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BASF’s Inline Speed Skating Champion

Lynley Crawford (blue skates) is a Technical Manager for BASF Performance Materials. Photo credit: Chris Booth Photography

Lynley Crawford spends most days advising customers on which BASF performance material best suits their project, and most nights skating 20 kilometers in circles around an industrial estate. As a Technical Manager by day and a pro inline speed skater by night, every day for Lynley is different.

 

While it may not be a sport many are familiar with, Inline Speed Skating is exciting and physically demanding sport that includes road and track events that vary from 100-meter sprints, to 10-kilometer elimination races.

Lynley almost fell in to the sport ten years ago when she was looking for a way to get fit. “I was looking around thinking about what I should do, and I thought ‘I really enjoyed roller blading for fun as a kid, I wonder if there’s a sport?’” When she started, Lynley had no interest in competing and was happy to just join in her local skate club’s training sessions where many of the skaters would “leave me for dust”. After a while was tempted to take it one step further when the National Championships were scheduled to be held at her home club. “We had the Nationals in Auckland one year, so I thought ‘well if I don’t have to travel, I may as well try it’. I gave it ago and went ‘I’m coming back next year now!’


In January this year Lynley competed in the Inline Speed Skating Australian National Championships in Brisbane and managed to come home with two gold, two silver and for bronze medals from the 14 events she competed in. This achievement is even more impressive when considering Lynley was competing in temperatures over 35 degrees and even suffered heat stroke on one of the days. Impressively she only had to withdraw from one race and was back on her skates the next day.

While the competitiveness and fitness components of the sport are appealing to Lynley, it’s the friendships that the skating community offer, that keep her hooked. “You get some really good friends out of it. Before I started competing one of the other ladies said ‘we’re a good grade, we get out there, we race and then we have a beer afterwards’ and it is like that. We get out there, race hard, but then afterwards we’re best of mates again and laughing and having a good time”

Lynley’s next major goal is to qualify for the World Masters Marathon in Barcelona in July. We wish her the best of luck!