So why would you drag a tire during a rollerski race?
Race Director Andy Liebner told participants in the Grand Rapids 10k Rollerski Race on Sunday, November 5 that dragging a tire "reduces roller ski wheel speed advantages and increases safety of use on the bike path". I can think of some alternative reasons:
Racers attached a tire (or half tire) via a bungee cord attached to their drink belt. Time bonuses were given based on weight of tire: the heavier the tire, the better the time bonus. Time bonuses were calculated as ((Tire Weight / .25) * (30 seconds)) / 60 seconds. Liebner provided the tires and bungee cords.
Half tires used for the race. Full tires have too much resistance. (All photos: Thierry Werderits)
Starting at 30 second intervals, racers skied a 10k course through Millennial Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan under wet conditions. Grand Rapids Nordic Ski Team's Steve Smigiel Jr finished with both the fastest time (40:16) and fastest time adjusted for tire weight (24:46). Eric Parot and Ricardo Lung were second and third overall with close times of 26:43 and 26:46.
|Place||Name||Tire Weight||Bonus Time||Start Time||Finish Time||Total Time||Adjusted Time|
|1||Steve Smigiel Jr||7.75||15:30||2:30||42:46||40:16||24:46|
|10||Steve Smigiel Sr||6.25||12:30||0||53:14||53:14||40:44|
*Received an extra 5:00 bonus for having completed the Iceman mountain bike race the day before.
Below are reduced versions of the original photos. Download original full-size photos by Thierry Werderits (Grand Rapids Nordic Ski Team).