April 17, 2013 - Runners and walkers get your athletic shoes on and get ready for the Addison Township Library's first-ever "Born to Read 5K and Speed Reader's Fun Run" on May 18 at the Addison Oaks County Park.
Evan Covert shows off his winning artwork for the ‘Speed Readers Fun Run.’ Photo by Trevor Keiser. (click for larger version)
The library is hosting the event along with the Friends of the Library. The early registration cost to race, which ends April 27, will be $25 for ages 13 to adult and $15 for ages 12 and under. The walk/run event will be hand-timed by Hanson's Race Management. To register visit www.runmichigan.com or do it in person at the library, located at 1400 Rochester Rd.
"We're getting as many people involved as possible," said Addison Township Library Director Jaema Berman. "We hope to have at least 85 participants to break even for the event."
"The great thing about this is it's for everybody – for walkers, for runners, for old, for young. You don't have to be in great shape to do this," she added. "It provides everybody a chance to get started with (a) healthier lifestyle, which I think is really important to promote in this community."
Berman said she has been "very involved in the last year (with) getting into shape." Since last March, she and her husband have walked in 25 events and lost a combined 50 pounds. She has seen her race time drop by a whole minute.
"I entered (the) Brooksie Way as a competitive walker and signed up for their training program as well. I see the benefit of group training. There is a lot of social support, a lot of fun people can have together and they're getting healthy while they're doing that," she said. "I am hoping we'll catch a lot of people this year who really want to change their habits and get into a healthier lifestyle by supporting their local library."
Berman said the library's funding has dropped dramatically over the past 10 years due to falling house prices
"We've lost about $50,000," she said. "Our budget is about $225,000 a year, so when you think about $50,000, that's a pretty big chunk of money to lose."
It's a way to raise money for the library and make the community aware of the services it offers, noted Berman. Those amenities include new computers as well as the capability to scan documents and fax. The library also has new programming including a writers group, a genealogy group and a knitting group.
"We know people value our services. We inter-loaned over 10,000 books last year. Our use rate is way up. We register about 25 new patrons every month," she said. "We're really excited about the enthusiasm we see in our community for the public library."
As a way to build excitement for the race, Berman said they held a 5K artwork contest, both for the 12-and-under Fun Run as well as the 5K. The winners were announced last week. Evan Covert won in the children's category. His design will be featured on medals for the Speed Reader's Fun Run. Dan Prevost's artwork won as well and will be used for the 5K T-shirt and for the over 12 (years-old) medal.
"It was cool (to be the winner,)" Covert said. "I had fun drawing it."
As for the race itself, Berman said they're hoping to make it an annual event.
"We're real excited because it provides an event for everyone to come together to support their community, to be the change, to get involved, to get healthy and to have a lot of fun," she said. "We want to use our 5K as an opportunity (for) community building."
For more information, call (248) 628-7180, visit www.addisontwp.michiganlibrary.org or find them on Facebook.
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.