Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The NorthShore Inline Marathon is the largest of its kind in North America drawing skaters and spectators from all corners of country and one team at this year's event raced in honor of a late friend.
Many ran, thousands skated and hundreds spectated, at this years 18th annual NorthShore Inline Marathon, bringing together racers and spectators from across the country.
For Twin Cities spectator Nancy Dalton and friends, the inline–finish line is the best spot on the 26 mile course.
"We love to watch this part though, the full marathon, because these guys are awesome, we're ready for them to come, we always come for the end of the full," said spectator Nancy Dalton.
With some elite skaters reaching speeds up to thirty miles per hour, these spectators say the fast finish is always action packed.
"The speed, the speed is incredible and they're coming around this corner," said Dalton.
One of those speed racers is championship competitor Peter Doucet, who says this marathon always brings out the best personalities and performances in the skating sport.
"Your personality almost comes out in how you skate and how you move, it's almost a very personal activity that you can do and it's great because you have so many individuals coming together and we race as a group," said championship competitor, Peter Doucet.
But this year, Doucet and his friends not only raced for first place, but in memory of their marathon friend Andy Kostka, an elite Twin Cities inline racer who passed away unexpectedly last year at age 32, the team wears a reminder of their skating friend.
"So when his daughter and wife would go online and see pictures and footage from races, that they would just see how many people in the skating community cared about Andy and we're thinking about him," said Jeff Terwilliger, elite inline skater.
Whether these racers and spectators came together for the adrenaline of skating or honoring a friend, everyone agrees the North Shore Inline Marathon is a world–class event.
Organizers say more than 3,000 racers of all levels competed in this year's NorthShore Inline Marathon.
Awards were handed out at Grandmas Sports Garden in Duluth.
For complete NorthShore Inline Marathon race results click here.