Skateboarding: Waldwick woman rides into the record books
Seventeen hours into her pursuit of an endurance record, she set down her skateboard and took a break.
Pain? No, Colleen Pelech was not in pain.
Sick? Friends vomited along the side of this NASCAR track. She did not.
Tired? Other skaters already had taken catnaps. She refrained.
Pelech had logged over 150 miles on her long board. Her legs were beginning to rebel. They may not have hurt, but they were not cooperating. So she sat down. There were still seven hours left in the race.
At the end of this 24-hour cycle, Pelech – a 21-year-old Waldwick woman who studies mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology – had completed 76 laps on Homestead-Miami Speedway’s 2.2-mile track. Total distance: 167.2 miles.
According to the International Distance Skateboarding Association (IDSA), no female on the planet had ever covered as much ground during a 24-hour race.
“I feel like I could have done more if I went slower during the day,” Pelech said during an interview on Stevens’ campus last week. “So I’m excited to do it again next year.”
How did this happen? How did a kid who played golf at Waldwick High School and was a late addition to the Stevens fencing team turn into one of the most dominant long-distance skateboarders in the world?
Pelech first picked up a board in third grade. She used it as a method of transportation during high school.