Rollin’ on the River

Grand Forks held its first ever marathon this weekend called “Rollin’ on the River.” It wasn’t a running marathon; it was for inline skaters, but it was a marathon just the same, and I’m proud that our city was able to host such an event!

I haven’t heard how many people participated in the two races, because my news source, “The Grand Forks Herald,” didn’t run a story in its Sunday edition. They had a headline, three photos, and the names of the people who won the events, but that was it. “The Grand Forks Herald” did run the same exact story twice about a St. Paul clown club, in two different sections of the paper, but no text about the local racing event could be found anywhere that I looked.

There will undoubtedly be complaints from citizens who discovered some of the city’s streets closed off for about 4 hours Saturday morning. I’m sure there will be other things about the race that will have irate people calling into the radio talk shows tomorrow morning, but let me be the first to call “The 2011 Rollin’ on the River” a huge success.

I’m calling the race a success because inline skating it is a physical activity. People who participated in this event trained for weeks, or more likely months, to take part. This represents hours and hours of training for each person who entered, and that is time that they were active, not sedentary. I’m celebrating the choice of even one person who decided to spend many hours inline skating instead of watching TV. Just like in running, every participant is a winner when they simply finish!

Everyone needs a physical activity that they can participate in that makes them feel good about what they can do. I’m a terrible skater, but I can run, so that’s what I choose to do. Grand Forks is full of hockey fans and a very high percentage of our population can skate. Why not promote “Rollin’ on the River” even better next year, and who knows, there could be a few more people who take part in the event. That is how we will win our war on obesity: One active person at a time!

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