One of a kind inline race draws skaters from all over
It's a race in a lane of it's own
Grand Forks, N.D. (KVRR)- Rollin’ on the River Inline Marathon’s 11th year brings 100 racers together from multiple states like Illinois and California, and some made the trip from outside the US, like Canada and Puerto Rico, to explore the course in Grand Forks.
“I guess the biggest stressor for us is making sure we have a safe race, we cover a lot of different areas. When you cover 26 miles, there’s a lot of roads and a lot of trails we have to cover,” said Torrie Enget, Co Director, of Rollinn’ on the River.
“Biggest pay off for us is the people at the end, they’re thankful we do it, we’re one of six or seven inline races in the country so the people come from all over. They’re so thankful we do it and they love coming to Grand Forks,” said Enget.
“The event started local we like to give back locally. We have a lot of repeat people I love to see people you know who might’ve done the half marathon the year before, or two years before, moving up to the full,” said Brad Douglass, Board Member Operations, Rollin’ on the River.
Organizers added bikes to the swing in 2019 and they say it’s helped grow the community.
Tim Sproul and Tavis Strojen are both from Grand Forks, Sproul started riding after he pedaled through physical therapy. Strojen hung up his running shoes for roller skates.
“There’s always cycles so to speak, but it’s growing really fast and for being a smaller town, you know 60 some thousand, we have quite a few riding now,” said Tim Sproul, Grand Forks, Racer.
“Skating is awesome because not everyone does it, it’s not like running or cycling so anytime anyone shows up whether they’re a beginner or a pro, everyone is just happy that you’re there,” said Tavis Strojen, Grand Forks, Racer.
Strojen and his squad Team Skate Hard come every year.
He says with the team spread out in multiple states they don’t get to skate together often, so events like these are like a family reunion, they’re always looking for new people to skate with, the only rule don’t be a jerk.
“It’s neat to see all the inline skaters too, I’m just in awe of them, we can rest they can’t rest,” said Sproul.
Luckily Grand Forks is relatively flat so there aren’t too many up hill battles.
Behind the scenes volunteers were putting in work making sure everyone was hydrated.
“Water with exercise is super important, it’s good to stay hydrated and it helps them to keep going,” said Katie Guetter, Volunteer.
Racers made sure not to fumble the handoffs , while the volunteers tried to stay dry.
“We have a couple different techniques, we’ve seen people do two handed grabs, we’ve seen people just really aggressively. Some of them are a little aggressive and the water goes everywhere,” said Guetter.
Organizers say this is a chance for the older crowd to show up the younger ones on the asphalt. They want to continue to grow and get back to pre pandemic numbers.