Mesick Mushroom Festival 5K Race/2K Walk May 12, 2018

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Race director, Rhonda Workman, Welcomed runners and walkers to the annual Mesick Mushroom Festival 5K Race/2K Walk, May 12, 2018. Rhonda is not sure how old the race is, other than the race is very old. This year is the third year Rhonda has directed the race. The run might be one of the most beautiful race courses in Northern Michigan as we wound along the rustic Manistee River backwaters, along primitive wooded trails to finish at the backwaters of the Hodenpyle Dam. The setting was an incredibly beautiful course. Lovely four colored medals were awarded the top three men and women, in 10 year age groups. Rhonda took photos of us all for her Facebook page. We were treated to homemade cookies and a fun drawing where additional gifts were provided by sponsors.

The race benefits the Mesick Track Team. Many Mesick track team members were present to help marshal the wooded course and to energetically ring cowbells. (Runners always have a need for more cowbell!!). Sponsors of the race were; Northern Exposures Campground, Mesick Market, Dynamic Physical Therapy, Ellen’s Corner, Mesick Dental Center, Antioch Hills, Northern Pines Health Center, Hilltop Truck Maintenance, Honor Bank, Munson Medical Center and Gaylord Outdoors. The race was further assisted by; Northern Lights Insurance, Finishing by Flatman, Mesick Women’s Club, Harmony Honey Farm, Wilderness Canoe Trips, The Workman Farm, and Evelyn Jakubik.

I met the race “winner” long after the medals were handed out and all prizes were awarded and the crowd was leaving. I saw a couple of runners watching the beautiful view. His “M” hat was intriguing. They looked like “normally” fit runners, but I was in for a surprise. It took several questions and comments before I found out Ann Baca, 57, of South Lyon, wore a pacemaker. Ann says “Running makes my heart stronger.” In 2012, Ann received an implanted cardio defribulator. Ann has Hypertrophic Cardo Myopathy. Her ventricular fribulation or PVC is resolved with the implant and through exercise. Ann also bikes, swims, does elliptical, and performs yoga. With a Prediaketic diet, she lost 35 pounds. Her A1C dropped from 6.2 to 5.9. Because Ann is pre-diabetic, she has been on a diabetic diet eating no more than 45-60 carbs per meal. Her cholesterol is better than ever. As a project manager, Ann also uses exercise as a stress relief. Congratulations to my “winner”, Ann Baca. You weren’t the fastest runner, but you proved that exercise will benefit even a serious condition. Ann’s husband, John Baca, also 57, “accompanied” my “winner”. John wore his U of M hat proudly. John attended UM Dearborn and is a crazy UM fan, like me. One son attended UM Dearborn, one son attended UM, Ann Arbor, and two daughters went to CMU and MSU! Ann, is this your first time as a race “winner”? You make us all very proud.

I had the pleasure of meeting the women members of a book club who ran in matching book club shirts and really did read books. These ladies were having a typical book club blast. All of them are from the Cadillac-McBain area and most are either teachers or health-care workers. Alexandre Dodde, age 30, lost 70 pounds including losing 30 inches in total. Carla Brummer, is 33, Erin Koetje is 36, and lost 30 pounds, Samantha Dekan is 30, Gabrielle Koetje, is 22, Emily Roeifsema is 30, her sister, Kathy Deller, is 33, lost 50 pounds, and reduced her blood pressure from 180/100 to 110/60. These ladies read good books and they are tough on the race course. Emily gave me a good tussle throughout much of the race.

I lost my age group “win” to Gerald Rohn, 72, from Freeland. What is most interesting about Gerald winning, is that he competed te 5K race with two replaced knees,,, and still beat me. Next year, Gerald, you are going down!! Pam Tank, 58, of Mesick, ran for her company, who is a sponsor, Northern Lights Insurance. Pam’s husband, Tim, 59, walked the course wearing a leg brace that stretched from his thigh to mid-calf. The brace helped keep bone from rubbing on bone where cartilage is missing. Stu Davidson, 29, of Midland, ran part of the course with me. Stu was a runner on his high school track team. Stu’s mother’s day gift to his mom was entry into this race. Mom, Mercedes Davidson, 57, meets with her son, Stu, for a Mother’s Day race every year for the last 14 years. Give mom the gift of life!! Helena Risdon, 67 of Alto, MI, near Grand Rapids, has been fast walking for the last 12 years. Helena walked with her daughter, Rosalyn Risdon, 43, from Byron Center. Rosylyn, runs to support causes such as the Susan G. Komen fund in the Gazelle Race. Amanda Kubiak, 29, walked the race with her 3 year old Husky, Meiko. Beautiful dog!! Cory Grimes, from Cadillac, is another “winner”. Cory lost over 200 pounds and lifts weights for a Cadillac area team. Cory continues to lose inches around his middle and keeps the same weight while adding muscle. Jody Baxter, 57, walked the course in spite of having a broken knee suffered in a fall.

The Mesick Track Team was present to marshal us around the wooded, winding trail. Each of the track team members rang cowbells to lighten our spirits as we ran the race. Next year, MORE COWBELLs, please. We need more cowbells!! Micah Vogler, Elizabeth Terry, Austin Liebzeit, Tenzin McGregor, Maddy Weinert, Jorge Lewis, Aiden Brewer, Courtnie Gibbs, Joey Stewert, Alyia Caranhan, Abby Riffle, Jack Malkowski, Frankie Simerson, and Grant Fleis all members of the track team, participated. We could not have finished this race without your help. Coach, Rob McGregor, was in charge of team members.

Race director, Rhonda Workman, hopes you will join her for next year’s Mesick Mushroom Festival 5K and fun run along the beautiful Manistee River. Always ask your doctor before starting an exercise program.  Rhonda, thank you for bringing us this race, having an important impact on many lives. Rhonda is a veteran. Thank you, Rhonda, for your service and for directing this exceptional event!!!


Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 76, of Traverse City, has lost over 100 pounds and trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons (3:01 marathon PR) and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. He is an Advanced Scuba diver and plays blues harmonica internationally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. Today, Mickey finished second in his age group.


Kalkaska Rotary Wood Memorial 5K & 10K Run, April 28, VFW Hall

According to race director, Dr. Clayton Skrzypczak, this race is the 27th annual Kalkaska Rotary Wood Memorial Run, formally known as the Trout Run. I recall running in the “Trout Run” about 25 years ago when it was one of the few 10K races held in Northern Michigan. Running along the many lakes and streams surrounding Kalkaska, the race is quite scenic and lovely.

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This run is held in the memory of Kalkaska’s own Chad Wood and his father, Stafford, who loved cross country running and track. Chad died of leukemia in 1990, during his senior year of high school. His father, Stafford, who filled many rolls throughout the years at Kalkaska High School, died six years later.

