Inline Marathon out east and out west, but with our event expecting a total of 2500 to 3000 skaters in our first year, I can safely say there are no other urban inline marathon events quite like ours.

  • Skinnyski: Inline skating is a pretty mainstream sport these days -- is the marathon designed for racers or really just about anyone?


    (Photo: Rollerblade)
    Kocinski: The Saint Paul Inline Marathon was designed for skaters of all abilities and for all ages (13 and over). While there will be a lot of folks out racing for a good competitive time, there will be an equal amount of folks out to enjoy the day, challenging themselves just to finish a marathon.

  • Skinnyski: Will there be some elite level racers competing as well?

    Kocinski: The Saint Paul Inline Marathon will include a very strong field of pro elite level skaters, most of which will finish the marathon in about one hour. This provides all of our other competitors the chance to see the pro elite level skaters pass by a total of three times prior to their start. Our course is also very spectator friendly, giving family, friends and other interested fans many different opportunities to see and encourage their favorite pros, family and friends along the way.

  • Skinnyski: Any recommendations on training for such an event? Is there some places offering training groups or programs.

    Kocinski: We currently have two GREAT training options for interested skaters.

    • Zephyr Online Training -They are offering a six week online training program starting exactly six weeks prior to the St. Paul Inline Marathon. This training program is valued at $70.00 and is free to all those registered for the St. Paul Inline Marathon.
    • Robichon's Skate School -Robichon's is a nationally renowned in-line skate company celebrating eleven years of earth shattering fun and service to the inline skate community. Known for their premier in-line skate lesson programs and positive exercise experiences available for all ages, all abilities and all interests in the state of Minnesota and beyond.

  • Skinnyski: How about equipment recommendations -- are there some kinds of equipment upgrades that might help the average inline skater?

    Kocinski: There are many small in-expensive upgrades that can be made to a pair of inline skates to make them faster. Whether it be wheels, bearings or even new skates, our partner RollerBob.com would be happy to help anyone interested in upgrading their current equipment or upgrading to entirely new equipment.

  • Skinnyski: What about nutrition/fuel for the event?

    Kocinski: There will be many water/food stops along the course and at the finish line, but as with all events, if you have special needs, bringing your own water and or food is encouraged.

The St. Paul Inline Marathon has their next price hike on May 1st, so get your registrations in this month!

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