Turkey Trot, 5K & 5M, Nov 22, 2018, Traverse City

Race director, Amy Fritz, welcomed over ­­­­2600 runners, walkers, babies and dogs to the 11th annual Traverse City Turkey Trot 5K and 5Mile races starting and finishing at St. Francis School on 11th Street. It was a grand day for a stroll along Boardman Lake and the neighborhoods of Traverse City (TC).

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The website, Turkey Trot 2018 , says the following; The 11th Annual Up North Media Traverse City Turkey Trot has been a family favorite for the past eleven years. We start Thanksgiving day off right with two different race distances; a 5K and a 5 mile, to promote healthy lifestyles as well as give back to local charities. All runners receive a commemorative long-sleeved Turkey Trot t-shirt as well as a cooler lunch bag loaded with bottled water, coupons and SWAG worth well more than the price of entry! Invite the whole family to participate in this one-of-a-kind event starting at St. Francis High School in Traverse City, MI. The Up North Media Traverse City Turkey Trot has contributed more than $100,000 to many great local area causes over the past 11 years. This year’s race will benefit TART Trails Boardman Lake Loop Project and local youth teams/organizations in support of your community! Children under the age of 3 in a stroller are free. Dogs are also free! Medals were given to the overall male and female runners in each race, the top three age group finishers and the best costumes. Snacks were provided to the finishers.

The Up North Media Traverse City Turkey Trot was presented by 4Front Credit Union, the race was also sponsored by Pure Water Works, image 360, Blarney Oil, GoGo SqueeZ, Schmuckel Oil and IPR Radio. Proceeds went to improve the Tart Trail. Troy Daily, of TC, passed out samples of Strongbrew Cofee.

As article author, I am honored to be able to pick my own winner. She was not the fastest but without a doubt she was the most inspiring. And the “winner” is Pam Roach, 69, from Pentwater. Pam survived not one but two bouts with often fatal melanoma cancer. Pam is an inspiration to us all. I’ll let Pam tell you in her own words. What health benefits do you receive from walking? I walk 6 days a week and mentally I feel better and physically I just ‘have’ to walk (I’m blessed). When did you first acquire cancer? 1970. When was your second time to acquire cancer?  1999. What prognosis did the Doctor give you? 1970- Surgery and “go live your live”. 1999-stage lll metastatic melanoma-15% chance of surviving a year. Treatment methods?  1999 one year of interferon – brutal, but did it-plus 6 year clinical trial through Karmanos in Detroit (but treatment was in Grand Rapids). Message you would give to others? oh my gosh, my husband’s parents are all cancer SURVIVORS- please don’t ever give up.  Attitude-faith- of course medicine – are necessary.  Have you been in other 5Ks or other races?  Never- this was my first. You were telling me about painted rocks you place as a volunteer. Please explain? I started the Pentwater Rocks group on Facebook. It is part of an international group. Today at 9 am on the Today Show it’s explained. Rocks are painted and hidden for others to find. Others take a pic, post it and re-hide it. It’s all about joy and kindness. Making another person happy and it’s for all ages. Check out the page on Facebook. Other volunteer efforts?   _my husband and I for many, many years volunteered at the American Cancer Society in Grand Rapids. We ran the Relay For Life many years. We also ran a volunteer program at Cancer and Hematology- Grand Rapids largest cancer treatment center. Volunteers would visit with patients as they received chemo. I provide prayer shawls to patients- a nice warm blanket full of love, hope and prayers. I made over 2,000 and we handed out at least 3600. Last question, as a visitor to the TC area, you also represent the boost to our economy from area races. How many nights did you stay in or near TC and what other paying experiences did you incur, such as meals, gas, shopping, etc ?   We stayed 2 nights at the wonderful Cambria- where we stay each time. Shopping, TJmaxx, Target, Kohl’s, BIGGBY, McDonald’s, North Peak, this morning the Green Cafe. Pam Roach, you are a winner in this race we call life. Congratulations. Pam, you are representative of the reason these races are so important to many folks.

Let’s meet more “winners”. Reverend Tim Manzer, 59, of TC, is lucky to be alive and participating in another Turkey Trot. Tim survived a near fatal head-on motorcycle accident several years ago. After weeks in the hospital, Tim was released and started a program of good health. Tim, a well-known area runner, recently required hand surgery to correct a compound fracture suffered in the motorcycle accident. The result of the hand surgery is less pain as Tim continues his remarkable recovery. Tim recently returned to TC after spending several weeks on a mission in Guatemala. This is Tim’s first race since July. Tony Anderson, 56, from Buckley, and managing director of Cherryland Electric, runs marathons in various states to raise funds for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. To date, Tony has completed 43 marathons in 43 states. #44 will be in Jackson, MS. You can learn about Tony and participate in his good works at www.marathon4kids.com . Oh, by the way, Tony is running his races on a new hip. Tony says “the hip feels fine”. Remarkable!!

