Skiing ladies are on a roll

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How do you prepare to compete in the oldest, longest and biggest cross-country ski race in the world when there’s no snow on the ground? Neil Thomas found out when he met a group of Shropshire ladies doing just that.

So what does The Quarry in Shrewsbury have in common with the Vasaloppet in Sweden, the biggest Nordic ski race in the world?
No, I didn’t know either, until I met up with four Shropshire ladies who had taken to roller-skiing in our county town’s picturesque riverside park.

It’s an unusual past-time, which uses roller skates in the shape of skis enabling the wearer to replicate the techniques required for cross country skiing. And they have been joined in their training sessions by Fern Cates, Britain’s Under 18 Roller Skiing Ladies Champion, who happens to be from Bridgnorth.

Roller skiing is catching on as a fitness hobby in its own right – helped, not least, by the fact that Pippa Middleton is a fan – but it is also an excellent way of training for the real thing, namely skiing on snow.

Which is where our intrepid quartet of Roly Trevor-Jones, Susan Birt, Aude Legeais and Rachel Woodward comes in.

  • Read the full article in the March 2013 print version of Shropshire Magazine.
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