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Guptill's celebrates 60 years

"The main floor of the arena is maybe a little bigger than the main floor of the Times Union," Guptill said. "When you think of someone, a farmer, building something like this and so big, and to have the foresight to build in Latham 60 years ago is unprecedented."

His father died of heart failure in 1974, before the rink received the award.

Exercise is another reason Guptill believes people keep coming back to the arena as it takes nine times around the rink for it to equal out to be a mile.

"The average skater skates 26 miles in an evening," he said. "It's from here to Saratoga. There's no better exercise than that in a three-hour session."

One regular skater has been coming to the rink since she was 14. Now in her 40's, Tina Marino comes to the rink as a form of exercise, bringing her own MP3 player.

At one point, it was the music that kept her coming back to Guptill's, and then she started coming back when her son turned 2 and her daughter was 12.

"With a lot of the people, you make a lot of friends here," she said. "I just always loved skating. It comes in spurts. You'll go for 10 years, and then I won't go for awhile. And then you get that inkling, 'Hey, I wonder if anything has really changed?'"

She said her mom, who is now 70 and used to go to Guptill's when she was a teenager, once came with her to the skating rink just to see what the rink looking like since she was last there.

"She said, 'You know what? It looks exactly the same,'" she said. "I think it's pretty cool that they have kept everything the same."

And the process is starting all over again, with Evan Witty, 6, who said he enjoys roller skating for a different reason.

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