St. Peter Lutheran School in Arlington Heights hosted 1,000 grade school runners this past weekend as part of their annual cross country meet.
The 1,000 children, who were in grades four through eight, gathered at Melas Park in Mt. Prospect to compete in one of six races - the boys and girls one mile race, the boys and girls 1.5 mile race, or the boys and girls two miles races.
Thousands of fans, coaches, parents and race enthusiasts cheered the kids from 30 different schools on during the 21st annual Fred D. Martin Cross Country Invitational. The 1,000 runners was the largest group of runners the race has ever had, organizers said. The race historically has been one of the largest middle school races in the state, and this year it got even bigger.
Participating schools were: Arlington Heights- St. Peter Lutheran School , Buffalo Grove - Cooper Middle School , Lombard - St. John's Lutheran School , Mt. Prospect - St. Emily Catholic School , Mt. Prospect - St. Paul Lutheran School, River Forest - Roosevelt Middle School, Roselle - Trinity Lutheran School, Marengo - Zion Lutheran School , Prospect Hts - MacArthur Middle School, Inverness - Holy Family Catholic Academy, Mt. Prospect - River Trails Middle School , Yorkville - Cross Lutheran School, Naperville - Bethany Lutheran School , Norwood Park - Lutheran Unity West , Arlington Heights - South Middle School, Mt. Prospect - Lincoln Middle School, Schaumburg - St. Peter Lutheran School m Oak Park - Brooks Middle School, Dundee - Immanuel Lutheran School, Elmhurst - Timothy Christian School, River Forest - Grace Lutheran School, Batavia - Immanuel Lutheran School, Park Ridge - St. Andrews Lutheran School, Wheeling - London Middle School, Palatine - Immanuel Lutheran School , Arlington Hts - Thomas Middle School, Geneva - St. Peter School, Cary - SS. Peter & Paul Catholic School, Algonquin - St. Margaret Mary, and Oak Park - Percy Julian.
Details on race results can be found at: http://www.runrace.net/findarace.php?id=12253IL2&tab=a4&results=4366
The first Fred D. Martin Invitational was created 21 years ago in 1991 and continues to be hosted by St. Peter Lutheran School of Arlington Heights. Martin was the athletic director at St. Peter for 29 years as well as one of the founders of the Mid Suburban Middle School Athletic Conference and the Lutheran Sports Association of Illinois. He passed away in 2011, but his legacy lives on through the impact he had on St. Peter Athletics, organizers said.