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Charity race highlights Elgin's amazin' locales
Teams compete in event modeled after TV show
By Jameel Naqvi | Daily Herald Staff

Teams of four to eight people near the start of Elgin's first Amazin' Race on Saturday walk, jog and run to at least 20 locations in an attempt to complete a course throughout downtown, starting at the Elgin Public House.


George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/8/2008 12:04 AM

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Some 100 Elgin-area residents tried to get good sleep Friday night.

That's because they took part in Elgin's first Amazin' Race, a fundraiser -- inspired by the TV show -- that took teams on a grueling adventure through downtown Elgin.

Teams of four to eight people, ranging in age from six to 60, hit 20 locations across the city Saturday afternoon, completing challenges and collecting clues as to their next destination.

"We wanted to highlight the rejuvenation of the downtown area," said Greg Bruggeman, an organizer of the event and a city parks and recreation staffer.

To that end, the Amazin' Race took its 19 teams on a tour of well-known Elgin landmarks, as well as newer attractions: The Centre of Elgin, the Hemmens Cultural Center, the Elgin Creamery, Salon Couture and the Elgin Public House -- the event's main sponsor.

The proceeds from the event -- almost $2,000 in registration fees -- will go toward the Youth Scholarship Program, which helps low-income Elgin families participate in recreation programs, Bruggeman said.

The top three teams, in order, were: Team Bednar, Team Jaciw and Team Turek, all from Elgin.

The top finishers took home gift certificates to downtown Elgin businesses.

It took the teams from about two hours and 15 minutes to more than three-and-a-half hours to finish.

Participants said they enjoyed the event and got a good workout running from one end of downtown Elgin to the other.

"It was pretty difficult, but we enjoyed ourselves," Turek said. "We were running and we were all pretty beat toward the end."

"I would definitely do it again next year," she said.

Bruggeman said he hopes to make the Amazin' Race an annual event in Elgin.

"We plan on making this a great event for years and years to come," he said.

Penny Baxter, whose team finished in three hours, 20 minutes, said she's ready to take on the challenge again.

"It was really a great time. It was really well done and well put on," Baxter said. "I can't wait to do it next year."