Event organizer Peter Starykowicz already has one success under his belt: the 3-year-old Chicagoland Inline Marathon, which last year drew 500 skaters, making it the third largest outdoor skate event in North America.
But fortunately for skaters, he's not ready to rest on his laurels.
This year, Starykowicz — a pro-level skater and full-time architect — is launching a new event that draws on some of the same concepts — multi-race and multi-sport — that have worked well in Chicago.
The new event, the Great Midwest Inline Marathon is Memorial Day weekend (May 29-31) in Elkhart Lake, WI. Like Chicagoland, it's a multi-sport event, although with more of a focus on endurance athletes.
Along with inline skating, the new event — the Great Midwest Marathon and Endurance Festival — includes a running marathon, a cycling stage race and a 12-hour mountain bike challenge.
But despite the variety of athletes, skaters aren't likely to feel neglected. Starykowicz is providing them with three days of racing: a downtown criterium on Saturday, full and half marathons on Sunday, and a two-member team time trial on Monday.
And he's resurrecting a blast from the past: the bike vs. skate 100-meter dash (also on Saturday).
Starykowicz organized the new event in collaboration with a prominent Midwest triathlon promoter.
"The concept of the festival is to bring endurance athletes of many different sports together in one place where they can experience a unique camaraderie, the essence of sport and the feeling of true accomplishment," Starykowicz says.
The inline marathon is a major NROC event. Its 6-mile loop course, mostly flat, starts and ends in the town of Elkhart Lake.
The weekend also includes a multi-sport expo and post-race parties featuring live entertainment.
"In a nutshell, this is going to be a great way to spend Memorial Day Weekend with friends and family," Starykowicz says.
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