FARMINGTON HILLS — The fourth time is a charm for Edmund Anderson.
As the director and creator of the Aug. 17 fourth annual Run for the Hills event, he is certain the 1k, 5k and 10k courses will be bigger and better for runners and walkers alike this year.
The course, which starts and ends in Shiawassee Park, is a runner-friendly route with a scenic path.
“Now the route is straighter,” Anderson told C & G Newspapers recently. “I think it is going to be more fun for the runners.”
The event, which features a $1,000 prize, will benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Oakland County, a group of volunteer coaches and more than 1,000 intellectually disabled athletes who train and compete year-round in 15 sports and tournaments, according to www.farmingtonrun forthehills.com.
The past three Run for the Hills events have garnered $16,700 for Special Olympics Athletes of Oakland County.
Along with the growth in donations, Anderson said the event hosts more attendees every year.
“The first year, we had 400 runners; the second year we had 500 — last year, just over 700,” he said. “It is starting to pick up; community reaction is extremely supportive. Farmington and Farmington Hills are very accommodating.”
Ted Stern, director of Farmington-based Team Farmington Special Olympics, said every bit of the $16,700 has helped the 60 athletes he oversees with purchasing uniforms, travel expenses and other costs.
“It’s been tremendous. It’s a godsend for us,” Stern told C & G Newspapers recently. “We’ve been growing the last three or four years.”
Stern said that although growth in numbers is good for his organization, it also means more expenses coming out of pocket. Because the organization operates solely through donations, it is helpful when more people pitch in and donate, he said. The organization takes in around $35,000-$40,000 annually.
“This time of the year, our money is basically gone, and we’re always worried,” he said. “With Ed, that worry is gone.”
Some new additions to this year’s Run for the Hills event include a more scenic course and a matt start, which starts the clock when someone’s feet hit the starting matt, Anderson said.
“I think runners are going to like that,” he said.
To find out more information about the event or to register, go to www.farmingtonrunforthehills.com.
Mail-in registration is available online through next Thursday.
Runners may register 5-7 p.m. Aug. 16 at Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 37529 Grand River Ave.
Runners may register 6:30-8 a.m. at Shiawassee Park Aug. 16.
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