Inline Skaters Take To The Northland
Posted at: 09/15/2012 2:19 PM
| Updated at: 09/15/2012 11:21 PM
By: Brittany Falkers
The NorthShore Inline Marathon is one of the biggest in the world, the third largest in fact, but for these skaters it isn't just about the race, it's about the people it brings together.
Some skaters, such as 17-year-old Leah Mohn from Richfield, Minnesota, were new to this course. "I'm feeling really nervous, because I don't know if I'll be too slow or two fast," she said.
Others have been putting their blades to this pavement for years. Some racers even said they've been doing the NorthShore Marathon for more than ten years.
Whether racing for the fun of it or hoping to beat their best time these skaters and onlookers say the NorthShore Inline Marathon is really all about the camaraderie.
"People just get together and they band together and try to encourage and help each other... And that's a really nice camaraderie about the whole thing too when you have competition like this," onlooker and race supporter Marcus Tupy said.
Marcus Tupy and his wife Heidi were out supporting their two son's first inline marathon. The whole family enjoy a variety of marathons. So they made this September inline marathon a family affair.
"It makes it fun that the whole family is coming out here. We get to spend time together and have and event to share. They'll be at the finish line waiting for us with some goodies," Raymond Tupy said.
Chris Adams and Jim Larson are elite inline skaters who live in different parts of the country. Larson is from Illinois, while Adams calls sunny California home. But both say it's friendship like theirs that make this race, in particular, so special.
"We've known each other for years and I think that's what brings it all together. Let's go race," Larson said.
"There's a lot of different people. I get to meet up with all of my friends you see throughout the year," Adams said.
Sharing the same pre-race butterflies and finish line thrills are just one of the things bringing these racers together. Both Larson and Adams joked about getting close to the end of the race and seeing the DECC in the distance.
"That's happy mode. You can be in first or last, but that's just the happy mode," Adams said. "You'll be dead tired," Larson added.
John Benzick has been making the trip to Duluth from Minneapolis with the same three buddies for the past six years.
"It's just an accuse to come back here every year and have a good time," Benzick said, "Every year there's a great story, and I'm not even kidding, every year there's a great story that we walk away with."
The NorthShore Inline Marathon is a tradition for Benzick and his friends, he said. He will be back again next year and says he knows he will continue building new friendships and fun stories to bring back to Minneapolis along the way.
"It's just a great opportunity to sort of feel the active community that we have here up north and it's just a fantastic time to really meet people and kind of feel the energy. It's great," Benzick said.
First-time Leah Mohn had one final word of advice for anyone thinking about lacing up a pair of skates. "You can do it at any age. So, I suggest you do it now," she said.