Wisbech speed skater Mike McInerney took to the road in Barcelona, Spain at the weekend to race against the world's best in the highly anticipated Masters marathon race event. This was the final speed skating event of the week-long World Roller Games and proved to be the most exciting, joining the 13-strong GB team at the games. The race was split into age categories with Mike in the men's under-50 category for the 26-mile race on the streets of Barcelona. With a total of 341 men on the start line in various age categories, the race was actioned-packed. Fifty skaters in the Open category finished within a minute of eventual race winner Beddiaf Nolan from France, who completed the race in a time of 1hour and 55 seconds. In the Masters category, four skaters made a break at the front and Mike was left with the remaining pack. He sprinted to the line to finish in fifth place in a time of 1 hour and 8 minutes, 6 minutes behind the Masters category winner. The result means that Mike holds the highest finishing position in a single race for the GB team, just shy of the podium. The result also sees Mike obtain a PB over his marathon result from last year at the British Marathon Championships, which was completed in a time of 1 hour and 13 minutes. Mike said afterwards, "Thanks for everyone's support and help in getting me fit!" after the team were full of praise and congratulations for the veteran skater.
Photo credit: Diccon Scrivens
Wisbech Speed Skaters re-visited Tatem Park in Enfield for the final race event before the British Championships held later this month. Eleven skaters competed in the summer sunshine and put on a strong display after training hard this summer. Siblings Leah and Taylor Barker finished in consistent second places in all three of their race events to take overall second in Categories 3 and 4 respectively. In Category 2 Lucy McInerney fought hard to take two wins and a third place gaining an overall first in Category 2. Warren Eve skating in Category 1, took two third places to finish overall third after a very strong performance in the 5,000mts elimination race, hot on the heels of Mike McInerney who gained first overall in Cat 1. In age categories, all minis and pupils took part in a new 'Last Man Standing' race which saw 9 year old Arthur Buckler smash the competition with an effortless first place. After some deliberation, Youths Flynn McGurk and James Eve were permitted to join the Juniors, Seniors and Masters in their 'Last Man Standing' race. Mike McInerney eased to victory and took the top spot with Flynn McGurk putting in an impressive performance to gain third place.
Wisbech speed skater, Michael McInerney, will take to the world stage next week in the forthcoming World Roller Games in Barcelona where he has been selected to represent Great Britain in the speed skating Masters Marathon of 26 miles. The race is the final event of the Roller Games and is being held in the city centre where the organisers are expecting huge crowds in attendance. It is a hotly anticipated finale with more than 1,200 skaters competing for the coveted titles in the various categories. Michael is back from injury at the European Masters marathon in London in June when he was forced to pull out of the competition after completing just a handful of miles, so he is fit and strong and eager to make amends after the bitter disappointment in London. "I have been training more or less every day since January for this, so to finish the way I did was so disappointing" said Michael afterwards.
Skating since the age of six years old, Michael is no stranger to International competition. He became European Champion in 1987 after winning the 3,000mts event in France as well as being selected to represent Great Britain over the years and has competed in countries including Colorado Springs, Spain, The Azores, Sicily, Germany, Portugal, Holland, France and Belgium. He currently holds the British records in the Masters category for the 1,000mts, 3,000mts and 5,000mts track events, and 20,000kms in the Senior mens road series, and has 50 British titles to his name.
London's Olympic Park was the venue for this year's major event for our local skaters, Wisbech Inline Speed, for a major international event - the European Masters Marathon. Skaters from all over Europe travelled to the capital for this inaugural event. The WISS team made the most of the rarely held event, the last of such being held in 1998, and six members took part, all being in the age bracket of over 30.
Mike McInerney, the favourite to earn a podium position, sadly suffered an injury in the early part of the 26 mile race and had to pull out from competition. He was bitterly disappointed after training hard all winter for the event. David Billington, in the same race as Mike, finished just one lap shy of the 26 mile marathon, by completing 25 laps, while Jo Tidman, met her own personal goal of a half marathon distance of 13 miles. This being her first marathon event. During the scorching heat of the afternoon sun, Luke Frary, Karl Bates and Graham Freear took to the track. Graham, the oldest skater of the team, was the only WISS skater to have completed a full marathon, while Karl finished just 6 laps after suffering from heatstroke. Luke managed an impressive 17 laps while carrying an injury from training.
