Rochester HillsSeptember 29, 2011
Brooksie Way sets sights on fitness
By Linda Shepard
C & G Staff Writer
Organizers of this year’s Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5K Run aim to create a fitter population while providing a challenging athletic event.
“We want a healthy community,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said.
The race is planned for 8 a.m. Oct. 2, and the 13.5-mile route travels through Rochester Hills, Rochester and along the Clinton River and Paint Creek trails. The Brooksie Way course winds through quaint neighborhoods, lush trails and downtown Rochester before finishing on the campus of Oakland University.
The Brooksie Way, a Crim Fitness Foundation race, is named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and the son of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. Brooksie, as his family and friends knew him, died in an accident in 2007.
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett plans to run in the Brooksie Way 5K. He said he is encouraged by the excitement the event brings to the city. “I was driving around this week and saw people running in last year’s (Brooksie Way) T-shirts,” Barnett said. “Four hundred people ran in the trial race last week. That’s the cool part — it is bigger than just one day.”
Barnett said the event has inspired him personally. “I never ran before,” he said. “Now I am running.” Race day activities include a post-race party at Oakland University featuring prizes, music, food vendors, and a family activity zone.
A local doorknocker campaign distributed maps to local households about how to travel around the city on race day. “This is our fourth year. Every year we tweak it to perfect it,” Patterson said.
This year’s race begins and ends on the campus of Oakland University. Parking is available for participants on the corner of Walton Boulevard and Adams Road, and the corner of Walton and Squirrel Road.
Proceeds from the race support the Brooksie Way minigrant program, which has contributed more than $50,000 to promote healthy and active lifestyles in Oakland County.
Local health officials are using the event to promote the Movestrong approach to increasing wellness, strength and flexibility.
“We’ve started a new program that focuses on fitness, health and wellness,” said Jeffrey DeClair, director of physical therapy at the DeClair Knee and Orthopedic Institute. “We are reaching out to the general community to become healthier.”
Crittenton Hospital provides office space for Brooksie Way organizers. “There are a lot of good things that come out of this,” hospital President Lynn Orfgen said. “The community has to be a good citizen, and we try to support the effort as much as we possibly can.”
For more information about the Brooksie Way, call (248) 494-2968 or visit www.thebrooksieway.com for race application forms.
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