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Motorcycle racer takes to the ice

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Local,Alana Goodman

Katie Bladon is always on the go -- usually atop a pair of skates or pair of wheels.

The 31-year-old is not only a competitive speedskater, but also an award-winning motorcycle racer.

"There are a lot of parallels with speedskating and racing motorcycles, far more than you might think," she says. "A lot of it is about finesse and technique and balance."

Bladon began speedskating a year ago to keep in shape for racing, which requires a lot of cardiovascular fitness. "Motorcycle racing has always been my primary sport, and speedskating is a perfect complement to it," she said.

Bladon is a short-track skater with the Potomac Speedskating Club. "The speed" is her favorite aspect of the sport.

"It's fast," she says. "It's like NASCAR on ice combined with roller derby."

For Bladon, who travels often for her job as a clinical research associate for a pharmaceutical company, her workout schedule changes from week to week. "Some weeks might be one time and other weeks might be three or four times," she said of her training sessions.

Her typical workouts consist of about an hour and a half of dry land training, which comprises cardiovascular workouts as well as muscle-building routines. She calls it a "a fairly impressive workout" -- the type you remember two days later.

Motorcycle racing at a glance

»  More than 3,000 motorcycle road racers hold a competition license.

»  WERA Motorcycle Roadracing holds motorcycle races at road courses across the United States.

»  The group is 36 years old.

»  It offers riders schools and entry level motorcycle racing for anyone with a motorcycle.

»  It offers three types of motorcycle racing.

Bladon says she's fortunate that the club allows her to do her on-the-ice workouts on her own schedule.

"They've allowed me the flexibility to come in when I am in town, which I'm grateful for," she says.

She is motivated to keep training by her coach, Olympic gold medalist Kim Dong-Sung, and her desire to be physically active.

A native Canadian, Bladon is inspired by watching the Olympic athletes. "People like Shaun White, who have taken their sport to a top level, are extremely inspiring to watch," she said.

A native Canadian, Bladon is inspired by watching the Olympic athletes. "People like Shaun White, who have taken their sport to a top level, are extremely inspiring to watch," she said.

She had planned to compete this weekend at the national speedskating competition in Wisconsin.

But at her last practice before heading to the competition, she dislocated her right elbow and had to pull out.

"I had a lot of fun hanging out in the Holy Cross ER until 1am!" she wrote in an e-mail. "They took such amazing care of me and kindly put the puzzle pieces back in place so I can begin recovering."

In addition to speedskating and motorcycle racing, Bladon rock climbs, kite surfs and mountain bikes.

"I guess you could say I keep extremely busy. ... There's just not a whole lot of downtime," she says.

But Bladon also seems to love every minute of it.

"Ultimately my goal is just overall physical fitness," she says. "I've always enjoyed being physically active."

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