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Warm weather draws 255 to Resolution Run

Conner Brewer, 4, finishes the 5K run alongside his dad, Steve, taking second place for the 10 & under age group. Photo by Gabriel Ouzounian (click for larger version)
January 05, 2011 - Gabriel Ouzounian

Review staff writer

Waking at 8 a.m. to frosty Jan. 1 weather to run five kilometers may not sound like a great way to start the new year, but the runners and participants of the 11th annual New Year's Resolution Run in Lake Orion Village did just that - and loved it.

Village of Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority (DDA) director Suzanne Perreault believes this year's event drew more people than ever before.

With a bang, the race begins. Photo by Gabriel Ouzounian. (click for larger version)
"We don't have the exact numbers for the previous years, but I had been told that last year's event was the biggest with 251 runners," said Perreault. "This year we had 255 people."

The DDA spent just over $4,000, generated just under $5,000, and received $1,000 worth of donations from local businesses in the form of water and public restrooms.

The event was not exclusive to any age group, gender, or species. Kids under ten years old raced alongside all other age groups, and even a few dogs. Participants included people trying the event for the first time, as well as those who made it to the event every year since its inception.

Molly Angel of Washington Township, who ran with her dog Dot, was one such attendee, and said the 2011 rendition of the resolution run was one of the best she has seen.

Lynda Willis and Chris Sillers finish triumphantly. Photo by Gabriel Ouzounian (click for larger version)
"I've been here every year for 11 years, and this was easily the busiest year, and the warmest by far," said Angel. "There was really heavy snowfall a few of years back where they had to cancel the event for later that week, so this weather is really welcome."

The unseasonably warm weather reached a high of 52 on new year's morning.

Angel added that her husband had also been in attendance for 11 years, and that he had biked from Washington Township prior to the run, adding that this was the only reason she and Dot could finish before him.

Other accounts of the race took the form of success stories.

Lynda Willis and Chris Sillers, who finished with held hands, said the race was part of their effort to train for a marathon.

Another couple of runners, Marilyn Schumaker and Terry Schenck, said they were able to race because of a class taught by Waldon Middle School Cross Country Coach Amy Lieblein. Terry's husband Russ added they had went from not running at all to running the five kilometers in the New Year's Resolution Run in just 11 weeks.

"We started on Oct. 7, with workouts every week where we would run for one minute, and walk for three," said Schenck. "We ended on Dec. 16 with a 20 minute run, and kind of got together and said 'lets see if we can run the 5k.'

"Terry and [Schumaker] were able to finish the run in 38 minutes."

Whatever the reason or motive, nearly every participant finished the run with a smile on their face, and a good feeling about starting the new year with a healthy dose of exercise.

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