Jan Altizer, 57, of TC is my big loser of the 2018 Turkey Trot, Jan lost 60#, her blood pressure dropped from 185/120 to 126/60 and her pulse dropped from 185 to 60! Jan, is a long term care nurse, who smoked 40 years ago. She recommends exercise to her patients. Jan also whipped my butt, passing me in the Kalkaska 10K. Way to go, Jan. Lettie Sternicki, turned 50, today. She wore a happy 50th birthday sash and pin. Lettie is from Commerce Township, and runs for stress release. She has the right to plenty of stress from her job. Lettie is a second grade teacher. Fred Swaffer, 56, of TC, runs to stay in shape for his main sport, biking. Kayla Kroning, 22, is a grad student in the PHD program at UM and plans a future of working in academia. GO BLUE! Kayla’s dad lives in TC. Alan Heidt, 62, bleeds Maize and Blue. He is a respiratory Therapist at Munson Hospital, and recommends exercise to his clients. Alan’s daughter is Lydia Bedford, 31, from Grand Rapids. Lydia is an insurance adjuster, and is a “crazy” UM fan. Lydia’s two year old daughter chants “Hail to the Victors” and yells “GO BLUE”. Two years old???? Ed Roy, 59, from TC, is a prominent attorney and Eagle Scout (like my sons). Ed runs periodically to stay in shape for hunting. Dick Napperella, 73, of TC, normally beats me like a drum. Today, Dick is recovering from a torn meniscus which slowed him down, allowing me a unique experience of “whipping his butt”. In the past, Dick suffered from high cholesterol. His 225 cholesterol has dropped to 143! Dick was accompanied by his son and grandson. who slowed down to have the privilege to run with their dad and granddad. Troy, 44, and Kyle, 15, represented three generations of Napperellas. Anne Steye, 72, Dan, 68, Stas, 37, and Finley, 9, all of TC enjoy the “runner’s high” they receive from running. Jennifer Simons, 37, of TC, is another special “winner”. Jennifer lost 60# and wanted to be a good example to her daughters, Fiona, originally from Kenya, 18, Lucy, 6, and Violet, 4. The Turkey Trot is Jennifer’s first 5K. Lori Fasi, 56, of TC, runs for motivation as does Peggy Ferrill, 64. Rick Ward, 65, my neighbor in Woodcreek subdivision, loves running because he runs as a family activity along with his wife, Sue, 61, Son-in-law, Tom Owen, 46, and daughter, Shannon, 39.  Volunteers were critical to the success of the race such as Mark Vanderklipp, who was course marshal. Mark is also on the Traverse City Track Club racing team and a UM fan. GO BLUE!!! Chris Wendel is in charge of processing awards and medals. Chris has been volunteering for the Turkey for 5 years. Prior to his participation in the race, there were no awards. Chris is an accomplished runner. A track Club member, Chris has trained over 600 miles this year. Chris has completed over 200 races mostly 5Ks and completed one marathon.

Race director, Amy Fritz, encourages you to enter next year’s Turkey Trot and the Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer. She also wants to thank all of the volunteers that make this event possible! You will feel good for the experience. Remember to ask your doctor before starting an exercise program.  

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 76, of Traverse City, lost over 100 pounds and trained 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He completed over 60 marathons (3:01 PR) and holds a 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the ice in over 600’ of water in middle of West Bay,,,,,, and saving his dog! A U of M grad like his kids, (GO BLUE), he plays blues harmonica globally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need training tips, email mickey@telecomclassifiedads.com. Today, Mickey took fourth place his age group, 70-120. 


Vasa Run, 5K, 10k, 25K. Vasa Trailhead, Acme, MI. Nov 10, 2018

Race director, Jen Teeples, welcomed 207 hearty runners and walkers to the venerable Vasa 5K, 10K and 25K Run at the Vasa Trailhead in Acme, Michigan, on November 10th, 2018. How many Vasa runs have been held? One of the runners recalled my participation nine years ago. Maybe the race has been around 30 years? Results were organized by RF Timing and were available on line. Results can be found at Vasa Run results 2018   .  Glad to see Trevor was no longer wearing a walking boot as a result of a soccer accident.

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The Vasa Run website says the following; The Vasa Run is a fun, scenic November run to keep you motivated through the fall months! RF Events presents Run Vasa! A beautiful 5K, 10K and 25K run through the Vasa Head Trail in Northern Michigan. If it snows, not to worry, it keeps the wimps at home! Bring it on!

Vasa is a nice wide, beautiful trail with all the beauty northern Michigan has to offer. Soon to be your favorite trail to run! Michigan’s premier cross-country trail through the pristine serenity of the Pere’ Marquette State Forest of Northern Michigan. Maintained by dedicated volunteers and supported by public donations, the Vasa Pathway is operated by the Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and preserving non-motorized trails in the Grand Traverse region. For more information on the Vasa Pathway and Tart Trails go to www.traversetrails.org . Named after King Gustav Vasa, a monarch in Sweden several centuries ago, the Vasa Pathway is also host to three of the Midwest’s most popular ski events. A portion of the entry went to maintain the Vasa Pathway, but feel free to drop a couple of bucks in the trailhead donation box! Prizes were awarded to the top male and female finishers and top three male and female finishers in each age group. Tee shirts were optional.

