Park Ridge Open

Park Ridge, Illinois

Nov. 09, 2019 8 a.m. (ET)


Park Ridge Open

Saturday, November 9, 2019


The 2019 Park Ridge Open, held on November 9th at Oakton Ice Arena, featured about 80 skaters from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. The race also featured a new annual award named in honor of some of the club's greatest coaches and skaters. Participants in the race with the fastest 1000 m time recorded in the race were honored with this special award. This special award was an elegant wooden box that opens into a gold clock with a plaque commemorating the event and date.

For the men, Jack Schnor of Glen Ellyn Speedskating received the Rich Widmark Award for his 1:42.46 time in the Open A Semifinal that he raced on the fast ice at Oakton. Rich Widmark was there to present the award. Widmark was the club's first coach and a world champion barrel jumper. He can be considered an early example of an extreme athlete, since barrel jumping involved skaters gathering speed and jumping over rows or stacks of barrels laid on the ice. Though he has retired from coaching, he is revered by the club for the caring coaching style that he brought, and for starting an organization that has lasted for more than 50 years.

For the ladies, Claire Kudlata of Wisconsin Speedskating earned the first-ever Nancy Swider-Peltz Award with an amazing 1:47.58 time on the 1000 m Junior C final near the end of the day's races. Nancy Swider-Peltz was one of the club's very first skaters under Coach Widmark. She went on to become a 4-time Olympian, inducted into the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame, and is currently the head coach of Park Ridge Speedskating. She also was there to present her award to Claire Kudlata.

Meet director Mike Olijnyk, Park Ridge Club President, commented, "We want this race to become an annual tradition for the Midwest speedskating community. So many people I see at races or camps tell me how much they enjoy coming to Park Ridge each year and we want to keep giving the more reasons to return the next year. 'Life is short, skate fast' is our mantra we live by."


Registration at:


Oakton Ice Arena

2800 Oakton Street, Park Ridge, Illinois

Hosted By the Park Ridge Speed Skating Club

Sanctioned by US Speed Skating and the Amateur Skating Association of Illinois (ASAI)

Track: 111.12 meters on an 85' X 200' Ice surface


1:30-2:20 p.m. Check In & Mat Set Up

2:20-2:50 p.m. Warm Up

2:50 - 3:15 pm Ice Resurface & National Anthem

3:15 p.m. Racing Begins

8:00 p.m. Racing Ends (We need to be completely off ice)

Meet Director: Mike Olijnyk   


EMT’s will not be on-site at the rink. In the event someone requires medical attention, 911 will be called. Fire station is only 1.5 miles east of Oakton Ice Arena. Nearest hospital is about 1 mile.