Age doesn't stop Arnold
By: LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
Almost a decade ago, Arnold Overby of Beaver Bay saw a pair of racing inline skates in a shop in Fargo. He’d never skated before, but they looked fun, he said, so he made the purchase. The rest is history.
He skated his first NorthShore Inline Marathon in 2003, finishing with the respectable time of 2:37. This year, at age 78, he shattered his first finish time and crossed the line at just over 1:39.
“The new pavement between Two Harbors and Knife River was really nice. The breeze was behind us, I felt very good that day and everything fell in place,” Overby said.
He finished the race last Saturday first in his age group, beating the second-place finisher by nine minutes. But he’s not just a great skater for his age; he’s a great skater in general. He placed in the top half of all males in the race.
His family has followed in his footsteps: his son, daughter and two grandsons recently completed the Apostle Islands Inline Marathon on Madeline Island.
Overby has no specific training plan for racing. He said he skates a 10-mile loop a couple times a week during the summer and he’s raced a few half-marathons as well as one marathon in St. Paul and another in Orlando.
He does, however, have a racing strategy: skating “in the draft” behind another racer to conserve energy-- a common tactic for inline skaters.
When asked if he’s ever taken a spill, Overby laughed.
“Oh, yes,” he said. He fell during the final stretch of the NorthShore marathon a couple of years ago, in fact.
“You have to jump right up because you don’t want to be a wimp,” he said. He finished the race and headed to the medical tents.
Overby graduated from Two Harbors High School in 1952, where he played hockey, and taught social studies in the Lake Superior School District for 30 years.
“You just have to keep moving. This’ll keep me young,” he said.