The annual London Inline Marathon was held at the beginning of June at London's Olympic Park and two WISS members entered the half marathon of 13 miles, namely Lucy McInerney and Flynn McGurk. Lucy battled at the front in the ladies race with an epic sprint to the finish line and took the overall win by less than a skate length against competitors from Slovakia and Italy. Flynn, also battling against the Slovakian (mens) team, took 4th overall in the mens event after his rivals skated a tactical race, but he finished in second place in his age category and therefore took to the podium. Lucy was the only British female to make it onto the podium for the whole event.
The final of three back to back races was held on Sunday at Tatem Park in London and hosted some fantastic racing for local team, Wisbech Inline Speed Skaters. Eleven members of the team took to the smooth surface banked track, and every member of the team came home with a medal, displaying mature and experienced racing from all.
Kirby Barker, the youngest member of the whole competition showed how much he's improved by pipping the 3rd placed skater on the line in their 1,500kms race. He finished 3rd overall. Meanwhile, his brother, Taylor, put on an amazing display in Cat 3 to make a clean sweep of all three of his races to finish first overall. Arthur Buckler was moved to a category higher (cat 2) and battled against far bigger skaters! He took an epic win in the 3,000mts and finished 3rd overall in the category. He then went on to win in the 2,000mts Pupil Boys age category race with Taylor finishing behind him in second. James Eve, also in Cat 2, showed consistency in his racing by finishing overall in 2nd place, making a sprint to the line in the 3,000mts race to finished 2nd.
Flynn McGurk and Warren Eve showed great strength by battling at the front of the highly competitive Category 1 pack with Mike McInerney during the 3kms race but finished just off the podium. Flynn, along with Lucy McInerney, finished the 5,000mts races in 1st places in each of their age categories with Warren a close second in the Junior boys category in the same race. Mike McInerney had an immense battle with Essex rivals Bobby Ball and Daniel King during the 5,000mts points race and finished in second place. He also took an overall third in Cat 1. Finally, the Masters skaters had a successful outing. Luke Frary and Karl Bates finishing in 2nd and 3rd respectively, with Luke taking a third place in the 5,000mts race. Jo Tidman made a clean sweep in all three of her races, to finish on the top step of the podium.
WISS entered three teams in the six hour endurance race last weekend, two all-male teams of 5 and 4 members, and an all-female team of 5 members and were competing against 20 other teams.
The female team did exceptionally well and took a well-earned victory. Eve and Lucy McInerney and Kayleigh Rye were joined by Maya Bathgate from Essex and Heather James from the Midlands. The girls set a best lap time of 4mins 6.396s, completing a total of 68 laps.
The men's teams were split into WISS A and WISS B. Team coach Glen Brown led WISS B team to an 8th place finish, completing 63 laps with a best lap time of 4mins 44.628s . He was joined by David Billington, Graham Freear and Mark Bingham, this being Mark's first ever outdoor race and only his second race with the team.
WISS A team was led by coach and veteran skater Mike McInerney and joined by Karl Bates and teenagers Warren Eve, Flynn McGurk and James Eve. They took third place on the podium behind two strong teams from Essex and London, finishing just three laps behind them. They completed a total of 78 laps and set their best time of 3mins 58.147s.
Birmingham was the venue for the first race of the outdoor season for local speed skating team, Wisbech Inline Speed. A team of ten skaters took to the track in dry conditions to bring home medals galore!
Competing in age categories, Arthur Buckler (Pupil Boys) made a clean sweep in all four of his races with team-mate Taylor Barker hot on his heels. Taylor showed great potential finishing with two second places and two fourths to narrowly miss out on a well deserved podium spot. Kirby Barker (Mini Boys) skated impressively to take an overall second place in his category.
Flynn McGurk (Youth Boys) and Warren Eve (Junior Boys) skated tactical races together achieving 1st place in each of their age categories with fellow teammate James Eve (youth) finishing in overall second place. Female skaters Leah Barker (Mini Girls) and Lucy McInerney (Junior Girls) also finished in first place in their respective age categories, Leah showing great determination despite carrying an injury from training. Mike McInerney took overall second place in the competitive Senior Men's races. The team were joined by Karl Bates (Senior Men) skating for the first time at Birmingham.
The prestigious Ladies Venus Cup 5k was up for grabs with Lucy McInerney gaining a solid second place. Similarly, the Mens Keith Lee Boot 10k race took place with youngsters James, Flynn and Warren all competing for the first time with team mate and coach Mike McInerney for the title. As always, Mike gave an impressive performance and narrowly missed out on the win to Vincent Henry on his home track.
Arthur Buckler completes his back to back European race events with a dominant display in Germany. He took part in the 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000mts Pupil B boys Category mass starts in treacherous conditions of wind and rain with other skaters crashing out around him. But the youngster from Wisbech held his nerve and emerged victorious in each race to become the overall winner of the category.