The Kalkaska Rotary uses the funds raised through both participation and the generous sponsorships of local business, to help raise money to support four different youth scholarships, Youth Exchange, the Senior Party for the graduating seniors of Kalkaska High School, as well as many other improvement projects at the school and the community. The Kalkaska Rotary hopes to grow this event to add more funding to these wonderful programs!

Race sponsors include; Kalkaska Memorial Health Center (partnering with Munson Healthcare), American Waste, Northern Seal Inc, Kalkaska Funeral home and Cremation Services, Kalkaska Family Vision Care, Great Lakes Golf Carts, and the Rotary Club of Kalkaska. In addition to sponsoring the event, as you will see from reading this article, Rotary Club members were volunteering at many sites before, during and after the event. Race results can be found at this link; Wood Memorial Run .

While this race earns important funds for the good works of the Kalkaska Rotary Club, the run also impacts many lives in an important manner. Let’s meet some of the amazing runners and walkers who have positively impacted their lives through exercise and running. As author of this article, I have the privilege of picking my own race “winners”. These folks may not be the fastest runners, but they all impacted their lives in a positive, important manner. For the Wood Memorial Run, the “winners” circle is filled by two runners. First is “winner” Mary Swift, 62, of Traverse City. Mary’s back went out on her 4 years ago. She has a severely bulging disc and was bed-ridden for a long period of time. Today, Mary no longer takes medications for her back. She “walks” briskly. When I saw Mary in the out-and-back portion of the race, she was moving at a pretty fast pace that looked like running to me. Mary either walks briskly for her daily exercise or she swims including running in the pool and step aerobics. Mary even rollerblades in her neighborhood. This year she downhill skied at one of our many fine resorts. Mary says; “Motion is Lotion. If you keep moving, you will regain much of the life you may have lost. If you do not move, you lose all chance of rehabilitation”. Wise words, Mary. By the way, Mary won her age group on the 5K. Way to go, Mary. For hubby, Bill, 75, this event was his 1072 race! Bill was also an age group winner.

My next “winner” is Dave Maddox, 64, from Gaylord. Dave has completed 20 marathons and run at least one 100 mile Gaylord to Mackinaw race. Both feats are proudly marked with tattoos on Dave’s arms, one tattoo on the right arm, one tattoo on the left arm. Dave has also completed over 150-½ marathons. What is so impressive about Dave is that forty years ago, he almost died from smoking and drinking. Dave’s liver was shot. His doctor told him he must turn his life around or face serious consequences. Dave lost 150#! Yes, in addition to being a “winner”, Dave is also this races “big loser”. Congratulations to Dave. Dave was the “Health Ambassador” of Northern Michigan for former governor, Jennifer Granholm. Dave expects to run the four day race in Pinckney. He trains 6-10 miles each day.

More amazing runners to follow; Bruce McHenry, 77, of Grave Harbor, near Cheboygan, lost 90# and improved his blood measurements to where his doctor says he is doing fine with all his critical blood work. Jessica Stark, 34, from Kingsley, ran a 5K, after delivering a healthy daughter several months ago. Son, Eric, 7, ran the 10K while dad, Chris, took daughter, Alli, 5, in the fun run. Chris is among the fastest of area runners, but today he had “fun run duty”. Nick Amato, 21, of Suttons Bay, and Ann Arbor, won the 5K. Nick is on the triathlon team as a senior at the University of Michigan, GO BLUE!! He is majoring in public health with a minor in entrepreneurial studies. Did I say,,,,,,,,,,,,, GO BLUE!!!?

The race could not have occurred without the help of volunteers, many of whom were affiliated with The Kalkaska Rotary Club. In addition to running in the 5K, Colette Pierce, 58, ran in the 5K. Colette is the Kalkaska Rotary Club Secretary and helped with registration. Mel Cook, was everywhere. Mel is the incoming Rotary President. Tom Tanner is the past president of the Rotary. Kevin Rogols, ran the race and is the current Kalkaska Rotary Club President. Caleb Paryani, handed out water on the course, rang cow bells, cheered on runners, and helped set-up.

We were happy to see one of the parade floats, and an important float. We saw the final assembly of the Veterans Float by Dave and Melanie Pauch. The float was in support and carrying veterans and members of VFW Post 8684 along with American Legion Post 480 Color Guard. Thank you for your service.
Race director, Clayton Skrzypczak, and The Kalkaska Rotary Club, hopes you will join them for next year’s beautiful and scenic race and help continue the memory of the Wood Family. Remember, always ask your doctor for permission before starting an exercise program.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 76 (Happy Birthday, today, to me), of TC, has lost over 100 pounds and trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. He is an Advanced Scuba diver and plays blues harmonica internationally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. Today, Mickey finished fourth in his age group and for the first time in his life, was accompanied by the sheriff pace car, or was it the sweep car?

Big Little Hero Run. NMC Main Campus, Apr 21, 2018

Race director, Kyle Brownley, welcomed 190 runners and walkers and dogs to the   fourth annual Big Little Hero Run, NMC Main Campus, Apr 21. Benefiting Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the event was a superhero themed race. Runners came wearing their favorite superhero costumes. The fun run was free and there were prizes for all children who participated. NMC’s College for Kids sponsored the fun run so that every child that participated received a cape!  After the event, everyone went downstairs for the awards ceremony, food, prizes and fun events for kids of all ages. All runners could enjoy face painting, balloon animals and more! There were awards for top overall male/female finisher in both the 5K & 10K, best costume; male & female, child & group, and three deep medals in each age group. The course ran around the NMC campus, out the beautiful Old Mission peninsula and back. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBG) of Northwestern Michigan who according to executive director Cecilia Chesney, are urgently seeking more “Bigs” to join a waiting list of over 100 “Littles” waiting for partners. BBBG services nearby counties around Grand Traverse and are always in need of volunteers and sponsors. The popular event was conducted by NMC Business Students for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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The race was proudly supported by the following sponsors, Pickle Print Marketing, Hogarth’s Pest Control, Northwestern Michigan College, Stromberg and The Delora A. Norris Foundation. More supporters include; Infinity Screen Printing, Cherry Lane Electric, Bogard & Sons Construction, City of Traverse City, Eventsnorth, Utility Supply and Construction, Safety Net, KSP Machining, Marathon Automotive, Sports Clips Haircuts, Alfie Logo Gear, Priority Health, Comfort Keepers, Wolverine Power Cooperative, Wilson and Kester Divorce and Family Law, Community Foundation, 4Front Credit Union, Shorts Brewery, Fit 4  Mom, TBA Credit union, Grand Traverse Resorts, Prout Financial Design, and Chemical Bank.

My “winner” was an old friend from 40 years ago or so. I did not recognize Shelley Wilson Kester, because Shelley had lost 100#. Shelley has fought weight all her life. She gave up alcohol and sugar and she looks great. Why did she work so hard in becoming in shape? So she could “love herself”. Shelley has also defeated asthma. She no longer takes asthma medication. Also, she has eliminated her allergy medication, she sleeps better and “shopping is more fun”. Congratulations to my “winner”, Shelley Wilson Kester. Shelley’s hubby, Paul, is no slouch either. Paul has dropped 20# by eating more fish and veggies.  And, they are also race sponsors!!!  Proud dad and granddad, Pat Wilson, looked on……… LOOKED ON?????

