October 09, 2013 - Ninoska Aliaga, sister of Independence Township Trustee Jose Aliaga, finished the Brookie Way 5K run with a time of 22 minutes, 17 seconds.
Jose Aliaga is proud of his sister Ninoska Aliaga's Brooksie Way win. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
That won her first place for women overall in the Sept. 28 race.
"I'm very proud of her," said Jose, who hadn't seen her sister since a visit to their home in Lima, Peru, last December.
Ninoska, who has been running competitively for 12 years, said she enjoyed the race and was impressed with the crowd.
"There was a lot of interest by people and support for the race," she said, with translation help by her brother.
Running runs in the family, she said.
"My dad ran in marathons," she said.
Race wins in Peru got her a sponsorship to run in America. She was invited to race in the Chicago Marathon, but Jose suggested she try out the Brooksie run.
This is her first visit to the United States.
"I really like it," she said. "It was very surprising, in a good way. I realize America is the land of opportunity and freedom. I see in the U.S. a land where whatever wish you dream, if you work hard, you can make it happen, like my brother."
Government also runs efficiently compared to South America, she said.
"I see a lot of good services here – the fire department and police, how tax money is spent," she said. "Taxes are more expensive in South American but you don't see how it's spent."
She also likes Wendy's and Dr. Pepper. She's familiar with KFC. She owns a transportation company in Peru – one of its contracts is to ship supplies for KFC in Peru.
"Everything but food," she said. "In Lima, I see more KFC than in Michigan."
– Phil Custodio