This comes after a positive display indoors at the first international event at Arena Geisingen in Holland a few weeks ago in the Pupil B boys category (a move up from last year's category with older and stronger skaters).
In that event he found himself in a fast second place in the Flying lap shootout, just three hundredths of a second behind the winning time and finished in overall 4th position in the event, equalling on points of third place.
Team mates Eve and Lucy McInerney also joined Arthur in Geisingen. They also took some positives from the extremely competitive indoor event in the Junior Girls category racing with some of the best skaters in the world. Lucy gained herself a new Personal Best time after she improved her Flying lap 200mt sprint by 2 seconds over last year. Eve completed the 500mt sprint race in an impressive time of 48.773 seconds and found herself just 0.1 seconds off the qualifying time for the European Championships.
Photo: Adrian Wordsworth
Nottingham University was the venue for this year's Indoor Speed Skating British Championships where every member of the Wisbech team came home with at least one medal each, with a tally of 16 gold medals, 16 silver and 14 bronze medals . They also brought home seven British champions. Leah Barker was youngest member on the day to be crowned overall champion of the Mini Girls category with a hat-trick of wins, leading from the start in each race, the only WISS member to win all her races. Arthur Buckler battled it out at the front in the Pupil Boys category, finishing in second place in the Dobbin Sprint and first in his other two races to be crowned overall British Champion. Jo Tidman held comfortable second places across all three of her races in the Masters Ladies category. David Billington in the Masters Mens category took a tumble in race 3 and crossed the line in 3rd place, but still managed to finish as overall British Champion after winning his other two races. Taylor Barker took home three consistent third place finishes in the tough Pupil Boys category where he battled all the way for his well-earned podium places. His brother Kirby gained three podium places in the Mini Boys category. Flynn McGurk took the third overall fastest time of the day in the Dobbin Sprint and took gold in the Youth Boys category along with two second place finishes in his other two races, while fellow Youth Boys skater James Eve followed behind him in third place. Newcomer Kayleigh Rye skated well in her first British Championships event and finished in third place overall for the Youth Girls. Twin sisters Eve and Lucy McInerney took an incredible win in the Senior Ladies relay race winning ahead of their rivals by 3 laps. Coach and veteran racer Mike McInerney held the fastest time for the team in the Dobbin sprint 100mts flying lap with a time of 8.62 seconds, and battled hard in the 1,500mts race for a triumphant win.
The most eventful race of the day was the Senior Men's 30-lap relay race, where Mike McInerney and Flynn McGurk battled at the front with Essex rivals Bobby Ball and Dan King. Swapping the lead all race until an unfortunate crash involving Essex, saw Mike only just keep upright on eight wheels and crossed the line first to become relay champions for the second successive year. The Essex team were disqualified for a fault on track leaving the second WISS team of brothers Warren and James Eve to finish in second place.
WISS British Champions for 2019 are Leah Barker, Arthur Buckler, Flynn McGurk, Eve McInerney, Lucy McInerney, David Billington and Mike McInerney. Three members of the team were presented with certificates for breaking records during 2018. These were Luke Frary for 100mts road race, James Eve in the 15km road race and Arthur Buckler for 100mts and 3,000mts road races and 800mts and 2,000mts track races.
Arthur Buckler flew the flag for WISS last weekend in Evergem, Belgium to compete in the annual indoor race meeting, the first international race of the 2019 season. The event is now in its 20th year and welcomed skaters from Belgium, Netherlands and Germany as well as UK representatives from Essex. The 9 year old took part in the Pupil Boys category of 4 races, 6, 8, 10 and 12 laps where he eased to victory in each to become Champion for the second successive year. Well done Arthur! A fantastic achievement.
Photo: Adrian Wordsworth
Three races per category, a dobbin sprint and newly introduced special trophies for two distance races were the order of the day at the weekend. The under 16's took part in a 25-lap race to compete for the McInerney Trophy, which Arthur Buckler won with James Eve hot on his heels. The 50-lap race for the Doggett Trophy was won by Flynn McGurk after Mike McInerney took a tumble with two laps to go. Warren Eve finished in third in the same race. Eve McInerney taking a triumphant win in the 3-lap sprint race in a very fast and tough Category 1. James Eve was very evenly matched with Arthur Buckler in Category 2 where the two boys shared 1st and 2nd places in the main events including the 25 lap race. Arthur finished in overall 1st with James a veryclose second place. In the Masters Mens category it was a whitewash of WISS podium places with David Billington in overall first place, Luke Frary in second and Karl Bates in third, while Jo Tidman took her maiden victories in two events which saw her take overall 1st place in the Masters Ladies. Kayleigh Rye made her race debut in an all-WISS category 2, where she finished in overall third place. The youngest team member, Kirby Barker, showed improvements in his racing and finished in overall third place against older and more experienced skaters. The dobbin sprints saw Mike McInerney triumph in 1st place with a time of 7.93 seconds with Flynn McGurk finishing in third place.
