Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson displays a new race logo featuring a historical barn April 24 at Oakland University for the annual Brooksie Way half-marathon race.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson displays a new race logo featuring a historical barn April 24 at Oakland University for the annual Brooksie Way half-marathon race.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Brooksie Way kicks off training programs

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published May 1, 2018

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ROCHESTER HILLS — During the heart-rending sadness of a funeral eulogy for his son, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson was struck by a comment from a relative.

“He said to live life the Brooksie way,” Patterson said.

The annual Brooksie Way half-marathon race, to be held this year on Sept. 23, is named for Patterson’s son, Brooks Stuart Patterson, known as Brooksie, who died in a snowmobile accident. “That’s the genesis of the name,” Patterson said.

During a kickoff event April 24 at Oakland University, Patterson reflected upon the 10 years the race has been held.

“We continue to add more runners and walkers every year,” he said. “We try to be an all-round family event.”

The half-marathon begins and ends at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, on the campus of Oakland University, and travels along a route that includes sections of the Clinton River and the Paint Creek trails.

In addition to the half-marathon, the Brooksie Way includes a 5K run/walk and a 5K family run. The littlest athletes can participate in the Diaper Dash, the Tot Trot or the mile run. Each child will receive a race T-shirt, a medal and a finish line goody bag.

“We’ve had over 300 toddlers, crawlers and little runners,” said Deb Flynn, Brooksie Way race director. “You need to see it.”

Brooksie Way summer training programs begin May 24 and are designed for those over the age of 13 who have never participated in a race before, as well as those looking to improve their time goals. The program runs for 18 weeks, and training groups meet weekly at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at locations in Rochester Hills.

“You get a training calendar, two free race entries, shirts and discounts on shoes,” said Val King, Brooksie Way training coordinator. “And we offer a lot of moral support.”

This year’s Brooksie Way logo features the historical Meadow Brook North Barn, located at the race start, near Walton Boulevard. The 101-year-old restored barn was named 2016 Barn of the Year by the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.

Margaret Diamond, president of McLaren Oakland, a major sponsor of the race, revealed the new logo at the kickoff event.

“The historic barn is at the start line,” she said. “How perfect it is to have it in the logo.”

Proceeds from the race support local programs focusing on healthy and active lifestyles through Brooksie Way minigrants. This year, minigrants were awarded to the Micah 6 Community, Jewish Senior Life, the Rainbow Connection and Azteca Youth Enrichment.

For more information about the Brooksie Way races and training programs, visit www.the brooksieway.com.  

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