Jobs Homes Autos For Sale










Hoffman Estates race attracts thousands -- and an Olympian
BY Steve Zalusky | Daily Herald Staff

A skater participates in the Chicagoland Inline Marathon during the Hoffman Estates Fitness for America Fest on Sunday.

 

Mark Black | Staff Photographer

A group of bicyclists participate in the Hoffman Estates fun ride on Sunday as part of the Hoffman Estates Fitness for America Fest.

 

Mark Black | Staff Photographer

A group of bicyclists participate in the Hoffman Estates fun ride on Sunday as part of the Hoffman Estates Fitness for America Fest. The bike ride was added to the fest to help promote fitness locally.

 

Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 1 of 3 
 
print story
email story
Published: 7/26/2010 12:00 AM

Send To:

E-mail:
To:

From:

Name:
E-mail:

Comments:

The Alexian Brothers Fitness For America Sports Festival is growing to Olympic proportions.

Indeed, it attracted a gold medal winner to Sunday's finale in Hoffman Estates.

Canadian Olivier Jean, who captured a gold medal on ice skates as a member of the short track relay team in 2010, donned a pair of inline skates to finish third in the fest's final marathon event. He managed a third-place finish even though he had to play catch-up after making a wrong turn.

Sporting his signature dreadlocks and several bandages after a grueling race, Jean said a big reason for attending was its status as the second-biggest inline marathon event in the country.

"I wanted to go where the best skaters are," Jean said.

He complimented the course, noting that there is a big difference between short track ice skating and inline skating events. On the ice, for example, he said, "You're always turning left,"

The inline event was part of a festival that lasted Friday through Sunday at the AT&T campus on Lake Wood Boulevard, and included a bicycle ride to help promote bicycling in Hoffman Estates. That event attracted 26 riders.

Unlike Saturday, the skaters on Sunday were greeted by ideal weather. Cale Carvell, founder of Team Rainbo inline skating club, said the storms on Friday and clouds on Saturday did not hinder much.

"The vast majority of the runners were here in some unbelievable conditions," said Carvell. "We certainly would have loved if (Sunday's) kind of weather was available for all of our events. (But) pretty much nothing stops these athletes, who are so much in love with what they do."

Sunday's winners included an Elburn man, Matt Kufer, who captured one of the marathon events with a time of a little more than one hour and 22 minutes.

The event is the second largest inline marathon in the country, attracting skaters throughout the United States and beyond.

And while Carvell said the largest division is the 40-to-49-year-old bracket, the race attracts various age groups including Carvell's 84-year-old mother and 69-year-old Hermann Boehm of Arlington Heights.

"Walking is boring," said Boehm. "Swimming is boring. So skating is a very nice sport, (with) less impact on the knees."

Peter Starykowicz, who brought the idea for the inline event to Hoffman Estates, said the event's total of 1,400 preregistered participants is double that of last year. He said next year hopes to see 2,000.