Today, there were 207 “winners” in the Vasa Race. Runners and walkers experienced better physical and mental health by participation. Many others stayed at home, sat on their couch and watched TV. These couch potatoes are not “winners” as you will learn from meeting some of our racers.

One special “winner” is Keith Conway, 49, of Traverse City. Why is Keith a “winner”? Let Keith tell us as follows; “I run for the love of good exercise. I used to weigh 300 Pounds. Now I weigh 175 pounds. I keep the weight off with an active diet and exercise.” Keith has not checked his blood, but he knows his blood pressure is lower, his pulse is lower, and his cholesterol is better. Keith, you are an inspiration to us all. You are a real “winner”. You are remarkable!

Another special “winner” did not compete in the race. Angel Voltikos, walks most days for exercise and enters many races. She is a member of the PHRC Running Club. What is inspirational about Angel, is that she runs/walks on a prosthesis leg. Angel, 45, from Westhaven, is a twenty year amputee who used to be active in sports. Now she says she walks 5Ks for exercise. Angel showed me her beautiful new prosthesis. She is still getting used to the new leg. At this time, the leg is somewhat uncomfortable while Angel is getting used to the leg. Angel and her friend, Jennifer West, from Woodhaven, volunteered at today’s Vasa, in registration and handing out post-race snacks.

Dr. Craig Denholm, 64, from Kalkaska, is a third “winner”. Dr. Denholm runs to relieve stress largely caused by the loss of two sons. The first son had a rare, serious disease. The second son died from cancer. Craig does not show cancer anywhere else in his family. This is Craig’s third Vasa Run. Craig’s resting pulse is a remarkable 50 counts. OK, what was really remarkable about Craig were his U of M gloves in bright blue and gold. I had to snap a photo of Craig with these amazing gloves, which you will see in the article. GO BLUE!!! Dr. Craig is a chiropractor who recommends exercise to all his patients regardless of the type of exercise. In addition to exercise, Dr Denholm recommends good rest, a good diet, and stress release, reasonable rules to live by. Dr. Denholm has been a chiropractor for seven years. Today he took second place in his age group in the 10K.

The “winners” keep coming. Rhonda Workman, 63, from Mesick, is director of the Mesick Mushroom Festival 5K, a beautiful, trail run along the backwaters of the Hodenpyle Dam and through extremely primitive, hilly woods. Try this exceptional race next spring and find some mushrooms, if you are lucky. Rhonda is also a veteran. Thank you for your service! Rhonda trains kids, is in her uniform for the event, and conducted some of the veteran’s day activities in Mesick. Rhonda, you are incredible! Rhonda and I trade beating each other at races. Prior to the race, we were “trash talking” each other. Our friendly competition proves runners can have fun regardless of where they finish a race.

Jeff Miller, 62, of Boyne City, says he would gain weight if he did not run. Hillary Sawchuck, 31, from the Detroit area, was running her first 10K. She enjoys the outdoor activity. Hillary is a journalist with “Overadrink”. She interviews folks, oddly enough, over a drink. I’ve got to see her website! Kristin, mom, was not running. But her brood ran and excelled. Lilly is 16, Jane, 11, Landon, 9, and Betsy, 4, helped mommy watch. Steve Weldon, 66 of Acme, runs for health and strength. His buddy, Chris May, 35, wins the longest distance award, if there was such an award. Chris came in all the way from Seattle for the race. Ann Madison, 61, from Traverse City, runs for the friendship and because of the positive people who are so supportive. Lyndsay Oswald, 38, from Three Rivers, runs for the mental health benefits. I ran for several miles with Lyndsay and her kids, Jacob Howes, 12, and Reece Howes, 10 all of whom handily beat me across the finish line. But, regardless of the finish position, we had fun running the Vasa. Lyndsay and family are a good example how these races help the local economy. They stayed at a local motel, ate at area restaurants, shopped at local businesses including (of course) Running Fit, and had a great time visiting the Traverse City area. All because of the Vasa Run. Elizabeth Trost, 28, from Traverse City, runs so she can spend quality time with her dad, Tom Trost, 53. Together, they have done many runs.

It was especially fun the see Dr Jim “Woody” Woodburne, an old running friend. As we raced together, we reminisced about one of our former running buddies, Dr. Vern Wolfgram, who died a few years ago. Woody shared with me how he and Vern ran the Boston Marathon together, not because they qualified, but because they were members of a special doctor’s medical group. Either could have qualified because of their fast times. Jeff Gaft was the “volunteer of the race”. Among other duties, Jeff and his kids marked the entire race course and he was stationed at the main turn for the 5K. Brrrrrr!

Race director, Jen Teeples, encourages you to come out for next year’s Vasa Run. You will feel better for the effort and you will love the beautiful course. Before starting an exercise program, consult your doctor.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 76, of Traverse City, lost over 100 pounds and trained 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He completed over 60 marathons (3:01 PR) and holds a 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the ice in over 600’ of water in middle of West Bay,,,,,, and saving his dog! He plays blues harmonica globally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need training tips, email mickey@telecomclassifiedads.com. Mickey won his age group, 70-120. Don’t tell anyone, but other runners in his age group must have stayed home!

