Several regional and national media reported from the event and a livestream made it possible for fans from all over the world to follow the action. “We are happy that the WIC Marathon is growing year by year and we are happy to be a part of this success in the last three years and also in the future”, said Volker Schlichting, Executive Director of the WORLD INLINE CUP.
Windy course on the riverside
The marathon course lead over seven laps on the riverside of the Songhua River in Harbin. Athletes from countries such as Belgium, Columbia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Venezuela came to race on the windy course. In the leading group Felix Rijhnen (Powerslide Matter Racing Team) tried several breakaways but the chasing pack which included French Marathon World Champion Nolan Beddiaf (EOSkates) and also Patxi Peula (Vitoria-Gasteiz International Team) was very strong.
In the end Patxi Peula could cross the finish line first before Felix Rijhnen and Nolan Beddiaf. “This was the 3rd WIC Marathon in Harbin, and year by year the speed skating is growing in Harbin, in China and in the world. Last year I think there were 68 teams and this year more than 120. The numbers speak for themselves. I’m happy to stay here one more time, and even more happy not only to win but to share the podium with the Marathon World Champion 2018 and 2019 and the current leader of the WIC Ranking too”, commented the winner the event after the race.
In the women’s race, strong skaters from Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, New Zealand and Columbia were competing for points and prize money. The pack stayed together until the finish line. Eventually, Aura Quintana Herrera (Vitoria-Gasteiz International Team) was the first on the podium followed by the Colombian Elizabeth Arnedo and Sandrine Tas (Powerslide Matter World Team) after a photo finish decision.
New Track Record for the ladies
This year an extra prize money of about 1,000 USD was offered for breaking the track record from last year. While in the men’s race the 2018 record of Bart Swings could not be improved, Aura Quintana Herrera improved Chloe Geoffroy’s time from last year and could add 1,000 USD to her prize money. Her name will be engraved in the plinth of a statue which was unveiled this year near the track.
Patxi Peula (ESP) - Vitoria-Gasteiz International Team
Felix Rijhnen (GER) - Powerslide Matter World Team
Nolan Beddiaf (FRA) - EOSkates World Team
Aura Quintana Herrera (COL) - Vitoria-Gasteiz International Team
Elizabeth Arnedo (COL) - Columbia
Sandrine Tas (BEL) - Powerslide Matter World Team