Stephen McDonald, 46, and his daughter, Sophia, 10, Ian, 8, and Finnish exchange student, Veikkg Lipsenen are from Elk Rapids. Stephen is not your average runner. He has type 1 diabetes and wears an insulin pump to control the diabetes. Stephen says, “The pump plus exercise help to bring down my medication needs”. Irma Brownley, 52, of TC, Race Director Kyle Brownley’s mother, runs for fitness and fun. She has been a long time runner but running was interrupted because of two bouts with breast cancer. Irma is in remission. You are a brave lady, Irma. Dani Mullen, is the girlfriend of race director. Dani’s mother, Linda, walked the race. Linda has lost 80 points from her cholesterol count. Amazing feat, Linda. Tim Nelson, the president of NMC, walked the course. Tim enters the race every year. Tim exercises regularly. He has experienced artificial hips and back surgery and still he prevails. Exercise helps Tim to increase his energy. We can all learn from Tim. Ryan Notebart, 43, dressed as Mario, walked the course to support BBBG. Mike Brown, 27, is a personal trainer at the Lighthouse Rehab Center. And “Superman”, was at the race. Aaron, 39, from Kingsley, gets strength from running and has decreased his meds. Aubrey Honeycutt, 30, of TC, is training for a marathon. Aubrey lost 20#. Today, she pushed daughter, Emma, 4, in a racing stroller. Hubby, Garry, 32, lost 30#. The Honeycutts narrowly beat me across the finish line ,,,, pushing a cart!!! . Brian Lriesel, 38, of TC, wore his U of M shirt, proudly. Brian is a software developer and 2003 graduate of my alma mater, the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN! GO BLUE! And talk about my favorite U of M decked super hero, Bill Swift, 75, of TC wore his favorite UM outfit and completed race number 1071! Way to go, Bill.

We were joined by royalty. Clare Klien, 18,  is Miss Elk Rapids, Jenna Wolfe 16, is Miss Teen Elk Rapids, Lindsley Hayes, 12 is Miss Preteen ER, and Emma Eardley, 8, is Young Miss ER. They were joined by their chaperone, Donna Sayler. My favorite running queen, National Cherry Festival Queen, Ashley Schichtel helped pass out the awards.

The event would not have been successful without volunteers. Officer Comiskey of the Traverse City Police department was on hand. Officer Comiskey and I ran together in an earlier race. Reserve Officer Silliman, Reserve officer, O’brien, Reserve officer Morgan, and Sheriff Borokavich from Leelanau County were assisting with the race. Grant Burfiend, is a student and was helping with race logistics. The volunteer team from Kolh’s was on hand to help marshal the course. Sara Cabinaw is also program administrator at BBBS, Denise Rushinowski, Sena Cook, Margaret Szajner, and Ellie Childs are all with Kohl’s Cares. The Michigan Stiltwalker, Neil Sauter, was on hand performing his amazing feats on stilts and tying balloons for the kids.

Race director, Kyle Brownley, invites you to participate in next year’s Big, Little Race at NMC. Wear your favorite superhero costume or come anyway. You will feel better for the effort. Remember, to always ask your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 75, of TC, has lost over 100 pounds and trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. He is an Advanced Scuba diver and plays blues harmonica internationally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. Today, Mickey won a medal for second place in his age group.

“Race to the Tomb” 5K New Hope Community Church, 4-7-18, Williamsburg

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Race director, Duane Amato, received almost 150 entries for the second annual “Race to the Tomb” 5K at the beautiful fields and orchards surounding the New Hope Community Church, a few miles north of the Grand Traverse Resort on US 31 in Williamsburg. Duane had expected more entries because the Traverse City Track Club had awarded the race the title of “Favorite New Race of 2017”, but due to the cold and ice conditions, entries were lower than expected. Proceeds from the event went to Habitat for Humanity. The Race to the Tomb is held on a beautiful course on paved roads, with a quick jaunt through orchards. At the finish, racers and walkers ended “at the tomb” which is located at the lovely New Hope Community Center, an ideal facility to start and finish a race. Awards were given to the top 3 overall male / female, top 1 masters (50-59) male / female, and top 1 grand masters (60+) male/female. The top 3 finishers (male and female) in each age group also received an award.  Race director, Duane Amato, who took home the grand master’s award, explained to me the reason for the name, “Race to the Tomb”. Church Pastors Craig Treirweiler and Rick Stewart wanted to do a 5K race around the Easter Holiday. They came up with the name “Race to the Tomb”. When Jesus was crucified, his body was placed in a tomb with a huge stone covering the entry. Three days later, the huge stone was discovered removed. When the apostles “raced to the tomb” they found his body gone thus proving his rise.

Special thanks are due to John Pulcifar for allowing the race to proceed through his lovely orchards. Also supporting the race were ­­Running Fit and Bigby Coffee. Results can be found at the following link; Race to the Tomb 2018 Results  . Then click on “All Genders” and “All Categories” to see five year age groups by gender.

Let’s move on to our “winner”. As writer of this article, I am “allowed” to pick my “winner”. My “winner” is not the fastest runner, but the runner who has changed his life most dramatically through running, the runner whose story is most impactful for others reading this article. Today we have two “winners”. Jeff Brown, 49, from Gladwin has been running 43 years. He started when he was 6 years old. Due to an injury, he developed a dangerous blood clot in his leg. Jeff was attempting to run a race in every county in Michigan (a feat he later accomplished). The fact that he was a conditioned runner was one reason he survived the clot and was able to return to running. Jeff recalls one of his more memorable races held at the Bronson Children’s Hospital in Kalamazoo. “Seeing all the ill children as they thanked us for attending the race, was heart-warming and inspirational. As an RN, I have used my experience with my own blood clot with many patients. I can see the value of good health and the dangers of bad health.”

My second “winner” is Tracey Weatherholt, 56, of Traverse City. Tracey says “I am diabetic. I have been running several years. Running helps me use less diabetes medication. I was using 40 units of pumped insulin per day. Now, I am down to 10 units and I assume that will drop even further because I have increased my training as I prepare for a half-marathon with the help of the Traverse City Track Club. I recently had a physical and my doctor says my cholesterol looks great”. Congrats to my two race “winners”. You are both a lesson to us all. Tracey’s friend, Jill Thompson, 36, of Cedar, relieves the stress of four kids by running. “Running is for me and me alone,” says Jill.