Zombie Run 5K, Oct 27, Traverse City

Race director Matt Ross, and his super assistant wife, Jennifer, registered over 800 participants to the 10th annual Zombie Run, October 27, at Right Brain Brewery, 16th Street in Traverse City. For a really scary experience, visit the unique, unusual, Zombie Run website at http://www.tczombierun.com/ . The Zombie Run website says; “The Zombie Run has become a Traverse City Halloween tradition. What’s not to like? Zombies and beer have always been a winning combination. Over the years we have seen zombies from all walks of life, or should I say death. Who showed up this year? The only thing we never saw was someone not having a great time! Right Brain Brewery hosted the run as always. The run wouldn’t be the same without our friends at the Brain, get it? After the race, the medal ceremony and best costumes prizes were awarded. We may have a few other surprises as well. Plus the beer will be flowing, who says you can’t drink before noon? Besides, you’re already dead anyway!”  Medals were awarded to the overall top male and female runners and top three age group winners. There were also prizes for the best costumes. In addition to a tee shirt, runners received a unique, colorful bib number. The bib included a number, like all bibs, but the number was duplicated on a cartoon runner appearing on the bib. Wonderful snacks were available to runners after the race. Results were available on smartphones within minutes of finishing and at this link; Zombie 5K, Traverse City, 2018 .    Trevor Step, of RF Timing, competently provided results within minutes of finishing even though Trevor was saddled with a walking boot as a result of a recent soccer accident. Hey, Trevor, running is safe!!!

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Sponsored by Meijer, KLT Radio, Right Brain Brewery, Cone Drive, Williams Honda, Patient Care Specialists, Tart Trails, Allen Kent Photo, GoGo Squeeze, IPR Radio, and Doctors Walt and Susan Nobel, race proceeds benefit Tart Trails. The race begins following the Tart Trail along lovely Boardman Lake and proceeds through city streets until winding back along the same Tart Trail to finish.  Ida Reed, of sponsor WKLT Radio, beautifully sang the National Anthem. Ida has been singing professionally over 25 years.

My participation in the Zombie Run is dedicated to a friend who recently passed away, Gary Keyes. I saw Gary for the last time at last year’s Zombie Run. Last year, tt took a moment to recognize Gary because he was decorated in a unique clown-face costume, brightly painted in shades of blue. I interviewed Gary. Although we had known each other for 40 some years, I had not known the story Gary told me. Why did Gary run races? Because as a child, Gary had polio and used running as part of his life-long therapy. Attending a conference in New Orleans, 40 years ago, I was doing the tourist thing, visiting Jackson Square in the French Quarter. I heard my name being called across the square. It was Gary, dressed in clown face taking photos with tourists. He was living in New Orleans. We met and discovered a mutual interest of blues harmonica. We played together right there on Jackson Square and many other times here in Traverse City. Gary, you will be missed.

Let’s meet some zombies who lived to finish the 2018 Zombie Run. Anne Groleau, 52, from TC, lost 15 pounds. Her blood pressure is “Awesome”. Her energy is high and she receives good feelings running seven days/week, 5 miles every day! Cameron Leaenberger, 44, from Honor, has been “active for as long as I can recall”. Harlene Ward, 86, yes, I said 86 years young, from Lake Ann, is running in her second race. “I have been healthy all my life” she told me. Paul Ward, 65, “runs because I can”. Nate Cook, 30 of TC, lost 25 Pounds. Running motivates him to do other races. Debbie Beason, 63, of Fife Lake has been running for 30 years and loves it. Her friend, Joyce Freiwald, 75 of Fife Lake, had her appendix out 1 ½ weeks ago and covered today’s distance. Between us, we have zero appendixes. Joyce runs for better health. Colin Williams, of TC, came dressed as Jesus and ran/walked the 5K wearing Jesus-sandals. This race is the only time of the year Colin runs. Jim Graham, 69, of Suttons Bay, the former president of the Traverse City Track Club, ran as superman or some sort of super hero. Jim runs to relieve stress and to keep his cholesterol in check. Milixa, Millie, Milan, did not run the 5K this year. Millie has won the costume contest in the past. This year, Millie was a volunteer. If Millie had run, she would have won again. She was extravagantly costumed as a mama zombie outfit complete with zombie babies.

