NorthShore Blog

Rollerski Rules Interpretation | Race Course Outline

Race Director - Tone Coughlin

There have been some questions about the rollerski race rules. Here are some interpretations of race rules for 2011.


Section 1. Rollerski Equipment
Q – A.1 Rollerski sport equipment must be available as a commercially produced product that is available to the general public*
A – Rollerskis, bindings, boots, poles, etc. have to be produced and not hand made. You are allowed to use inline equipment such as wheels and bearings.

Q – A.2 The diameter of the wheels must not be more than 100 mm*
A – A standard must be set for a limitation on wheel size. You CAN use inline wheels, bearings, etc.

Q – A.3 The distance between the axles of the Rollerskis must not be less than 530 mm*
A – You cannot use inline skates, they must be rollerskis.

Q – A.4 Two ski poles with specific Rollerski or Cross-Country skiing tips must be Used*
A – Please don’t use your regular baskets for snow skiing.

Q – A.5 Approved cycling helmets (ANSI and/or SNELL approved) and eye protection must be worn*
A – Even though the speeds are slower, you still need to wear a helmet. Pavement is less forgiving than snow.

Q – A.6 Shoes or ski boots have to be fixed on the Rollerskis with a Cross-Country Binding*
A – Self explanatory. Your heel cannot be fixed to the ski, it must be able to lift up while keeping the toe secured.

Q – A.7 The changing of poles and Rollerskis is allowed during the competition*
A – If you break a pole you are allowed to acquire a replacement one.

Q – A.8 Competitors are permitted to change or repair equipment during the competition but they must do this without any outside assistance other than being handed the replacement equipment or tools.
A – We will have tools at the start line and along the course for competitors to repair their own equipment.

Section 2. Rollerski Clothing
Q – B.1 Torso clothing must be worn at all times covering at least ¾ of the upper body with bibs mounted on the front unfolded and/or wrinkled in a visible fashion.
A – You have to have a shirt/pants/shorts on. No shirtless skiiers. No skiing in a sports bra.

Q – B.2 The use of gloves is permitted.
A – You can wear gloves if you wish.

Section 3. Race Rules
Q – C.1 Skating is not permitted for the first 70 m after the start. You must double pole.
A – There will be starting lanes at the start line. Hold these lines for 70 meters until the racers have been spaced out.

Q – C.2 Finishers must hold their line within the last 100 M of the finish. Excessive movement side to side will result in a disqualification.
A – Stay straight while on the finish stretch to make it fair for everyone to have a good sprint to the line.

* Race rules adapted from the Cross-Country ICR

There are also some rumors floating around about the length of cement the rollerskiiers have to race on. It is NOT 5 miles. It is exactly 2.3 miles from the time you enter I-35 to the time you exit for 5th Ave. W. The finish stretch of 350 meters is all black top. It is NOT around the back side of the DECC where the inline skaters finish.

Racing Tips
– Train for what you are racing on. Hit some cement road stretches during training so you know what to expect.
– Train in the rain. It is quite possible we will have inclement weather during the race. Know what clothing to wear too.
– Purchase a pair of fast racing rollerskiis. We spend a lot of money on fast racing xc-skis to GO FAST. Why would you not want fast rollerskiis? There are many options for making your race faster and more enjoyable.
– Get used to downhills and tight turns. 700 meters before the finish line there are two 90 degree turns and one sweeping 180 degree downhill turn. Please practice slowing down and taking corners!!
– Be aware on the race course. This is a first year event tailing the last skaters, 30 minutes after the last wave. For 15 years there have been only inline skaters, it is quite possible a car or two may wander on the course. Keep your head up and go with the flow.

Have fun and stay positive!
Race Director
Tone Coughlin