Erin Ferguson, 39, of TC, is leaving for Denmark to run a race. Erin is a member of Team USA, and will compete in a global triathlon competition. Erin started running and competing as an adult. She is a paramedic and can attest to the dangers of being out of condition. Randy Stone, 63, of TC, walked the course to support New Hope. His buddy, Steve Orum, 58, from Grand Haven, ran in high school and college. He interrupted his running for over 20 years, and now is back at it. Steve ran his only marathon in 2:58 at the New York Marathon. Steve does not let two knee surgeries slow him down. Steve says “his son is the real running star as he is a current college varsity runner”. Steve LaBonte, 57, of TC, started running with his dad. 15 triathlons and four years later, he is still at it. Mary Beth Sellers, 57, of TC, has been running 27 years. She runs to relieve anxiety. Richard Nicholas, 47, of TC, lost 37 pounds. Angela Clem-Skeans, 49, of TC is the daughter of Gary Clem, my brother, Tom’s, good Central High School buddy. She loves the feeling of staying healthy. Her mom was a race helper who recalls my brother visiting her in the hospital after a serious motorcycle accident during high school.

I was privileged to meet some leaders of the New Hope Church, all of whom are runners. Of course, I need to begin with the man who is an inspiration to us all, Pastor Tim Manzer. Tim suffered a life-threatening motorcycle accident, experienced many broken bones and severe depression. Tim has recovered his health and has become one of the area’s most respected runners and an important church leader. It is always an inspiration to talk with Tim. Pastor Rick Stewart, is a leading pastor of New Hope Church. Rick has been running since he was on the High School track team and two years in college. Rick trains weekly 2-3 times. Bob Felton, 50, is pastor at the New Hope Bellaire campus. Bob has an ambition to be a runner but says he “lacks discipline”. Hopefully, after this, his first 5K race, running will catch on with Bob.

Volunteers were important to the race. Barb Mosher, handed out the technical tee shirts. Many other Habitat for Humanity and New Hope volunteers marshalled the various twists and turns in the route.  Bradley Hahn, a new chiropractor in the TC area, helped on the Habitat for Humanity informational table and marshalled the course. Habitat for Humanity, and executive director, Wendy Irvin, explained to me that HFH covers three area counties. Their mission “Puts God’s love into action by bringing people together to build suitable homes, communities and hope”. HFH volunteers and sponsors are always needed.

Race director, Duane Amato, hopes you will join him for next year’s “Race to the Tomb”. You will enjoy one of the North’s nicest finish line, terrific awards, great snacks and a unique shirt. But remember, before starting an exercise program, consult your doctor.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 75, has lost over 100 pounds and trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. He is a rabbi, an Advanced Scuba diver and plays blues harmonica internationally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. Today, Mickey took first place in his age group.


Leapin’ Leprechaun 5K, Warehouse District, Sat, March 17, 2018. By Mickey Fivenson

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Race director, Michelle Elliott, the National Cherry Festival and 5/3 Bank, welcomed over 1000 runners. The runners interviewed are not the fastest runners, but they are runners who have impacted their lives by running. Frankly, they looked just like most of the other runners at the finish, fit, trim, drinking beer and eating cookies. They looked quite “normal” until I learned their amazing story. The winners are Ken and Jennifer Goodhue, of Traverse City. Ken, 56, lost 100# and lost 8” off his waist. He experiences no more back or knee pain. Ken has kept the weight off for 2 years. Jennifer, 53, is running, with doctor’s permission, on a fully replaced knee. She could not run, before the surgery. “Now, I can run”, she says. She runs three days each week. Congratulations to Ken and Jennifer Goodhue who may not have won a speed medal, but they won the race to a better life.

A close second was Barb Meredith, 68, of TC. Barb lost 24#, but her amazing feat is dropping her cholesterol from 260 to 130. In the process, Barb lost 10” overall (legs, thighs, waist, etc.). Barb shared her incredible story with me; “I started going to the gym and had a trainer who had me run around the building. When I told her my weight was dropping, two years ago, she asked me if I had ever run a 5K. I said no. The trainer told me I was running one in a few days. And I did it and I have run four 5Ks since then“.  Apparently, Barb is bitten by the running, health bug the same as all of us. YOU GO, GIRL!!!  Trisha Strahan, 53, from TC, has a family history of heart attacks and high cholesterol. Trish is beating the odds by running. Holly Murphy, 30, from Grayling, is a real Irish Princes, and was dressed as such. Holly’s grandfather was an Irish tenor and he designated Holly as an authentic “Irish Princess”. Judy Goodland, 47, of TC, experienced a drastic drop in her Blood pressure down to 110/70 and heart beat dropped to 65. Husband, Dan, 48, saw his blood pressure drop from 180/90 to 135/70. He lost 20# and 3 inches. He runs about 3 miles, 4 x each week and enjoys a “brew without any guilt”. Jeremy Treadwell, 57, of TC, runs so he can live to 100! He runs 15-20 miles each week. These folks are all winners in the game of life.

Jessica Stark, 34, from Kingsley, director of the Kingsley Heritage 5K, after the Cherry Festival Race, ran her first 5K since delivering a happy 11# baby, Madilyn,  last June. Jessica was accompanied by son Eric, 7, and hubby, Chris. Zac Ligon, 45, from TC, ran High School track and currently runs 3-4 days each week. Karen Whitney, 53, from Lake City, has been running since seven years of age. Karen ran varsity cross country at Central Michigan University. Even though she had knee surgery, with doctor’s permission, she runs today, but mostly from hubby, Russell, 54, who says, with a smile, running helps with his sex drive. Maybe it’s not a joke.  Russell lost 12# and has much more stamina.  Laurie Kischnick, 54, from Marion, needed to get in shape. She lost 20# and trains 3 miles 4 times per week.  Jeff Durga, 51, from Cadillac, runs to have fun with friends.

I was privileged to spend time with royalty. National Cherry Festival Queen, Ashley Schichtel was running her first 5K. Queen Ashley works out every day with boxing, yoga, and running laps. Ashley is a student in the doctor of nursing program at Grand Valley State College. She had so much fun that she is planning to race more. Queen Ashley was accompanied by Queen’s Committee volunteer, Heidi Szeslong who is training for a ½ marathon. Heidi has been running 15 years and has lost 10#.

Kat Paye, Executive Director of the Cherry Festival ,was in attendance helping wherever she could especially on the start and finish, as was Anna O’Connor, intern for the Festival, who helped at registration and handing out nice tee shirts. Anna won the internship job over many applicants because her college, CMU, has participated for several years with the Festival. Alle Gruziano was an important volunteer handing out winner’s medals. Allison Goss won another Bigfoot! Kidding, Allison, who directs the Frozen Foot Race, already has 8 Bigfoot Race statues and a separate room for them! Today she won a medal. Easier to carry.

Race director, Michelle Elliott, and the National Cherry Festival, invite you to next year’s Leapin’ Leprechaun 5K. Wear your green. Get healthy! But before you do, join Michelle and me for the Meijer National Cherry Festival of Races Saturday, July 7. You will experience one of the finest races in Northern Michigan. But before you do, ask your doctor when starting an exercise program.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 76, has lost over 100 pounds and trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. Today, Mickey took second place.