As author of this article, I get to pick my winner and Joe Kline, 60, of TC, wins the race. Joe did not compete, but Joe was dressed in the most extravagant U of M garb of the Zombie day. Joe had a UM jacket, UM shirt and an unusual UM Wolverine hat. But his clothing is not the only reason Joe won. When graduating UM Chemical Engineering School, Joe drove his car THROUGH the famous UM Engine Arch. Way to go, Joe. Joe will always be my winner and my idle. As Borat said, Joe, you are one craaaaaazy guy. High five! Joe was accompanied by his freshman UM roommate, Joel McElrath, 60 from Tampa, Florida, who actually ran in the Zombie Run. Joel has been running 25 years, has finished one marathon and has completed over 10 races this year. Jim Sitek, 64 of TC is an area physician. Jim says running is a very efficient method to keep in shape. As a physician, he ought to know. Jim runs 3-4 times each week. He started at age 59. Angela Clem-Skeans, age 50, of TC runs to honor her dad, my brother’s good friend, Gary Clem. Her mother, Marilyn Pierman, 72, of TC, runs for stress release and to honor her grandson, Zeke. Carly Fewins, 37, of TC, was our favorite zombie bride, with a unique costume. John Wakeman, 42, stopped smoking 15 years ago. John was dressed as a zombie cowboy. His zombie cowboy sons were Colton and Wyat Fewins, age 8. All three brought their horses, hobby horses. Bob Bielski, 71, of TC, is a lifelong jogger. A crowd favorite was the group from a downstate hospital, who returned to TC to entertain the crowd. Bryn Bisson, 28, Aaron Bisson, 25, Matt Nelson, 31, Jade Gamber, 27, Jordan Boynton, 27, Massa Cimini, 26, Johnathon Portara, 25 and Alan Horn, 29, all had a blast in their zombie medical costumes complete with at least two bare butts.

Jessica Stark, pushed one of her children in a jogging stroller and ran/walked with another child, dressed as a cute zombie family. Hubby, Chris, was the fastest runner of the 800 participants and son, Eric, took an age group medal. Sara Pyszora, 37 of West Branch, was a zombie beauty queen. Sara’s motto “If you can’t beat em,,, eat em”. Eric Stehouwer, 49, and Enon Cox, 42, of TC, won a costume prize dressed as zombie golfers. Eric is son of my classmate at Central High, Bob Stehouwer, who will help with our upcoming 60th reunion party, I hope!!! Come on Bob! One of the hits of the race were the “Zumbies” dressed up in their favorite zombie-zamba costumes. The Zumbies are part of a Zamba class. The zumbies included Karen McLain, 43, Deb Engerer, 60, Laura Overzet-Turmel, 43, Cindy Steel, 52, Kristina Clark, 44, Lynette Williams, 52, and Emily Luenberger, 40, who was running in her 9th Zombie run. You Zumbies were dead!!!

Matt and Jennifer Ross hope to see you, alive or dead, at next year’s Zombie Run. You will scream at the fun you’ll have and you will feel better for the effort. Also, join them at next year’s Dune Dash 4 Mile Run, a flat, fast race at the Sleeping Bear Dunes Climbing Hill. Remember to ask your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 76, of Traverse City, lost over 100 pounds and trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He completed over 60 marathons (3:01 PR) and holds a 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the ice in over 600’ of water in middle of West Bay,,,,,, and saving his dog! He plays blues harmonica globally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need training tips, email mickey@telecomclassifiedads.com. Mickey finished second in his age group.

Race and Remember 5k Glow Run & Walk, Elk Rapids, for Hospice of Michigan, Oct 13, 2018

Race director, Michelle Gallagher, registered over 170 runners and walkers for the second Annual Race and Remember 5K Glow Run in Elk Rapids, MI. Just north of Traverse City, this quaint waterfront village is the perfect back drop to our family and pet friendly 5K to benefit Hospice of Michigan (HOM). Not a runner? That’s ok, you could walk the 5K or turn around anytime. The 5K started at 7:15PM at the AMVETS building, 410 Bridge Street, and wound through downtown, across the river and out N. Bayshore Dr. Then turned around and came back to the AMVETS. Family, friends, and dogs were encouraged to attend and to dress up with glow sticks or lights! Snacks and water were available for finishers. Trophies were given to the overall fastest male and female. Medals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd male and female were awarded in age groups. Prizes were given for the Best in Glow Contest including best glow dog. Sponsored by; 4 Front Credit Union, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, DTE Energy Foundation, Grand Traverse Pie Company, Grandstay Hotel & Suites, Bob and Lisa McCririe, MICPA, Orchard Creek Senior Living, The Place Promotional Products, Villa Healthcare, 107.5 Radio, WTCM Radio and Z93 Radio.  The race raised over $15,000 to be used for the good works of HOM and for those residents who are uninsured or underinsured and terminally ill. Results can be found at; Glow Run 5K Results 

