CALGARY, AB – Fresh off a thrilling ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships this past weekend at the University of Calgary Olympic Oval – Dutch Speed Skater Douwe de Vries will attempt to break the World Record for the longest distance skated in one hour. The current record stands at 41969.10 metres or about 105 laps in 60 minutes. This record is held by Casper Helling of the Netherlands and has stood for the past eight years. De Vries’ attempt will take place this Friday (March 13th, 2015) from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Oval.
“We are honoured to be able to host such an event here at the University of Calgary Olympic Oval.” said Oval Director Yves Hamelin “It’s been an exciting month of events but something so unique as this World Record attempt – It should make for great drama. We wish Douwe the best of luck in his attempt and know that our ice technicians and competitions team will do their absolute best to provide the conditions necessarily for him to accomplish this remarkable achievement.”
To put this into perspective; this past weekend Denny Morrison skated his first official 10,000m race of this season as part of the ISU World Allround Championships. The Canadian Olympic medallist averaged a very respectable 33 seconds per lap for 25 laps in just under 14 minutes. Morrison would go on to finish 7th overall in the World Allround standings. In order to complete the 105 laps needed – de Vries will need to maintain a pace of 34.29 seconds per lap for an entire hour. De Vries averaged just under 32 seconds per lap in his 10,000m race which he completed in a time of 13:17.64.
“It’s an impressive record and both physically and mentally draining” said Oval Coach Arno Hoogveld “In general once an athlete gets to a certain point, like say the 12th or 15th lap of a 10,000m race; every skater, no matter how strong they are, you see a little bit of a lull where their body is basically looking to shut down. At that point it’s all about having the mental fortitude to push through – That’s what is going to be his biggest test.”
“It’s something that for a couple of years now I have looked at as something that I think I can do” said de Vries “Now I am excited for the opportunity to make this attempt and barring something major or an injury or something like that - quitting for me is not an option.”
This one of a kind event will kick off at 3:00 PM at the Olympic Oval. Public, Students, U of C faculty and staff are all encouraged to attend admission is complimentary.
The Oval will have live results posted at: http://liveresults.oval.ucalgary.ca/
Also be sure to follow the Official Twitter feed of the Olympic Oval at: www.twitter.com/theolympicoval