Tony Anderson, Super Hero. Big Little Super Hero Race, Saturday, April 14, 2018. Fun Run: 9:00 a.m. 5K/10K: 9:30 a.m. NMC, West Hall. By Mickey Fivenson

Tony Anderson would be the first to tell you, he is no super hero. Super heroes are the many Big Brother, Big Sister adults with “Little brothers or Little Sisters”, adults devoting their time to helping kids. (And there is a huge waiting list of kids waiting for adults in our BBBS area.)  But Tony Anderson is a Super Hero, by any stretch of the imagination. During the day, Tony is General Manager of Cherryland Electric Co-op. During the evenings, Tony turns into a Super Hero. Tony has been on the board of Big Brothers, Big Sisters for over thirteen years. Tony has had his own “Little Brother”. Tony is also raising much needed funds for Big Brothers, Big Sisters by attempting to run a marathon in every state. To date, Tony has completed 39 marathons, that’s 39 races of 26.2 miles. His next race is ­­­­–March 18 in Hilo, Hawaii. To date, Tony has raised ­­over $300,000 for BBBS. What is even more remarkable, this huge accomplishment is being done with a hip replacement! Yes, Tony chose to continue his charitable feat with a new hip. Learn more about Tony’ challenge by visiting his website;

What makes Tony run? I asked Tony a few questions. Following are Tony’s answers:   Why do you serve on the BBBS board?  To have an impact on the lives of kids in our region. Have you had a Little brother or sister?  Yes. Describe the positives of having a “Little Brother”?  When an adult cares, listens and believes in a child, the child gains hope. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a better future.  What should a person consider before taking on a Little brother or sister? Can they make a consistent commitment? It only has to be an hour a week or a couple hours per month, but it needs to be consistent. What message would you like to impart to others thinking about volunteering with BBBS? Together, we can change the world one child at a time. If you want less crime and violence in the world, it all starts at home with the care and treatment of our children.

Regarding his replaced hip, Tony responds as follows; When was your hip replaced?  March 4, 2016. Do you experience pain in your hip when you run after the surgery? The muscles are still weak and they do get swollen if I run too hard or too far. Most of the pain and discomfort comes after I stop running. Are your doctors aware you are running?  Yes. Is there a downside to running on a new hip? The downside is that you have to be comfortable with not running as fast as you once did. How many marathons have you completed?  39 marathons in 39 states. What is your marathon personal record? 3:47. When is your next marathon?  March 18, Hilo, Hawaii. What time do you hope to achieve in the next marathon?  4:50. How much training do you do per week? 25 – 40 miles – depends on where I am at in the latest training cycle. Are there other runners with replaced hips with whom you communicate.  yes. There is a blog at . How much money have you raised for BBBS?  The grand total is over $300,000.   How many years have you been running marathons?  Since 2003. Your age?  55. Your height?  5’11”. Your weight?  Depends on the day. Does your weight vary?  Weight has been the same for the last few years. Tony added he can’t pass Potter’s without buying a donut. Talk about your kids? Zach is 31, from Cadillac, Andrew is 28, from Kingsley, and Collette, 22, is a law school student at Wayne State. They all run. What symptoms did you experience prior to hip surgery?  It felt like a muscle pull for over one and a half years. Will you be running the Big Little Hero Run? Yes, the 5KWhat is the date and time?  Saturday, April, 14, 2018 Fun Run: 9:00 a.m. and 5K/10K 9:30 a.m.  Location: NMC Main Campus – West Hall. Lots of prizes.

Tony at the marathon

Tony Anderson will tell you he’s no Super Hero. He is just like many other Big Brother, Big Sister volunteers. But Tony is so much more. Tony fits the mold of a Super Hero. Join Tony and me in the BBBS Super Hero Race, Saturday, April 14 at NMC. For more Super Hero race information or to register, go to;  . Remember to speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program.


Your author, Mickey Fivenson, has trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. 


Betsie Bay Frozen 5K, Frankfort & Elberta, MI, Feb 17, 2018, By Mickey Fivenson


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director Randi Stoltz and Aubrey Parker welcomed 223 runners and walkers to the 8th annual Betsie Bay Frozen 5K, Frankfort & Elberta MI, Feb 17, 2018. The race started in the hills above Elberta where we were bussed, then we looped around beautiful Betsie Bay and finished in downtown Frankfort at the VFW. Race results can be found here; link to results . Aubrey Parker helped Randi pickup sponsors and organize run logistics. This is a group effort with the Benzie Community Water Council, raising funds to fund a local scholarship for youth going into water studies, also funding and supporting water efforts.

Sponsored by Stormcloud Brewing Company, the 5K featured support from IPR Radio, Kathy Nevew Realtor, Precision Auto and Glass, Field Crafts, Benzie County Water Festival, Crystalaire Adventures, Betsie Bay Furniture, Betsie River Campsite, Byte Productions, Gerhart’s Tree Service, Webber Insurance, Paul Oliver Hospital/Munson Health, Bay Side Printing, Honor-Onekema Building Supply, Honor Bank, State Savings Bank, Coldwell Banker Realty, Landtech, Honor Collision, Orchard House, Lamont Builders, The Roadhouse, Camp Lookout, Jack Seaman, Arcadia Medical, Benzie County Visitors Bureau and The Market Basket(I won a random drawing of the Market Basket’s generous coupon). Randi Stoltz and Aubrey Parker awarded lots of champion awards and gave away many raffle prizes. The many raffle prize and tasty food providers can be found on the Betsie Bay 5K Facebook page.

Let’s begin with our “winners” award. The “winner” did not even race, today. He officiated a basketball game at the same time. But, without a doubt, Andy Micham is my “winner”. Andy has meant more to Frankfort and area running than most others. Andy has been organizing races in the Frankfort area for 35 years. I know because I was at his race 35 years ago. The morning of this race, Andy was on the course at 5AM organizing the starting line. No one was around to acknowledge Andy’s contribution, but he selflessly performed his volunteer duties. I know Andy has been a stalwart of Northern Michigan racing because I used to run with Andy in Traverse City Track Club races, 45 years ago, long before there was a dream of a Traverse City Track Club. Back then, the club was organized by George Kuhn. Wednesday races cost 50 cents or a donated race medal. Remember those days, Andy? “Thanks” to Andy was announced before the awards ceremony. Did you hear our clapping and cheering, Andy?

The Betsie Bay 5K provided many powerful stories of why runners run, why they came out and ran on a cold Winter day when they could have been curled up in front of the TV. I could not interview all runners to learn their stories, but following are a few interviews with people who have changed their lives through running; Frank Butz, 72, of Traverse City, is not only a poster boy for older runners, (He looks incredibly fit), Frank is also a prostate cancer survivor. Frank discovered the cancer 5 years ago. Today, Frank is cancer free. Frank also suffered a heart attack two years ago. Are Franks doctors aware of his running? Yes! The docs give him a resounding “yes” and encourage his physical activity.

