Last weekend, Annah and I woke up early and drove to Lansing, Michigan for the annual Madness in the Mitten Push race, presented by Action Board Shop and Go Green Longboarding. Madness is rooted deep in Michigan longboard history, it was the first longboard push race to be hosted in the Midwest in 2008. Since, the push has attracted an abundance of skaters from around Michigan and the midwest.
Madness In The Mitten III
Bustin sends a huge THANK YOU to Go Green Longboarding, Bees Knees Skathletics, MILF Crew, West Michigan Longboard Club, MSU Longboard Club and Mitten Skate Media for hosting a super gnarly longboard event in Lansing Michigan last Saturday. More than 60 longboard skaters showed up in the rain for Madness in the Mitten III – a 4 mile longboard push race that circles the Grand River downtown Lansing.
Despite super gnarly weather, the event coordinators chose to start the race as scheduled because of the super turnout. Industry faces in the crowd were Bees Knees Skathletics, Smokin’ Mad Love out of Grand Haven, CR Boardwalks from the east side, Malibu from Grand Rapids, reps from Wind Waves and Wheels and Modern Skate and Surf. Longboard clubs and industry reps combined – Madness III was a hell of a turnout!
60+ skaters started together in a parking lot that bottle necked into a double wide skater path that winds along he Grand River in Lansing, Michigan. The conditions were wet, cold and nasty – just how we like it. The race starters grouped us in 3 packs of 20, but that did not stop he carnage at the start, as usual. The start of a push race is madness as wheels lock up and skaters fly everywhere. I was off the line fast to avoid the carnage but the wet slippery course had it out for me.
I followed 3 time champion Jay Yerke into the 1st carnage corner, beneath the train tracks. There was a large mess of duck poop, mud, grass clippings and broken pavement at the bottom of the turn and I was coming in hot. Jay hit the mess square, fishtailed and pulled of the turn. I blasted through the mud and lost traction sending me head over heels into the mud. I had 4 riders on the draft train behind me who crashed into me. Epic crash, gnarly wounds. I hurried to my feet, wrestled through skater carnage for my board then continued down the course behind 8 skaters that passed me.
The mega crash did damage to my stabilizer leg and my leg seized up pretty good. I was questioning even finishing the race when my second wind hit. The pack in front of me started to fade at about 2 miles and I saw my chance to pass. 1, 2, 3, 4 skaters passed then it was the battle to the finish with Derek Yerke. I held strong into the final mile and hit a third wind as I realized i was pushing balls out in my favorite place – MICHIGAN. The course was nasty and I felt like a NASCAR driver on a wet course maintaining control.
The finish of madness is along a Boardwalk which was more slippery than any terrain yet. The wooden path snakes along the river and everyone had to drop speed to about 3 miles an hour as to not slip out and lose your board to the river- which happened to a few skaters who plunged in after. 100 yards out I saw a bystander who yelled out “4th place”! I was stoked and finished strong.