Source: Sherman Publications

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Brooksie marathon was successful again!

by Bill Kalmar

October 07, 2009

Streaming beams of light into the early morning sky similar to the Bat signal, heralded the location for the second edition of the Brooksie Way Half Marathon on the campus of Oakland University. Thousands of cars streamed into the parking areas and runners emerged ready to tackle one of the toughest half marathons in the state.

The race went off as scheduled and traversed paved streets, both the Clinton River and Paint Creek trails and even a somewhat muddy road. Some of the hills on the route were better suited for 66-year-old legs ambled up and over with little discomfort.

Police blocked off most of the avenues in the community to allow the thousands of runners to proceed unfettered. I suspect some of the residents were a bit miffed but this is a one time a year event and a little bit of inconvenience can be tolerated. Perhaps some of the drivers were on their way to religious services but I think the Almighty who I understand is an avid runner himself, would grant a pass to anyone who was late or who missed their service entirely. I suspect, too, that some of the drivers were on their way to the local donut shop so maybe next year in order to avoid the roadblocks, they should register for the third edition of the Brooksie Way Half Marathon or the 5K run or walk. But that's just my elitist running personality spewing some humor.

Each finisher received a classic medal with the Brooksie Way emblem emblazoned prominently. And there was ample food and refreshments for all. This was truly an event that year after year will bring thousands of runners to the area. In fact, I met a runner who came with a group of twenty-five from Pennsylvania. This was their first Brooksie.

My favorite moment was getting refreshments from a water station where a neighbor of ours was stationed. We exchanged pleasantries for a couple of seconds but he seemed reluctant to hand me a cup of water. I told him that his job was to provide the runners with water and not keep it for himself and we both laughed together. I thought for a moment that he was protecting a special beverage just for himself to heighten his senses and perhaps ward off a morning chill, but alas it was just water.

Then at the next aid station I must have missed the signage and after accepting a beverage cup and taking a sip, I discovered that it was beer! Not something I needed at 8:35a.m. In some races there are some maverick runners who like to quaff a beer during the event, but not me!

So congrats to Brooks Patterson and the folks from The Crim Foundation who partnered on this event. It was a stellar event and all of us look forward to next year!

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A semi-retired businessman, William J. Kalmar is a regular contributor for a number of both local and national publications. He and his wife Mary live in Lake Orion .