Race director, Randi Stoltz, 32, from Beulah, has her own story to tell. To help clear her mind, and run for a greater cause, gender equality, Randi, ran seven marathons in seven days in the Congo! Randi lost a nephew and searched for a method to soften the grief. Randi trained about 40 miles each week to achieve her goal. Her advice; “Don’t’be scared. Anyone can do it!” Rhonda Workman, 63, from Mesick, is director of the Mesick Mushroom Festival 5K, held the Saturday before Mother’s day. Rhonda is a veteran. Thank you for your service, Rhonda. Rhonda and I ran together for two miles of this race. Rhonda nipped me at the finish line proving even mid-pack runners can have fun. All’s fair in love and war, right, Rhonda? Next time, I will catch you, Rhonda.

Jon Ottinger, 62, from Elberta, has suffered from diabetes since 2008. Running has helped him drop weight. The result, Jon’s need for insulin has been greatly reduced. Christine Hill, 42, of TC, has lost weight. Stacy Stremlow, 28, from Bay City, does Cross Fit training and was looking for some cross training. Oh yes, did I say Stacy was cross-dressed as an elk, or was it a moose? Linda Turner, 58, from Frankfort, experienced a February hip replacement and is just getting back in shape. In addition to running the 5K, Linda volunteered in registration and set-up. Linda started “Girls on the Run” in Frankfort, 13 years ago. Many girls owe Linda a vote of thanks. Katie Dorsey, 36, is operations manager at race sponsor, Stormcloud Brewing. Katie helped with registration. Katie reports she has better energy when she exercises.

Dale Lantzer, 60, of Kalkaska, runs to stay fit so he is better able to join his family mountain climbing. For Dale, running is a family affair. He was joined in today’s race by wife Kathy, 56, daughter, Hannah, 26, and son-in-law, Chris Moses, 31. Josh Stoltz, Randi’s brother, is an organizer of the Benzie Water Festival, a race supporter. Josh provided professional announcing. Josh, was everywhere cheering and high-fiving runners. Is Josh available to announce for other races? Corey Grimes, 34, from Cadillac, was the big loser of the race. Corey lost an amazing 200#. He lifts weights for the Stand Strength Team and has lost an additional 5# while losing another 4” around his waist.

Kerry Kayasserian, 63, of TC lost 30# and runs to spend quality family time with his wife, Donna, 60. Joan Milarch, 58, of Arcadia, runs for the socialization. Joan was a competitive race-walker for 10 years. She switched to running and “loves it”. Pamela Fink, 44, from Manistee, is an RN nurse. She directs The Ludington Hospital Hustle. Pamela runs to promote healthy living. She sees the results of unhealthy living every day in her job as a nurse. Pamela’s good friend, Sue Straley, 64, started running at age 55. She ran with her buddy, Pamela, during the Manistee Ultra marathon. Sue suffered from asthma and a sore back. Together, they prevailed. Sue recently put on weight as a result of steroids, but has lost some and plans to lose more. Kathy Houston, 68, from Bear Lake, finds running gives a huge boost to her optimism. Kathy says “Running is something anyone can do”. Kathy recalls when I had my restaurant supply company in TC. She was a client as an owner of an area campground. Debra Eller, 64, of Beulah, runs “to get my mind off politics’. Wonder what she means?

And now, let’s visit with one of my favorite racers. When you see his picture, you’ll know why. Tom Hitchman, 57, from Bloomfield Hills, is an executive with general motors. Tom runs for stress release. He lost 30#. All of his blood counts and cholesterol are under control. All right, I’ll tell you why he was a favorite. Tom got his BS at University of Michigan in 1982 and his MBA from U of M in 1984. U of M is my alma mater. I also earned my BS and MBA from UofM. Tom was dressed in all maize and blue. You will see his colors from the photo. GO BLUE!!

Race director, Randi Stoltz, Aubrey Parker and Andy Micham, encourage you to join next year’s Betsie Bay Frozen 5K. You will love the view of the bay. Maybe you will win a champion’s award or a raffle prize. Remember to ask your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, has trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. Today, Mickey won his age group. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com.

Frozen Foot Race 5 Mile. Jan 27, 2018, Central High School, Traverse City By Mickey Fivenson


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The Traverse City Track Club, under the direction Allison Goss,  assisted by Bayshore Director, Daniel Siderman, welcomed over 260 runners to one of Michigan’s oldest races, the Frozen Foot Race 5 Mile, Jan 27, 2018, Central High School, Traverse City, on a balmy Winter day. The race name was certainly in contrast to the beautiful, Spring-like weather. Runners enjoyed one of Winters’ warmest days as they ran along beautiful East Bay and through the hilly Huron Hills area. The Traverse City Track Club “gave” the race at no cost to all 2018 TCTC members. The “gift” of the free race was a show of appreciation by the TCTC of the support by the area running community. TCTC was represented by its’ executive director, Lisa Taylor, who was among several volunteers in the TCTC club awning passing out tee shirts to TCTC members. In addition to the TCTC, the race was included partners; Running Fit,  Dynamic Physical Therapy, (represented by Emily Borsum, DTA and Kelly McDonough, DPT), We Train North, 14th Street Chiropractic, West End Summer Training and Alfie Logo Wear. Race results can be found at this link; Frozen Foot Race 2018   . Age group medals were awarded to the top 3 finishers in five year increments. Bananas, cookies and bagels were available, at the end of the race.

The local public High Schools were well-represented by members of the respective track and cross country teams serving as volunteers. These volunteers performed important duties such as registration or marshaling the course. From West Senior High School, registration and other duties were handled by Kate Eveleigh, Clare Ackerman, Maddy Dohm, Morgan Lyon, Maddy Parker, Alanna Swanson, Carly Stoops, Abby Lico, Mary Lyon, Chloe Sage, Kara Crofoot, Sam Schumerhorn, Sharlene Stallworth, Marta Shae, Jen Dohm, Tricia Sage and Izzy Pearling. Central Senior High was represented by Coach Eric Houghton, along with team members Morgan McGrew, Jacob Schultz, Vijay Kennedy, Zach Gerber, Logan Davis, Owen Sullivan, Isaiah Gavaldon, Barry Bialak, and Cole Truszkowski. Without your support, we would not have a Frozen Foot Race. Sincere thanks to the track teams from West and Central Senior High Schools.

