After the ribbon cutting, runners warm up for a speed training session at the park.

After the ribbon cutting, runners warm up for a speed training session at the park.

Photo by Brandy Baker

New running trail reaches finish line

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 14, 2019


STERLING HEIGHTS — Keith Hanson remembers what it was like to grow up in Sterling Heights and join the Parks and Recreation Department programs as a child more than four decades ago.

“I grew up here and basically went to Stevenson High School. I was in every Little League sport from the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation from the time I was 7 years old till 12,” he said.

“It’s just been a big part of my life, being here. Also, my first job was the summer parks and recreation program, which I did from the age of 15 all the way through college.”

Today Hanson, 53, is the co-owner of Hanson’s Running Shop. Although he now lives in Rochester Hills, he recently attended a June 4 press conference at Dodge Park to witness the ribbon cutting on a newly dedicated Hanson’s Running Trail. Local runners also attended the event to celebrate the dedication.

The dirt running trail winds around in Dodge Park, near the bridge that crosses the Clinton River. Hanson said the trail is about three-quarters of a mile long and cost about $10,000 to renovate last summer.

During the ribbon-cutting event, Hanson said he and his brother, Kevin, started opening their running business stores in 1991. The business originated out of Sterling Heights, but has since moved throughout the metro Detroit area, he said.

Hanson called the trail naming and dedication a very humbling experience.

“We’re excited to be able to help with this trail and certainly see the use in Sterling Heights,” he said. “With everything they’ve done for us, it’s the least we could do ... to contribute in some way. We’ve taken advantage of these parks systems for 30-odd years, and certainly even what we’ve done here doesn’t begin to repay what we’ve gotten from the parks.”

City officials said Hanson’s Running Shop has invested into the community for decades, especially in training and guiding runners in metro Detroit.

During the event, Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Langlois praised the business for helping stripe Delia Park’s cross-country course, as well as for operating a local running club and offering gift certificates for events.

“It’s very fitting that since a lot of their work is done here in Dodge Park and in the city, that we’re able to name a running trail after them,” Langlois said.

Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor also praised the business at the ceremony.

“The Hansons are an institution in this area,” he said. “And for all that you do to support the city of Sterling Heights, parks and recreation, running and cross-country, from the bottom of our heart, thank you for everything that you do.”

Sterling Heights City Council members also appeared at the ribbon cutting. Councilwoman Maria Schmidt grouped the renovated running path with other new amenities in the Dodge Park and City Center areas, such as an upcoming community center.

“It just keeps getting better,” Schmidt said. “I think our residents have approved us doing some fantastic things for the community. … And just adding this running path is icing on the cake.”

Mayor Pro Tem Liz Sierawski said the path renovation “really brought the community together” and pointed out the crowds and activity in the park.

“The park is full; it’s packed,” she said. “We’ve got people taking prom pictures, people looking forward to their running with the new running path that we’re going to be opening today. So it’s wonderful to be able to reach every aspect of their lives to the best of our abilities.”

Hanson’s Running Shop has locations in Utica, Grosse Pointe Woods, Lake Orion and Royal Oak. Find out more about the business by visiting or by calling (586) 323-9683.