Stevens senior Colleen Pelech used her time off during the winter break to smash a Guinness World Record for long-distance skateboarding. Pelech traveled 167 miles in 24 hours at International Distance Skate Association’s UltraSkate Event at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on January 7-8, 2013.
“My goal was to go 200 miles in the 24 hours,” said Pelech. “My main competition at the event was Cami Best, who is one of the best female skaters from NYC. I wanted to get the record, but I knew there was a chance she could break the old record at this event as well and go further than me.”
Both the course and race were pre-verified by Guinness so that whoever won would claim a spot in the record book. The previous women's world record was 154 miles in 24 hours. At the UltraSkate, Pelech reached 150 miles after 17 hours.
“Basically I had seven hours to go the remaining five miles. I was super stiff at this point but not tired. I knew I would break the record but I wanted to get as many miles as possible to ensure that if Cami woke up (she went to sleep after cramping up and an asthma attack) she would not have enough time to catch me.”
Pelech –a member of the Stevens fencing team who has only been skating since October of 2011 – was helped and trained by fellow Stevens student Eric Palmer. Palmer is a member of the wrestling program and a senior at Stevens.
"Eric has been racing for almost two years and made me his skate buddy. I got fast quickly by having to keep up with him. He also skates for Blue Sky and put in a good word with the company to get me on as well. At the UltraSkate he got 222 miles ... less than 20 people have ever skated more than 200 miles in a day.”
To train, Pelech skated 5-10 miles a day on smaller skateboards while going uphill as often as possible.
“I also tried to do a big 20-30 mile skate once a week; usually in or to NYC. Eric often skated with me and also helped me workout at the gym.”
“I was super-sore and super-tired at the end; I actually slept the last two hours of the race and was a little confused and groggy up there on the podium,” said Pelech. “But it was a great feeling.”