Mesick Mushroom Festival 5K race director, Rhonda Workman, 63,was a runner. Rhonda conducts one of the most beautiful races in Northern Michigan as the course meanders through pristine woods and along river backwaters.  Rhonda is a retired teacher and retired army. Thank you for your service! Rhonda cares for her 88 year old mom. Rhonda has run since 1979. She says running has helped relieve her stress. Rhonda’s friend, Robin Mosher, 61, of Marion, had a goal last year of running in 40 races. She completed 50 races, the last race on December 31! What is most remarkable, Robin ran her races in “celebration of 10 years being cancer-free after a mastectomy.” Because Robin won her battle with breast cancer, I am calling her today’s “winner”. Robin won the most important race any of us can run, the race for life. Congratulations to race “winner”, Robin Mosher. And as if that were not enough, Robin says; “This year, I am completing all distances; 5K, 10k, ½ marathon and full marathon. The full marathon will be in the North Country Run in Manistee. I am also running in every town in Michigan with a branch of the company I work for. Probably, I will enter 40 races this year.” Well done Robin. You are a deserving “winner”. We wish you best of luck in your healthy running endeavors.

Alan Kostrzeva, 60, of Traverse City, ran the race with his therapy dog, Tucker, 10 a golden retriever, and his daughter, Callie, 23. Tucker is trained to help dementia patients at the Pavillions. Alan tore his rotator cuff 3 months ago and is just now recovering with the help of running. He completed the Lake Placid Ironman in July of 2016. I had the pleasure of running several miles of the Frozen Foot Race with Alan and Tucker. Callie Kozstreva qualified for the Boston Marathon. Good luck to Callie in her big race. Bryce Kennedy, 43, from Mesick, is a volunteer manager at the Opera House for the Traverse City Film Festival. His friend, Douglas Brown, 45, from Williamsburg, is an eighth grade history teacher. Douglas runs to get in shape because he became too winded playing paintball. Jonna, 48, Douglas’s wife, runs to spend quality time with her family. Jeff Gaft, won his age group. Jeff has recovered from a serious and lengthy ankle injury which has kept him sidelined for several years. Way to go, Jeff! Jim Isenhart, 51, from Elk Rapids, lost 17 pounds running. Jim’s daughter, Danielle Jarmusch, 29, beat her dad in the weight-loss category. Danielle is my “Big Loser” of the race. She lost over 50 pounds after having two children! The weight loss was aided by running. Danielle gets inspiration from running with her family.

Every finisher had their own story of why they run. Is it for better health, to relieve stress, to lose weight, to stop smoking, or to help resolve a life threating illness? Race director Allison Goss wants to encourage you to join her for the 2019 version of one of the area’s oldest races, The Frozen Foot Race. Remember to ask your doctor before starting an exercise program. Maybe next year, your story will be told.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, has trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. Today, Mickey took a third place medal in his age group. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com.

Bigfoot 5K & 10K Snowshoe Race, Timber Ridge Resort, Jan 20, 2018 By Mickey Fivenson

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The sound of over 1100 Bigfeet (snowshoes) pounding the trails was deafening. Is this the biggest snowshoe race in Michigan, in the Midwest, in the world? Race director Jen Teeples, welcomed over 550 racers to perfect conditions, a beautiful, snow packed trail, and a pristine, deeply wooded course for the 19th or 20th (not sure of the race age) Bigfoot 5K & 10K Snowshoe Race, January 20, at Timber Ridge Resort, located on the South East edge of Traverse City and sponsored by Running Fit. Race results can be found at this link; Bigfoot Results, 2018

A risk of no-snow was due to warm weather. But the Bigfoot website covers the weather contingency. The website says; “Registration takes place around a roaring fire at the beautiful log lodge at Timber Ridge Resort. Usual crowd about 500 entered and 100 rent snowshoes, probably their first time on them, so no excuse, come join us. The learning curve is zero, strap em’ on and run. The course is a super hilly off trail run with plenty of logs to jump and branches to duck, like a leg of Dances with Dirt! There are a handful of very serious shoers at Bigfoot because it’s the Midwest qualifier for the National Championship Snowshoe race. Serious stuff! What if there is no snow? It would be the first time if there wasn’t. There will be snow … but if there isn’t, YOU WILL BE PART OF HISTORY, RUNNING A SNOWSHOE RACE IN YOUR RUNNING SHOES. I love this race! I love a winter road trip to Traverse City! If there’s no snow, bring your trail shoes, the race goes on no matter what the conditions! How cool is that!”

Every runner is a “winner” and everyone has a story to share about the benefits to them of running. We will attempt to share a few of those stories. We couldn’t talk to every runner, but Bill Ahrenberg, 65, of Cheboygan, was a two pack-a-day smoker, 15 years ago. He is a recovering alcoholic. Bill attributes his current good health to his six mile runs every other day. Congratulations to Bill. Walt Pheney, 75, from Farmington Hills, beat prostate cancer 8 years ago. Walt also recovered from a broken leg as he was hit by a careless motorist. Walt was accompanied to the Bigfoot by 16 of his running buddies. The group stayed in motels. This group is a great example of how area events, such as the Bigfoot, help our local economy. Dan Mosher, 67, is with the same group. Dan beat prostate cancer 2 years ago, and beat an alcohol allergy. Rick Hammond, 67, from Fallston, MD, with the group, overcame rotator cuff problems along with compression syndrome.

Andrew Madak, 63, of Rochester, ran with his dog, Ginger, a 9 year old Golden Doodle and registered therapy dog, much to the delight of other racers. Andrew hurt his ACL training for martial Arts. Running helped him recover because of the stretching and endurance required and the 20# weight loss that soon followed. Andrew also suffers from Reynaud’s syndrome and must run with hand warmers to beat the symptoms. Andrew ran with his friend, Amy Dickerson, 53. Andrew is more than well-qualified to tout the benefits of running. Andrew happens to be a DO, a Doctor of Osteopathy, specializing in natural medicine and holistic health. Andrew ought to know the value of regular exercise. Because of Andrew’s professional commitment to health, he is today’s “winner”. (As author of the article, I get to pick a “winner”). Andrew is not the fastest runner, but he is a “winner” in the race called “life”. Congratulations to race “winner”, Dr. Andrew Madak, DO.

Robert Crowe, 49, from Lake Orion, is a “winner”. Running literally saved his life. Rob was severely depressed until he started running. Today, Rob is medication-free and is directing his own running race. Info for Robert’s race can be found at this link

Kathleen Step, 61, is a Doctor of Nursing. Kathleen should know about good health. She teaches nurses. Kathleen says; “Running and exercise promote good health, decreased depression, less anxiety, and more social support because of mingling with friends”. Richard Bazzy, 63, from Northville, started running because he worked at a desk job and needed the exercise. Richard’s wife, Gail, 61, runs for happiness. Dave Martz, 65, of TC, runs to stay fit. Michelle Kendall-Williams, 52, of Milford, runs to spend time with her husband. Michelle has completed four Ironmans. Jack Johns, 45, of Mt Clemens runs because he wanted to start exercising. He spent two nights in a motel. Thank you, Jack. Zach Schaefer, 29, of Hastings, ran since he was a young child. Grace Wu, 38, of Saline, ran to recover from having two children. Since the birth of her children, Grace has completed 6 marathons. Carol Ewasuik, 65, from Sarnia, works for an Orthopedic physician. She runs to relieve stress without the use of medications. Gary Lee, 80 from TC, probably won his age group. He may have been the only runner in the age group. Gary is a former coach and basketball player at Central Michigan University. Gary suffered several knee operations from which he has fully recovered. Jason Dellarte, 38, of Grand Rapids, runs because he enjoys the outdoors.

