Brainerd High School graduate Dino Musielewicz skated in his first inline race when he was 13, the first Brainerd Dispatch Online Inline Half-Marathon, now called the Baxter Inline Marathon.
Saturday at 7:30 a.m. will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Baxter Inline Marathon, an event that in addition to the name change has seen other changes, but has remained a consistent part of the Baxter landscape.
On the other hand Musielewicz has gone through quite a few changes when it comes to his inline skating while his participation in the event has been consistent.
Musielewicz started skating because he thought it would be fun to do and keep his legs strong for playing hockey.
"I ended up doing pretty well in my first race for not knowing anything about the sport and ever since then I have kind of dedicated myself to it," he said.
Flash-forward to the present, Musielewicz, now 21, will be entering his senior year at Concordia College next fall. He continues to come home in the summer to work, train, and skate.
"Over the years I have moved up the ranks and last year I joined a professional inline state team out of Chicago," said Musielewicz, who's in his second year with Team Rainbo.
Inline skating, a sport where its competitors can reach speeds of 20 mph, can be compared to bicycle racing in a sense that it involves the same dynamics, like jostling for position, drafting, breakaways, and strategies.
When it comes to training the comparisons continue, as both sports are endurance events. That's why a typical week of training for Musielewicz involves lifting weights four days a week, cross training on a road bike two days a week, and inline speed skating three days a week.
In contrast the Baxter Inline Marathon hasn't gone through as many changes as Musielewicz. The event changes have come in the form of course distances. The race, which started as a half-marathon, added a full marathon, and new this year is an 8-kilometer fun skate.
"Living here all my life I wanted people to see what the lakes area is like," said race director Terry Holm, a veteran inline skater of 30 years who has skated at the levels Musielewicz is now trying to attain.
Holm's goal has been to put on a quality event and a good race.
"I wanted to have a race course that any caliber skater, whether they are the pro or the first-time skater, could do and not be intimidated, and I've got that mix," he said. "Musielewicz is a good example of this as he has skated the inline marathon at all levels."
The race has consistently drawn top skaters from the Midwest in its 10 years. People travel yearly from as far away as Illinois, Colorado, Florida, California, and Canada, with the race attracting about 200 competitors annually.
"Having experience in a lot of different races across the Midwest this race is one of the best," said Musielewicz, "Terry does a really good job. It's not very often that you have a really well-run event right here in your backyard."
Musielewicz's goal for this year?
"I would like to stay in the top pro patch in the marathon," he said. "If I could stay in that top group of guys, that would make my day."
Forestview Middle School in Baxter is the start/finish line. The event consists of one lap for the half marathon and two laps for the full marathon.
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