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Marci Hillary, the Vice President of Community Relations for HOM, walked the course with her son Grant. Marcie came up from Grand Rapids with her sons Jeb, age 12, and Grant, 11. It was an amazing coincidence for me to meet Marci, because she is cousin to my step-son-in-law, Pat Hillary, of Rockford. WOW!! Kathryn Holl, is Grief Support Manager providing group counseling and grief support and companionship to hospice families which lasts thirteen months after their loved one has passed. Greif support services through Hospice of Michigan are available to anyone in the community regardless if they had a loved one on their services.  Kathryn brought her husband, Stevan, Travis, 15, Grace, 12, Austen Sill, 15, Avery Sill, 12, Avery Sill 12, Ella Sill, 11 and their “star” Leo the Labradoodle, 2 years old. Volunteers were amazing coming all the way from downstate to assist with the race. Several ladies from the Hospice of Michigan Foundation came up to Elk Rapids to help with registration and check in at the race;Lisa Kaiser, from Grand Rapids, is  Donations Processor, Kim Streich, from Ann Arbor, is a Philanthropy Manager, Emily Falicki and Laura Vanover, from GR, both helped with registration. Ann McPhail has been a HOM volunteer for four years. Ann volunteered at the Memorial Tree.Tonya Kilpatrick, was a course marshal, Tonya is a RN at HOM. For three years, she has provided comfort care and support to families in homes at end of life. Tonya explained to me there are other hospice organizations in the Traverse area but Hospice of Michigan is the only non-profit hospice care available. Pattie Albertson, a spry 70 years old was a brightly lit walker. She walks every day to keep in shape and stay healthy. Pattie’s daughter, Karen Lucas, was a course marshaland Karen is a hospice aide with Hospice of Michigan, assisting clients with personal cares. Karen’s son, Lucas, 12, walked with his grandma. Pam Geyer, a course marshal is also a Hospice of Michigan aide. Pam’s daughter, Rachael, assisted her mom volunteering and brought 3 of her friends to help out as well.

Amy Beehler of Williamsburg, brought over sixty runners and walkers recognizable by their pink or green tee shirts emblazoned with the word “Angels”. This is the second year Amy has brought a large team to the Glow Run, and the two years combined has helped raised well over $5,000 for Hospice of Michigan. Laura Foster, 62, from North Carolina, started training two years ago. She ran the Couch to 5K race in North Carolina. The Jensen Family Clan were present walking the 5k with a twin jogging stroller complete with two babies. Don Vyverberg, 49, of Kalkaska ran the 5K. Don is the son of my former friend Don Vyverberg, who recently passed away, and my classmate from TC Central High, Barb Harig Vyverberg. Hypoglycemia runs in Don’s family, Don is free of the disease and credits running to his good health. Another benefit Don experienced from running is relief of work stress.  Don also lost 15 pounds and his blood pressure dropped from 135/85 to 110/72. His pulse was in the 80s but is now in the 60s.  Bob Berry, 67, of Charlevoix, ran the 5K because his wife Ellen is an HOM volunteer who visits patients at the American Senior Living Center in Charlevoix. Bob suffers from serious arthritis throughout his body. Bob started running to get in shape, but his doctor said running would be too hard on his arthritic joints. He started running four years ago and found his pain was much better when running rather than walking. Bob’s advice to others? “Most importantly, one has to keep moving. Moving really helps with arthritic pain.” By the way, and it is no small feat, Bob dropped from 250 pounds to his present 178 pounds. Bob, you are a winner in the game we call “Life”. James, 31, and Danielle Casey, 30, are former high school runners. The Casey’s were accompanied by their brightly lit, beautiful Burmese Mountain dog, Tonka, age 3. Tonka beat me with ease!!!

Race director, Michelle Gallagher, hopes you will come to the third annual Race and Remember Glow Run, to benefit Hospice of Michigan. You will be amazed how fulfilling the run-walk for HOM can be for you. You will feel better and you will experience many of the benefits of our runners. Remember, to ask your doctor before starting an exercise program.  Even though the race has ended donations can still be made at www.hom.org/glowrun.  For more information about Hospice of Michigan, visit their website at www.hom.org.


Your author, Mickey Fivenson, age 76, of Traverse City, lost over 100 pounds and trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He completed over 60 marathons (3:01 PR) and holds a 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the ice in over 600’ of water in middle of West Bay,,,,,, and saving his dog! He plays blues harmonica globally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need training tips, email mickey@telecomclassifiedads.com. Mickey finished third in his age group.

Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer 5K Run/Walk, 2018 Presented by: Byte Productions, Sept 29, at the Filling Station, The Depot, Traverse City

We runners and watchers often lose sight of the importance of these races, of the incredible benefits these races do for us and others. We are interested in who are the fastest runners (which we quickly forget), but we miss the real “winners”, the people like you and I who have changed our lives because of exercise. You are about to meet several “winners” in life’s game, folks who have overcome tremendous odds to become real “winners”.

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Race director, Amy Fritz, welcomed about 150 entrants, to the fourth edition of this important event. Amy and I ran together for two miles with her new baby in a jogging stroller, along with her friend, Cassey Higaki, and her three year old Blue Healer doggie, Kuma. In memory of Curt Barrons, sons Tim and Tom Barrons of Byte Productions host the important Blue Ribbon Run 5K  benefiting the local chapter of Us TOO, a prostate cancer education and support group.

