PEORIA, Ill -- This weekend marks the 40th annual Steamboat Classic in downtown Peoria; but what you may not know is that, this year, there will also be an official 15k satellite race in Afghanistan.
Major Nancie Alexander with the Illinois Air National Guard is the president of the Illinois Valley Striders. She was deployed to Afghanistan in April.
Major Alexander has said she has not missed a Steamboat race in the 20 years since she started run, and doesn't plan to let her tour of duty stop her this year.
"They are in the middle of a war zone and there has been a lot of activity this past week with bombings and other things like that and so they are dealing with that. But also, now it's summertime in Afghanistan so the highs get well into the low 100s, so 100-110, they are also dealing with the heat," said Philip Lockwood, Race Director of the Steamboat Classic.
Lockwood has sent shirts, bib numbers and even medals to Major Alexander and her race recruits in Afghanistan.
If you'd like to participate in the race here on the homefront, you can still sign up this Friday at the Riverplex.