The team travelled to Derby for the first race of the 2019 season and proved to be an eventful day. The floor at the indoor skating rink in Derby was proving slippery for all racers and the event was littered with high speed spills. Nevertheless, the 12-strong Wisbech team brought home some positive results from the day. Arthur Buckler, Luke Frary and Mike McInerney all finished in overall 1st places in their respective categories. Six members improved their flying lap time from last year at the same track with Luke and Arthur shaving off almost a second from their times from last year. Other medallists were Karl Bates and Jo Tidman finishing in second place in their categories and James Eve finishing in overall third in his category. James being awarded a second position in his second race after an on-track incident left team-mate Lucy McInerney demoted to third. Flynn McGurk was disqualified early on in his second race of the day, a gruelling 6 minute race in the fastest category, robbing him of showing his potential. Warren Eve disappointingly crashed out of a solid third place in the same race with just two laps to go and narrowly missed out on a podium finish after a mature first race saw him finish in third. The day was finished off with an exciting 20 minute relay race which saw the Wisbech team take a comfortable win.
The team have had an incredible 2018 season. In the British Championships combined indoor, outdoor and marathon events, they collected 23 gold, 29 silver and 19 bronze medals, resulting in 9 British Champions & 30 British Titles!
Pictured left are our British Champions of the year. Clockwise from top left: Flynn McGurk, Mike McInerney, Arthur Buckler, Glen Brown, David Billington, Warren Eve, James Eve, Lucy McInerney and Eve McInerney.
After the incredibly successful year the team have enjoyed, they had extra to celebrate during the final presentations of the year when Flynn McGurk and Mike McInerney were awarded "Best Performance of the 2018 Championships" for their amazing win in the Mens Indoor Relay event back in March. This was an incredibly close and exciting race, fighting with Essex rivals Bobby Ball and Daniel King all the way, the rink erupted in cheers and elation when the Wisbech duo took the win.
Taking part in two successive Marathon races to finish off the 2018 season proved highly successful. The first, in London, was a wet event which proved challenging to say the least! Much of the team took home 2nd place finishes, with Flynn setting the fastest time for the team in the half marathon event with a 44 minutes race and Warren competing in his first full marathon of 26 miles. Then it was on to Bath for the British Marathon Championships where three members were crowned champions - Warren Eve in the Half Marathon finishing in a time of 40 minutes, with Arthur and James coming home first in the support races. Lucy also impressed by completing her first full marathon in a time of 1hr 30mins. The day also saw three members crowned Overall Champions for 2018 - Arthur Buckler, James Eve and Flynn McGurk.
Six members from the team travelled over to Belgium and competed in the Flanders Grand Prix and returned with impressive results between them, making improvements over last years' results. Arthur Buckler is the first British Skater in many years to take back to back victories for the second successive year in a row. Eve & Lucy McInerney finished in the top half of the overall results standings after competing in all of their events. Eve being the only British skater to complete the tough road race. Flynn McGurk finished as top British skater, after competing in all of his events and finished in overall 28th position out of 74 skaters in the Youth Boys category. Warren Eve also finished in the top half of the rankings, behind his team-mate in 33rd place. Warren also had the best time improvement in the 300mt time trial, by improving his time from last year by over 2.5 seconds.
James Eve showed huge improvments over last year too, and finished in the Cadet Boys rankings in 35th place, achieving some of his own personal goals.
Sixteen members of Wisbech Inline Speed Skaters re-visited Birmingham Wheels Racepark for the 2018 Outdoor British Championships. Between them the team finished with 4 British Champions, along with 11 gold, 14 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Flynn McGurk, James Eve and Arthur Buckler were crowned overall British Champions for their respective categories (Youth Boys, Cadet Boys and Mini Boys). While Mike McInerney triumphed in the 10k and 15k Senior Mens races to become British Champion in both events.
Three members of the team were confirmed to have broken British Records so far in 2018 and were presented with certificates from the Federation of Inline Speed Skating (FISS). Eve and Lucy McInerney from Leverington broke the Senior Ladies Indoor Relay record by 30 seconds and Arthur Buckler from Wisbech broke the 1000mts British record in Geisingen, Germany earlier in the year. They were presented with certificates at the Birmingham Wheels Club Race in May.
