All Santa Clarita speedskaters are strongly encouraged to take part in local Southern California races. The racing season typically includes six or seven competitions between October and March, which take place either in Lakewood, Paramount or Valencia. Races are usually sanctioned by US Speedskating and are hosted by the local club that trains at the facility were the meet is being held.
When you enter a competition, you'll be placed in races with skaters of similar ability. Whether you're a novice skater or an experienced one, racing offers the opportunity to test yourself against others and to push your own limits. Most of all, it's a chance to go fast! Typically, in the course of each competition, you can expect to skate in four races.
Once you've decided to race, what steps do you need to take? First, make sure that you're a current member of both the club and US Speedskating. These memberships are required in order to compete and must be obtained in advance. You are also encouraged to join one of the two Los Angeles area clubs, Santa Clarita or Los Angeles Speedskating, and non-club skaters (with the exception of first-year skaters) will be assessed a higher entry fee for local races.
Race Schedule and Entry Forms
Second, a few weeks before the meet in which you plan to race, print out the entry form from the local club's website. The competition schedule on the clubs' websites provide links to each upcoming race. Mail the completed form, along with the entry fee, to the meet director (whose address will be indicated on the form) well before the entry deadline.
Before the race, make sure that you have all of the required equipment: helmet, neck guard, gloves, knee pads, shin guards, long sleeves. Sharpen your skates and make sure that your skate bolts are tightened.
Finally, on race day, arrive at the rink at least an hour before the warm-up time. This should give you plenty of time to check in, find a locker room, and jog and stretch off-ice. Make sure to have your skates on and be ready to get on the ice promptly at the warm-up time in order to skate several easy laps, a few accelerations, and some practice starts. After warm-up, once the meet has started, pay close attention to the race order. Before each of your races, you and your competitors will be called to the "heat box" and assigned your positions on the start line. From the heat box, you'll go on to the ice and straight to the starting line for your race.
For questions about the racing rules, you can consult your US Speedskating Rules and Regulations Documents (a benefit of membership) or talk to a coach. Skate safely, cheer for your fellow Santa Clarita team members, and have fun!