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Grandfather & Grandson Inline Skate 87 Miles Together at Athens to Atlanta A2A 2007

[Editor's note: I posted this for Jim after he sent the info at my request. I wanted this story to be in the 2007 A2A Journals collection we are building!]

After the Athens to Atlanta skate this year, the Herbsts, a couple who skated the 52 mile distance wanted to know more about the granddad-grandson team who skated the full 87 mile distance.  Here's what I wrote.  My wife and daughter-in-law took pictures at the rest stops and at the finish.   I've included those also.

The Story

Regarding Glen and Kari Herbst's request for 'the story' of the granddad-grandson duo this year, I'll try to fill you in.  And to my skater friends, know that I didn't pay the Herbsts to ask for 'the story'. Nevertheless, shy tho I am, here goes.

I began inline skating at the aggressive age of sixty-four, taking some group lessons through Fairfax County's recreation department.  After the group lessons I started skating in 1999 with WAR, the Washington Area Roadskaters.  Also, in the Spring of '99 I took Eddy Matzger's weekend course of basics. Signing up for the 38 mile A2A distance that same year, I refused to do it on the Sunday of the event because it was raining.   So we left Atlanta that rainy Sunday morning from grandson Daniel's house, and came straight back to Virginia, not even stopping in Athens.

From 2000 through 2003, I did the 38 mile distance each of those four years.  In '04 I did the 52 mile distance at the less aggressive age of seventy.  At the end of each A2A event, Grandma and I would visit with the Atlanta Dillards, David, Miranda, Daniel, and Sophie.

But how did Daniel come to make up our duo. At about Daniel's age six, we gave him his first metal frame inline skates. When visiting from Atlanta in the summers with his family, he learned to skate our neighborhood hills as well as skate on our area's W&OD (Washington & Old Dominion) trail. A summer routine was to take Daniel and younger sister Sophie to a shoe shop to measure their growing feet and then off to get longer skates.  In 2006, during their spring break, we took Daniel and Sophie to Orlando for a week. Daniel and I skated the Disney Inline Marathon during that time.

As Daniel had become more interested in skating, we invited him to spend the summer with us and take a unit of SkatersQuest's training program as offered by Krista Heubusch.  During the summer of '06, Daniel decided he would like to do the 87 event with me that fall. In mid-August of '06 we skated the St.Paul Marathon.  Then due to an unfriendly meet-up I had with the ground while training at the end of August, I was unable to skate A2A in 2006.  However, Daniel went ahead and skated the 52 mile distance with SkatersQuest.

Towards the first part of this year, when Daniel heard I was going to go for the 87 again, he started training for it also.  In August of this
year we did the St.Paul Marathon again. And the rest of the story you know.

I have much for which to be thankful, not the least of which is good health and my wife Mary who has encouraged me to hurry up and get the 87 obsession completed already!  And thanks to skater friends.  Besides the joy and excitement created by skating, equally satisfying are the meeting and getting to know the people with whom you skate.

As Chuck Opperman would say, "Lets Roll!!"

Photos to follow.

[Editor's note: Following is a link sent by Jim for the photos.]


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