The start and finish was at The Filling Station and the course took us along Boardman Lake, where we saw a beautiful and powerful racing scow being rowed by a 10 person crew, (Is this the only race in the world with a racing scow for background?) and along the beautiful TART Trails, Oryana and the beautiful neighborhoods throughout. We enjoyed beer and breakfast pizza at The Filling Station after the race. $1 from each pint and 25% of pizza purchases were donated back to Us TOO. Registrants received t-shirts. Medals were awarded to the fastest three runners in each age group, male and female. Even doggies won medals. 75% of donations stayed LOCALLY! Sponsors included: Byte Productions, Susan Rauser State Farm, The Stireman Team, Cherry Capital Cab, Oryana, Williams Honda & WKLT, Shift Chiropractic, Bull Dog’s Barber Shop. Results can be found at Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer 2018 Results .

The first “winner” of the Blue Ribbon Run, did not make it to the starting line. Race Director, Amy Fritz’ dad was treated for prostate cancer in 2007. Paul Denawetz is 74. Paul’s treatment lasted four days. Paul lives in Farmington, MI. He now walks up to 5 miles a day! Paul is the only one in the family with prostate cancer. Paul, you are a winner in my book. Congratulations on your victory in life! Susan Barrons walked the 5K and is another “winner”. Susan ran for her former husband of 49 years, Curt Barrons. Curt passed in 2016. Curt’s sons, Tom and Tim, of Byte Productions, started this event for their dad who was diagnosed with cancer at age 50. Curt also experienced severe polio and vertebrae fusion. Susan reports she is a happily married newly-wed. Susan tied the knot only a few months ago. Congratulations to “winner”, Susan Barrons.

The “winners” keep coming. John McCombs, 76, walked the course. John has been exercising 15 years. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 68. John says; “Test your PSA! Often, there are no symptoms.” Dave MacArther, 62, TC, had a prostrate exam at age 56. It took Dave six months to recover. Dave runs to aid his recovery. Dave also experienced blood clots which he is combatting with blood thinners. Dave’s sons, Rob, 32, and Daniel, ran with him. Rob, from Ann Arbor, has competed in half marathons. Daniel, 35, who ran cross country for the Traverse City High School team, has done four marathons and runs for stress management. Jerry Zeits, 65, supports the cause because of the importance of testing. Brian Kriesel, 39, wore his UM colors. Running makes him happy. GO BLUE! Scott Helmholtz, is new to TC. He is meeting many new friends through his participation with the Traverse City Track Club. Scott participates in triathlons. Chris Stark took second place, overall. Chris says running helps him to overcome serious PTSD symptoms. Chris wasn’t the only member of the Stark family to support this important cause. Wife, Jessica and son Eric, also won age group medals. Bill Swift, 75, of TC, keeps adding to his race total. Today was run number 1081! Bill, you are amazing. Bill won an age group medal. Bill’s wife, Mary, 62, walked the course. Mary is experiencing back problems which force her to walk, not run. Mary supplements her walking with 1.5 hours in the pool twice a week. Mary is experiencing some new hip pain. I won’t say “TUMERIC”, Mary. Lisa Sitkins, 50, of TC, keeps in shape by running, her mental health is better than ever, and her clothes fit better. Marlenne Peacock, 55, runs to keep in shape and to sleep better. Andrea, 35, and Michael , 32, Cole of TC, pushed 5 month old baby Cora in a jogging stroller. Michael is entered in the local triathlon. This is only Andrea’s second 5K! Steve Pankowski, 57, participated. Michael Novak, just turned 70, and as a result, joined my age group. Mike took an age group medal. Mike was running with a recently cut hand which landed him in the emergency room. Mike is a Navy veteran. Thank you for your service.

Donna Hollister, is the local leader of “Us Too”, the area prostate cancer support group. Us Too, is a local chapter of a global organization fighting prostate cancer. Us Too, presents many area functions and groups with education, advocacy, and research. Donna’s husband, Ron, is tested every year for prostate cancer. Santa Wong, came from Fenton with a giant, inflatable prostrate. We could take our picture with the huge prostate. What fun!!! With a serious message! Santa’s message to you—– “do your test, and keep healthy”. Irina Benne and Laurie Stubbs, represented sponsor, Shift Chiropractic with on-site testing gear. Laurie got my avid attention because she was wearing a ”proud” M shirt and even had on maize and blue sox!! GO BLUE! David Rose was the excellent volunteer announcer, keeping us entertained as we lined up to start the race. Nicole Pence, (California Girl), and Greg Marsh, were on hand with the WKLT broadcast trailer and the WKLT free roulette game. Madison Hodges, beautifully sang the “Star Spangled Banner” at the race start. Tyler Huerta, recruiter of the United States Air Force, passed out Air Force mementos and helped marshal the course. Tyler was ably aided by Air Force members, Conner Sweet, who is an Aerospace Medical Technician, and Bethany Reed, who is also a member of the US Air Force. Thank you for your service

Race director, Amy Fritz, hopes you will enter next year’s Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer. You will be amazed at the good vibes you will receive and you will enjoy the lovely course. Remember to consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. Amy adds the following; “We raised over $3,600 for Us Too plus donations from the Filling Station from pizza and beer. We are so happy for the support of participants & sponsors who allow us to raise this much every year. Join us next year.”

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 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the ice in over 600’ of water in middle of West Bay,,,,,, and saving his dog! He plays blues harmonica globally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need training tips, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. Mickey finished first in his age group.

