San Francisco to
San Jose Skate, 52 miles

September 12, 1999

Lenihan completes San Fransisco to San Jose Skate.

Do You Know the Way to
San Jose?

by James Prial

Do you know the way to San Jose? If you were around San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 12, about 40 inline skaters would have showed you how to get there - on skates! DMJ Inline Sports Marketing held the annual San Francisco to San Jose Roadskate.

Skaters met in San Francisco at 5:30 A.M. near the Caltrain Station at 4th and Townsend. They started skating at 6:00 A.M. along Mission to El Camino Real. The skaters followed El Camino Real all the way to San Jose to the San Jose Arena.

The skaters departed in the early morning mist. The first leg of their journey was up Mission Street, probably the most challenging part of the skate. Mission Street is a long incline, and the road was still a little wet from the morning fog. After reaching the Top of the Hill in Daly City, the decline began. The road was still wet, and some skaters approached speeds of 40 miles per hour! The skaters had plenty of support - two 15- passenger vans, the DMJ Production van, and a pick up truck drove along with the skaters, providing food and water at 3 points along the route.

Technology in skating has vastly improved from the days of steel or plastic wheels. Skaters can travel much farther and faster now than ever before. People all across the country are using their skates to get to work, to get a healthy workout, or even to sightsee. The first skaters were able reach San Jose in about 3 hours, and even the slowest skaters still finished in about 5 1/2 hours.

Let's hear what some of the skaters had to say about the event: Phil Lenihan, who at 65 years of age was the oldest finisher, said "It was a great thrill to finish, proving that you can do what you set your mind to and train... My training tip from my ultramarathon running days, "drink early and drink often", surely paid off." Phil's time? 4 hours 42 minutes and 56 seconds.

Alison Pankey, who finished 1st in her division, had this to say about the challenging part: "The time between 30-40 miles was the most difficult. With only ten miles left, I expected some extra energy knowing that we were "almost there", but it seemed to take forever to find that 40-mile mark. It became extremely hard dealing with the lights, as it took so much energy to slow down, stop and start again."

And Jeannie Jarnot, after her first long distance skate: "It was much longer than I expected it to be, and I wanted to finish more than I thought I would. Skating isn't about racing for me, it's about love of life and using my body in an extreme way which makes one feel alive."

And alive they were, these marathon skaters. Alive enough to skate all the way from SF to San Jose, enjoy some food at the finish line, and go back to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to skate and dance the rest of the day!

For more information about this (and other) Roadskates, contact D. Miles Jr. of DMJ Inline Sports Marketing at (415) 752-1967, and visit

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