The Rotary Club of Carpentersville Morning's inaugural charity race will take runners and walkers through the same twists and turns navigated by auto racing legends of the 1950s and 1960s.
The club has scheduled its Raceway 5k Fun Run and Walk for 8 a.m. Aug. 17. It will take place at the historic Meadowdale International Raceway, in the Raceway Woods Forest Preserve near Carpentersville.
Money generated from the raise will help the club support various local causes, including scholarships, the FISH Food Pantry in Carpentersville, and buying coats for the Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township. The club is also involved in international efforts to eradicate Polio.
Jeff Provisor, president of the Rotary Club and owner of Main Street Bicycles in Carpentersville, is directing the race with Karie Stringer, manager of Dick Pond Athletics.
Provisor said the club was talking about a fundraising event they could hold that would be easy to manage. Because many members run, they suggested a race.
The group decided on the Meadowdale for its challenging course of hills, curves and embankments, and for its history, Provisor said.
The track, which once drew racers and fans from all over the country, was dangerous, with sharp turns that required expertise. It had the steepest turn in the world with a 45-degree incline and boasted a 4,000-foot straightaway, then the longest in the world.
The track closed in 1970, due to poor attendance. Among the people who raced there were Rodger Ward, Don Devine and Harry Heuer.
"What's really neat about this course is it follows the old Meadowdale racetrack, which is for the most part preserved," Provisor said. "There's so many different little attributes in the history of the track so it'll be neat to see and get some history."
People of all ages are encouraged to run or walk the track. The price per runner is $30, but children in strollers will be admitted for free. Pets are not allowed.
You can preregister for the race by visiting www.raceway5k.com or on the day of the event, starting at 6:30 a.m.
If you register online, use the password RaceWay5K. You can also register in person at Dick Pond, 2164 Randall Road in Carpentersville, or at Main Street Bicycles, 39 E. Main St., in Carpentersville.