The first British Long Track Speed Skating Championships to be held on an artificially frozen ice rink took place in the Netherlands at the weekend (Saturday 28th March) in De Uithof, The Hague.
The Championships were held over the distances of 500m, 1000m 1500m 3000m and 5000m with 36 British participants ranging in age from 13 to 73 years old.
Cornelius Kersten (20) took the title in the men’s 500m, 1000m and 1500m, while Ellia Smeding (17) accomplished the same result in the ladies event. The men’s 3000m race was won by Peter Carr and Sophie Webb in the ladies event
Alan Dobbie took the top spot in the men’s 5000m and Jennifer Buckley finished first in the ladies event, achieving a new British record time of 9:42.43, closely contested by Helen Clark who was only 0.3 seconds behind, putting up a spirited fight right to the line.
After the racing competitors and spectators alike took to the ice on the Icebyks - a form of recumbent cycling on ice - before the prize giving and evening social event.
The British Long Track Speed Skating Championships was organised by the National Ice Skating Association (NISA).
Stephen Airey, Long Track Development Manager for the National Ice Skating Association commented: “This competition is an important milestone in the redevelopment of British long track speed skating and provided exciting competition and a fantastic atmosphere. NISA intends to build on the success of this first year and is already planning next season”.
The competition was made possible due to the cooperation of De Uithof and a number of sponsors including Kelly's expat shopping, The British School in the Netherlands and Shot and Go energy drinks.
For a full list of results, click here.
To see video footage from the event, which was played on BBC Look East, go to https://vimeo.com/123826695