Tom Henderson, 69, of Williamsburg, is another “winner”. Tom suffered a detached retina and cataract surgery in 2013. Tom has fully recovered. His wife, Kathleen, 61, walked the 5K. Kathleen had hip and knee replacements. Tom is well known in the local running community because he always ran with his beloved dog, Maddie, a 13½ year old black lab. Maddie passed away recently from cancer. Tom ran with Maddie in all the local races. We all miss Maddie. I know we miss her because my Bouvier and running partner for 14 years, Zoe’, recently passed away from foot cancer.

“Aggressively Average”, a group of ladies from the Ann Arbor area, were aggressively average in the Bigfoot. The group consists of Jane Nixon, 33, a UM grad, GO BLUE!, Laura Ayers, 33, Courtney Burk, 36, and Pam Preston, 36. The group had a ball, lots of fun, and kept their “Average” reputation.

Tony Dye and Jeff Pownell of Slabtown Burgers served 30 gallons of terrific hot soup to cold runners. Tony and Jeff were ably aided by able assistant, Jackson Pownell. I recall Tony when she was a toddler in the arms of her dad, Randy and Mom, Carol. Happy Planet Running, took care of the waste generated by the race. Last year, only 10% of the total waste was sent to the dump. Other waste was diverted. Every race and every event should use a zero waste concept. Over 30 races, last year, experienced zero waste with the aid of Happy Planet and the director, Jeff Jackson. If you are directing an event, contact Jeff at the website .Jeff’s motto: “Run a great race. Leave no trace.” Randy Step, 61, is the owner and director of Running Fit. Randy ran the 5K. Randy was a state and Midwest champion runner. He experienced double heart valve replacement. Randy has fully recovered. Jeff Gaft, is an example of the incredible support of race volunteers. Jeff helped mark the course. As a past Bigfoot race director and finisher in numerous ultra-marathons, Jeff’s expertise was invaluable.

Race director, Jen Teeples, invites you to next year’s Bigfoot. Count your big feet among the 1100 pounding feet. Enjoy better health and reduce your stress. Become a “winner”. Remember to ask your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, has trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. Today, Mickey won his age group. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com.

Resolution Run/Walk 5K, Jan 1, Little Fleet, Downtown Traverse City

Race director, Karl Bastion, welcomed over 225 runners and walkers to the 5th annual Resolution Run/Walk 5K, Jan 1, held at Little Fleet, Downtown Traverse City. Karl gives thanks to the following primary sponsors; American Proficiency Institute, 4 Front Credit Union along with the following secondary sponsors: 9&10 News, WKLT, Copy Queenz, Oryana, PB&J, and The Little Fleet.

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The race benefited Norte. Norte’s mission, as stated on their website is as follows; “Norte! is Traverse City’s bike-centric, youth-focused nonprofit (501c3) advocacy organization dedicated to building a more bike-friendly TC by inspiring our young people through bicycles. Norte! is harnessing the power of the bicycle to: 1. Promote an active, healthy lifestyle and encourage Traverse City youth to become cyclists for life. 2. Teach urban riding skills to encourage more kids on bikes riding safely on our Traverse City neighborhood streets and trails. 3. Foster leadership skills while setting and achieving personal goals. 4. Empower Traverse City youth to be resilient, gritty and self-confident to help them overcome obstacles both on and off their bikes. 5. Grow the next generation of civic-minded and engaged Traverse City leaders by participating in bike-friendly community outreach activities. 6. Inspire a love for all things bikes. Bikes for happiness. Bikes for fun. Bikes for transportation. Bikes for health. Bikes for racing. Bikes for life. 7. Educate and instruct in basic mechanic and repair skills to promote self-assurance, creativity and lifelong bike independence. 8. Promote environmental stewardship to strengthen our community and help create a more sustainable Traverse City. 9. Support racing in Traverse City and Northern Michigan. Training hard. Getting fit. Standing on the podium. 10. Build a strong, well connected and awesome Traverse City.” Norte’s executive director, Ty Schmidt won a race age group award.

As author of this article, I get to pick my own race “winner”. He wasn’t the fastest runner, but he was the bravest. As a semi-pro soccer player in his hometown of Venice, Italy, Massimo Tosi, age 59, was in apparently perfect health until he suffered a heart attack two years ago. Today, Massimo runs for his health and for fun, plus he stopped smoking a pack a day!. He lost 33 pounds, some of which he put back on after a leg injury. Congratulations to my race winner, Massimo Tosi. May you enjoy many happy years of running.

Barbara Blayaert, 68, of Frankfort, came in as a close second. Barbara says, “I started running after I saw my father die of a heart attack on Christmas day, 1983. I attempted to save him by administering CPR, to no avail. I never intended to be a runner. I was taught girls do not run. I walked to relieve my grief and shock, but in no time I was running. I never stopped running“.

Rose Coleman, 54, of Interlochen, is my “big loser” of the race. Rose lost 90# by running and eating right. Rose is CEO at the Pavilions, a position which creates plenty of stress to relieve during her runs. She has run several Ironman triathlons. Rose’s husband, Joe, 53, runs to spend time with his wife. Joe ran the frigid race in his shorts! For Craig Malstrom, 52, of Hastings, ”Running is my therapy”. Debbie Rhodes, 61, of Elk Rapids, enjoys the challenge of running. Melissa Lonsberry, 51, of Lansing, Craig’s girlfriend, says; “Running helps me to beat depression. I am happier when running. I do not take anti-depressant medications.” Christine Tibbets, 48, of Cedar, runs to relieve stress. Ann Madison, 60, of TC, runs because “It relaxes me and helps clear my mind”. Lance Ryan, 56, of TC, loves to run with his wife. Running helps him relieve the stress of being an active financial planner. Gary Greinman, 51,of TC,  uses running as a de-stressor from his job as an engineer. Nick Laenen, 59, of Detroit, ran with his wife, Lisa, 50. The Laenen’s are ultra-marathoners, having completed over 50 of the races of more than 50K. Their favorite ultra is the Halliburton Trail 50 Mile race. They have also run several Iron Mans.  They plan to run the Woodstock Ultra this Fall. Jed Winters, 59, of Big Rapids, has run since 1972. He enjoys the fun. Jed has completed 31 marathons and has a personal record of 3:07. Jed suffered several knee operations but has recovered and is back at his favorite sport of running. Amanda Strang, 38, ran with her children, Olivia, 11, Ayla, 5, and hubby, Robert, 39. Amanda runs for health and fun.

Race director, Karl Bastion, encourages you to come out next year to join the Resolution Run. Make it your New Year Resolution to join the fun and feel better. Always ask your doctor before starting an exercise program. See you in 2019!

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, has trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com.