ROCHESTER, Mich. - Time is running short for runners and walkers interested in taking part in the ninth annual HAP Brooksie Way races.
The Health Alliance Plan Brooksie Way Half Marathon begins at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University. Online registration ends Wednesday at noon. Final registration is available in person on Friday from 3-8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the HAP Brooksie Way Health and Fitness Expo sponsored by Crittenton in the OU Student Rec Center. Former Boston Marathon winner Greg Meyer will appear at the Expo to sign autographs.
"The readers of MLive proclaimed the HAP Brooksie Way course as one of the most beautiful in the state," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "Our race continues to improve each year and I expect our ninth edition to be the best yet. I hope to see you Sunday morning."
Expo shoppers are eligible to win a $500 airline gift card courtesy of Flint Bishop Airport. The first 100 people through the door on Friday and Saturday will be given a free HAP Brooksie Way race promotion T-shirt.
The Brooksie Way also serves as the backdrop for the HAP 5K Challenge, a training program that can turn a couch potato into a 5k racer in just nine weeks. This program, which is free to HAP members, requires 30 minutes per day, three days per week. HAP provides additional support through bi-weekly group training to keep participants on track, as well as an online training tool to interact with coaches and runners between meet-ups.
"In a culture plagued by a sedentary lifestyle, HAP is proud to be the title sponsor of this year's Brooksie Way -- an event that promotes health and fitness," said Mary Ann Tournoux, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Health Alliance Plan. "HAP works hard to make it easier for the people of Michigan to make healthy choices. This is just one example of how we do that."
Brooksie races include a half marathon, 10k and 5k. The "Lil' Brooksie" kid's race – sponsored by Fifth Third bank – features a Diaper Dash, Toddler Trot and Big Kids Race – is set for noon on Saturday at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre and begins at the same start/finish line as the half marathon. This year's HAP Brooksie Way takes place during Oakland University's homecoming weekend activities.
Complete details for all races including registration are available at www.TheBrooksieWay.com. Kroger, the official half marathon sponsor, offers race applications in all Michigan stores. Dell is the 10k race sponsor. The 5k race is sponsored by First Merit Bank. Fifth Third Bank is also the Team Challenge sponsor.
On Wednesday, a pre-race Sponsor's Reception is being held at the Rochester Mills Production Brewery, 3275 Lapeer Road West, Auburn Hills, during which winners of the Brooksie Way Minigrant program will be announced. The minigrants, which are supported by HAP and others sponsors, has awarded more than 6,000 to programs that support healthy and active lifestyles for county residents.
The HAP Brooksie Way is named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young married father and the son of the county executive, who died in 2007. It has become one of the most popular regional fall half marathons. The 2015 race attracted 5,400 participants. The course begins and ends at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre (formerly the Meadow Brook Music Festival) and includes parts of the Clinton River and Paint Creek trails, Rochester Hills and downtown Rochester. The half marathon also returns to its original course which includes Tienken Road as road construction that had diverted the race is complete.
A post-race celebration, which is sponsored by The Oakland Press, will begin immediately after the races and continue until 1 p.m. on the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre grounds. Entertainment will be provided by Square Pegz and feature music from the 1980s.
New this year, those who complete the 5k race will join those who finish the 10k and half marathon and receive a custom die-cut finisher medal created especially for the races. All participants will receive access to free unlimited photos. All half marathon participants receive a long sleeve technical shirt.
Volunteers are still being sought to help on the Friday and Saturday preceding the race and on race day. Those interested can see what volunteer opportunities are available by checking www.TheBrooksieWay.com.