Heart of Illinois Fair 5k race

By Alyssa Donovan

July 14, 2013 Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- Central Illinois runners were able to experience a different kind of race on Sunday morning, through the heart of Illinois fairgrounds.

The fairgrounds opened bright and early on Sunday morning for the Heart of Illinois fair 5k.

Race organizer Morgan Grigsby says the event gives runners and walkers a chance to tour the fairgrounds.

Grigsby said, "We want to encourage people to get out and get active and we also just want to let people know what the fair has to offer so running through the midway and the livestock areas that obviously gives people firsthand knowledge of what we have."

More than 100 people took on the race, passing through the motionless carnival rides, through the Richwoods high school cross country course and finishing on Main Street.

Grigsby said, "Running through the midway right now is a lot different than running through it at 4 in the afternoon when all the fairgoers are here."

And while some of the athletes were looking to beat personal records others were just looking to enjoy the quiet fairgrounds.

Suzie Shertz of El Paso said, "I just came over I wasn't actually planning on walking the race at all. But my husband runs 5 days and my daughter just started running 5 days so I decided to just walk it with them."

After the race participants relaxed in the beer garden.

Awards were given out to each age group for men and women.

The 1st place overall winner was 35-year-old Rolan Guillermo who finished the race in 16:07.

Guillermo said, "I'm so happy, so happy for today."

Along with their awards each participant also received a free ticket to the fair so they could see the place in action.