Some of the nation's top in-line skaters, along with hundreds of other athletes from 10 different countries and 40 different states, descended on Hoffman Estates Saturday with their white socks and funky-colored running shoes for the sixth annual Alexian Brothers Fitness For America Sports Festival.
Race director Peter Starykowicz says: "It's a good local community event with an international blend that gets everyone in one place to enjoy fitness. It's very exciting."
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The race draws elite athletes from across the country for the second-largest in-line skating marathon in the U.S., as well as running and skating races for everyone.
Runner Andrew Philipose of Mount Prospect ran the 10K race for the first time. "I had no idea what I was doing," Philipose said.
He won first place anyway.
Winner of the half-marathon, 13.1 miles, was Patrick Cheptoek, 27, of Uganda now living in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with a time of 1:4:50. After the race he said, " I feel good."
The competition started Saturday with a sunset half marathon that is part of the Chicago Half Marathon Series.
The focus switches Sunday to skating. In the Chicago Inline Marathon, racers skate three circuits around an 8.7-mile course that starts at 2046 Lakewood Blvd.
For information, visit www.hoffmanestates.org or www.allcommunityevents.com.