The Speed Skating outdoor season got off to a good start at the weekend with the Wisbech club travelling to Tatem Park in Enfield for the first outdoor race of the year. Despite the threat of April showers all day, the rain held off until the very end, providing a dry track and some great racing.
The success of the day was youngster Taylor Barker who won first place in all three of his Category races to finish first overall in Cat 5, while current British Champion Arthur Buckler also finished in first place overall in his Cat 4 event, as did newcomer Maxwell Webb in Cat 6, who showed impressive form in his first official outdoor race event. Arthur also did extremely well in his age category race which followed the Category races, and lapped the field to finish in a comfortable first place.
Finishing second in the age Category races were Leah Barker, James Eve, Warren Eve and Lucy McInerney. Overall third place finishers in their respective Category races were Flynn McGurk (Cat 2) Lucy (Cat 3) and Masters Ladies skater Jo Tidman. The team were also joined by Tiago Fougo skating in the Masters Mens category and youngest team member, Kirby Barker, who showed big improvement by finishing all his races.
Twenty members of the team travelled to Maldon and brought home a total of 30 medals along with 7 British Champions.
Arthur Buckler retained his Mini Boys title, as did Eve & Lucy McInerney in the Ladies 3,000mts relay event.
Mike McInerney and Flynn McGurk stormed to first place in the Men's 3,000mts relay to become Champions.
The other two champs were Glen Brown in the Masters 100mts Dobbin Sprint and David Billington in the 1,500mts Masters race.
Other achivements were Leah Barker in her first ever Championships event coming in overall 2nd in the Mini Girls, Eve McInerney and Jo Tidman finishing overall second in the Junior Girls and Masters Ladies categories respectively.
Arthur also picked up two trophies for his successful 2017 season. He won Most Promising Young Skater, and Skater of the Year.
Dobbin sprints (flying laps) started off the event with team coach Mike McInerney topping the time
sheets in first place in Category 1. Flynn McGurk followed suit with First Place in Category 2 and Arthur Buckler in Category 3 - both obtaining personal bests. New member of the team Motiejus charged to victory in Category 4 setting an amazing time of 10.507 seconds for his first ever Dobbin Sprint. Other members of the team gained new personal best times for their efforts on their home track.
Timed races followed for each category with an added incentive of a midway sprint for a cash prize. The event was finished off with a fun Team Pursuit made up of mixed club teams and abilities. Overall podium finishers were Mike McInerney in 1st place for Cat 1, Flynn McGurk in 1st place for Cat 2, youngster Arthur Buckler in 1st place for Cat 3 and Tiago Fougo achieving 1st place in his first race of the season in Masters Men. Some excellent, competitive racing gained second place finishes for Warren Eve in Category 2 and Karl Bates in the Masters Men. Fellow team-mate David Billington achieved 3rd position making it a Wisbech podium whitewash for the Masters Men. Other third place finishers were Jo Tidman and Charlotte Stapleton who finished joint third in Ladies Masters, Dylan Taylor in Category 3 and another newcomer to our club, Maxwell Webb in Category 4.
In January the team travelled to Derby to compete in a two-day event. The first events on Saturday evening were a more relaxed affair than they're used to with a new format of fun racing consisting of teams of three skaters competing in team Dobbin Sprints (flying lap), team relays and team pursuits with a total of 12 skaters competing in the events from Wisbech.
The Sunday race schedule was a more familiar one with the usual category races, and started the day off with individual dobbin sprints, which have now been included in the British Championships race schedule, followed by two races for each category. Nine year old Taylor Barker eased to victory in his events to finish in 1st place overall in Cat 5 to bring home his first ever trophy. 8 year old Arthur Buckler also finished in overall 1st place in Cat 4 to add to his trophy collection. Teenagers Dylan Taylor and Flynn McGurk finished overall in 3rd place in Cats 3 & 2 respectively. Karl Bates made his Masters Men's Category debut and finished in an impressive overall 3rd place, with team coach Mike McInerney also finishing in 3rd in Cat 1.
The club was happy to receive the news that two of their youngest members recevied an invitiation to attend the Pride In Fenland awards in January. Arthur Buckler and James Garwell attended the ceremony on Friday 26th January. This was after Arthur became overall British Champion and James finished consistently on the podium at the outdoor British Championships as well as at club races throughout the year. Well done boys!
Following his success this year, Arthur received an extra special suprise in the post. He broke the British record by 16 seconds in the 3,000mts race at the Marathon Championships earlier this year. The event is covered by racers aged between 6-13 so this is no mean feat by the 8 year old!