Alex Fine, a Los Angeles fitness trainer who has worked with the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Cole Sprouse, will run an ultramarathon at the end of the summer to benefit HAVEN of Oakland County.

Alex Fine, a Los Angeles fitness trainer who has worked with the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Cole Sprouse, will run an ultramarathon at the end of the summer to benefit HAVEN of Oakland County.

Photo by Tiffany Esshaki


Charitable runs/walks can be a kickstart to fitness

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published May 29, 2019

 For the 14th year, the Rochester  Older Persons’ Commission will host a 5K run/walk to benefit its Meals on Wheels program.

For the 14th year, the Rochester Older Persons’ Commission will host a 5K run/walk to benefit its Meals on Wheels program.

File photo provided by the Rochester Older Persons’ Commission

METRO DETROIT — Take a quick look at the Instagram page for Los Angeles-based celebrity fitness trainer Alex Fine and you’ll see he’s a master of his craft.

Abs for days.

But last month, when a Colorado judge passed down a mere 30-day jail sentence to his mom’s ex-boyfriend and abuser for the nearly two years of domestic violence he inflicted on her — a sentence to be served on work release — Fine didn’t feel much like he was in control.

But that didn’t last long, because he’s taking that control back the only way he knows how: with his body. Fine, known for shaping the physiques of actress Jennifer Aniston and the cast of the hit Netflix show “Riverdale,” announced that at the end of the summer he’ll be competing in a 50-mile ultramarathon to raise money for HAVEN of Oakland County, a nonprofit group and shelter that aims to protect families and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. He’s not sure which ultramarathon he’ll participate in, but he’s training nonetheless.

“I’m not into running, so training has been awful,” Fine said with a laugh. “I never do distance running at all. I haven’t run over a mile in a long time.”

When his mother was enduring her abuse, she and her college football coach boyfriend were living in Pontiac. She sought help from the team at HAVEN when she got up enough courage to leave him. So for Fine, his ultramarathon will serve to bring awareness to the organization along with funding.

“Men need to be held accountable for their role (in domestic violence). Their friends, their cousin, their uncle — if I don’t check them, I would be responsible too,” he explained. “We need to get more men involved. A vast majority of them are on our side, and there’s just a chosen few idiots. Everyone has a mother, daughter, sister.”

But good can be done in fewer than 50 miles. On June 1, runners and walkers of all abilities will hit the Clinton River Trail to raise funds for the Meals on Wheels program of Rochester’s Older Persons’ Commission. Last year, the program provided more than 121,000 meals for homebound seniors in nine communities, and the Run/Walk for Meals on Wheels, now in its 14th year, is a big reason why the meals can keep coming.

“This is a great community event to keep healthy and active while supporting a good cause,” Matthew Spierling, the head of fitness and aquatics for the OPC, said in a press release. “Last year we had several three-generation family groups in the race.”

There’s no rush to get to the finish line, though there are prizes for winners across different age categories. But the $30 registration fee for each adult entrant — $25 for children 12 and younger — goes back to the program. And since every $5 donated provides one meal and transportation, that adds up to a whole lot of help.

In St. Clair Shores, Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids is still enjoying the benefits of a fitness fundraiser that was hosted in its honor by the OrangeTheory Fitness studio in East Lansing. Throughout the month of March, the gym made donations to the nonprofit, which provides children and families struggling with hair loss from cancer and alopecia with wigs and other medical and emotional services.

“They have this monthly charitable fundraising program where people can check in to the gym on Facebook and Instagram with their hashtag, and OrangeTheory gives a portion of the proceeds from that client to us. And we got several hundred dollars from it,” said Jennifer Fisher, the development director for Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids.

While Fisher said the group is happy to accept any donations that it can use to benefit kids in the local community, there was something special about the fundraiser at OrangeTheory Fitness, a fitness regimen known for its challenging group training and tech-supported results monitoring.

“It’s great that you have a business like that that focuses on health and wellness, just like we do, reach out to us to create a partnership,” she said. “Health comes from more than just the gym — it comes from the people in our families and our communities. Fundraisers like this can have a widespread impact on that, so kudos to them.”

To support Alex Fine’s ultramarathon fundraiser for HAVEN of Oakland County, visit gofundme.com/almost-home-run-for-dv-victims.

For more information or to register for the Run/Walk for Meals on Wheels, visit eastsideracingcompany.com.

To learn more about Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids, visit wigs4kids.org.