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Lake Ellyn finally frozen for annual skating races
By Elisabeth Mistretta | Daily Herald Staff

Children ages 12 and younger can show their skills at the annual Novice Ice Skating Races starting Saturday, Jan. 17, at Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn.

 

Paul Michna | 2007

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Published: 1/15/2009 12:02 AM

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If you go

What: Novice Skating Races sponsored by the Glen Ellyn Park District and the Glen Ellyn Speed Skating Team

When: 10 a.m. Saturdays, Jan. 17 until ice thaws

Where: Lake Ellyn, Lenox Road and Linden Avenue, Glen Ellyn

Cost: Free

Ages: 12 and younger

Info: (630) 858-1568

Judy and Lee Marks had no idea they were getting into a lifelong hobby when they took their young children to join an ice skating race 17 years ago.

Since the 1930s, Glen Ellyn has hosted Novice Ice Skating races for any child younger than 12 who can balance on two blades. When the Marks family joined in, both their children took first place in the race.

"We thought, 'Boy, this is really exciting,'" Lee Marks said. "And two weeks later our kids got a call from the Glen Ellyn Speedskating Team asking them if they'd like to join."

This Saturday, the races resume on Lake Ellyn. Even though their children have hung up their skates and are off to college, the Markses volunteer to coordinate the races as a way of giving back to the community that provided their family with so much fun.

This year the community is highly anticipating the events, Marks said, because recent warm winters have prevented Lake Ellyn from freezing and canceled the races.

"To me, this is great," Marks said. "There are a lot of people who love winter weather, despite what the weathermen may say."

Any child with an interest in skating can participate - no experience is necessary and any type of ice skates can be worn. Parents must sign a Glen Ellyn Park District waiver and registration card at the Lake Ellyn Boathouse before the races.

Races will continue every Saturday during the skating season, weather permitting. Registration begins at 10 a.m., with races scheduled to start promptly at 10:30 a.m.

Ribbons will be presented every Saturday to skaters placing first, second, third and fourth in their age groups. Parents are invited to bring their cameras, act as finish line judges or help distribute ribbons to the contestants.

For details on ice conditions, call (630) 858-0920.