July 10, 2013 - Runners and walkers can face the challenge of Clarkston's hills in the first-ever Clarkston State Bank Backroads Half Marathon and 10K, Nov. 10.
Deanna Hart of High Five Races, at the finish line for the upcoming Clarkston State Bank Backroads Half Marathon. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
"It's always been a dream to have a half marathon in Clarkston," said Deanna Hart, who is planning the race along with Megan Holt. "Clarkston is a beautiful community with lots of sports enthusiasts here in town."
Presented by Clarkston State Bank and High Five Races, the race will start at Depot Park, head north on Holcomb Road, through back roads into Independence Township up to Rattalee Lake Road, Reese Road to Oak Hill Road, south on Allen Road back to Holcomb, and finally through the Dark Lake subdivision, with finish line on Washington Street near Main Street.
"We wanted to make it a country back roads kind of run, with beautiful farm settings, pasture, and horses," said Hart, For Hart, who has been running races for 23 years. "I do a lot of bike riding in the back roads so I'm familiar with the roads. It's a beautiful setting."
After the finish, racers can enjoy a post-race party with a beverage from MIP Beer, Mesquite Creek Back Road Chile, and music in The Clarkston News parking lot tent, with volunteers from Clarkston Rotary Club.
Sponsors, also including The Clarkston News, Smith's Disposal, McLaren, and Bowman Chevrolet, will provide water stations and other services along the way.
"We have great sponsorships," she said.
Residents living along the route will be encouraged to play music, put up additional water stations, and encourage racers.
"I'd love to have 300-400 runners, with everybody in the community on board, cheering them on," she said.
Volunteers, perhaps local 4H or high school equestrians, will patrol the route to make sure everyone is safe.
The 13.11 mile course will be a challenging, with lots of hills.
"It's not a flat course – major elevation changes particularly at the end of the race," Hart said. "To see the enthusiasm and excitement when runners finish, that's the best."
The half marathon will start at 9:30 a.m., with the 10K at 9:45 a.m. Registration for the Half Marathon Run is $45/through Sept. 1; $60/Sept. 2-Nov. 8; $75/day of.
For the 10K Run and 10K Walk, registration is $30/through Sept. 1, $35/Sept. 2- Nov. 8, $40/day of.
Racers receive a long-sleeve tech T-shirt, finisher's medal, and timing by Race Services Company.
Proceeds benefit Lighthouse and Faith in Action, a new community group in Oakland County.
For more information, check www.clarkstonbackroadshalf.com.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.