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Sixth Annual Kayla O Mara Memorial Road Race

by Ashley St. Aubin

July 27, 2011

Erin O' Mara is excited for the new addition to the Sixth Annual Kayla O' Mara Memorial Road Race. Inspired by Goodrich resident Scott VanSumeren, the race will be adding a handcycle division in the 10K race.

"It's a really big year for us. I am excited for the new addition and I think it's good for the community to see these participants do their thing," says O' Mara, race director and older sister of Kayla.

The race also includes three other events, the 10K run, the 5K run/walk, and the fun run/walk, all taking off from Goodrich High School.

The Kayla O'Mara Memorial Road Race is dedicated to Kayla O'Mara, a Goodrich High School student who was killed in a car accident in 2006. The race is in honor of her athletic and academic achievements, as well as the personal impact she had on the community.

Just like her sister did, Erin O' Mara also shines as an athlete and student. She is a current finisher of the ING New York City Marathon, as well as marathons in Detroit, Chicago, San Antonio, Dayton (Air Force Marathon) and the famed Boston race. The Eastern Michigan University student says she looks at races differently now that she has directed the Kayla race for six years.

"It's a huge learning experience and sometimes can be a challenge. Its easier to be a racer."

More than honoring Kayla, though, the race is the sole provider for the Kayla O'Mara Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship is eligible to any high school graduate in Michigan.

"We look for students who exemplify leadership and academic excellence. They need to be leaders in the community and excellent team players. These were qualities and characteristics of Kayla."

The sixth annual Kayla O'Mara Memorial Road Race will begin at 7 a.m. on Aug. 6 at the Goodrich High School, 8029 S. Gale Road. Details: www.kaylarun.com