9/11 Honor Run 5K, Sept 15, 8:46am, F & M Park, Traverse City

Jen Casey, Race Director, welcomed over 200 runners, a 30% growth over last year, to the second annual edition of the 9/11 Honor Run, held September 15, at F & M Park, in Traverse City. First responders, Fire Department, Police, EMTs who entered the race were the “winners”. They risk their lives every day, so we can live in peace and security.

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The 9/11 run was held to honor those who lost their lives in the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks, as well as Local First Responders and Veterans. Proceeds went to the Grand Traverse Region Public Safety Alliance. This brand new non-profit fund was set up to help Local First Responders (Police, Fire, EMS, Emergency Management, 911 Dispatchers and Coast Guard) which will allow for education opportunities, scholarships, recognition, emergency financial support, etc. All Runners, Walkers, Wheelchairs and dogs were welcome. Results can be found at this link; 9/11 2018 Honor Run

 The race started at 8:46am, which is the same time the World Trade Center North Tower was hit. Entrants gathered before the race for a moving ceremony by the TC Fire Department to remember and honor those who lost their lives that day and show support to our Local First Responders who risk their lives to keep us safe. Then we showed our spirit with an amazing run! TC firefighters Chris Peron, Nate McKerchie and James Smielewski, led the solemn flag ceremony. Ramona Pleva, Doctor of Chiropractic, sang a moving rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” from a vintage fire truck, in front of a giant flag hanging from a TC Fire Truck. Little Fleet opened early for all race participants, offering a discount off drinks and free soda at the bar to all participants! Live music entertained the crowd. Food trucks, were open early to serve hungry runners. Running Fit of Traverse City gave a $100 Gift Card to the person or company that made the largest donation and a 15% discount to any runner that visited the store with their race bib! Prizes were awarded to the first three age group and overall fastest runners. Runners included several fire department fire fighters wearing complete fire-fighting gear.

Sponsored by Pure Water Works, Munson Medical Center, Michigan Blood, 7/4 UpNorth Live, 94.3 Fox Music Radio, 101.1 Sports Talk Radio, IAF Local 646, Oryana, Alfie Logo Wear, Blarney Stone Broadcasting, Rotary of TC, 106.7 ESPN, 100.3 WQON, 97.5 KLT, Mydogtag.com, and Westwind Construction, over $6,000 was raised for the Grand Traverse Region Public Safety Alliance. Spencer Schmerheim, from 2BaysDJS, was fully equipped with sound gear, providing exciting music.

My “winner” was not the fastest runner in the race, but he was a real “winner” in the race for life. Tim Newdon, 47, is a firefighter with the Metro Fire Department. Tim runs 50-60 miles each week, mainly for stress relief. But Tim has experienced other valuable benefits from running. Before running, his blood pressure was over 170. Now, Tim’s blood pressure is only 110. Tim’s pulse was 88. Now, his pulse is 52. Tim is combating and beating a family history of heart disease. Most male family members died before age 70 from heart conditions. Tim is well on his way to beating those family genes. Congratulations to our “winner”, Tim Newdon. And thank you for your service.

Pat Parker, Chief of the Metro fire Department, ran the 5K race in full firefighter gear. Deepest respect, Pat, for your accomplishment. I have known Pat many years having been a client of his former freight company and serving with Pat on the board of the area Boy Scouts. We are both proud parents of Eagle Scouts. Pat was joined by Nate Saldanra, also of the Metro Fire Department and also in full gear. Jon Williamson, Public Safety Officer in Grayling, also ran in full gear. Jon also runs triathlons and has experience,. He has run his entire life. Thank you for risking your lives to keep us safe. Jacob Steichen, 33, Ken Funk, 34, and Tyler Vandemark, 34, represented the TC Fire Department. Lt Chris Jackson, Jerry Wojtanowski, and Ty Bajtka drove the big firetrucks on display. Nate Mckerchie, was also in the honor guard.  Many more first responders were in the event and many were among the top finishers.

Rhonda Workman, director of the Mesick Mushroom 5K, beat me again across the finish line! Rhonda, I am going to catch you, next time. Rhonda is a veteran. Thank you for your service. She ran today to honor her brother-in-law who was a firefighter. Kristen Moravak ran the 5K to honor her husband, a firefighter for 12 years, who runs but could not attend the race. Kristen was accompanied by her friend, who ran the race, Tom Berg, age 60. Nick Haines, 36, and Kyle Sarber, 29, are with the Peninsula Fire Department. They shared the fact that the entire department is working on a goal of better physical fitness. Shelly Abbring, 62, of TC, ran for her son, Brian, who is in the local Grand Traverse Sherriff Department. Sherry’s cholesterol was as high as 199. Today, with exercise, her cholesterol is down to 146. Her pulse has dropped from 75 to 56. Shelly is a “winner”. Homer Nye and his bride Becky Mang walked the course. More “winners”: Elizabeth Paulson, 77, from Cadillac, runs to see the world. Her friend, Deana Horcher, 58, from Hersey, loves running. Doug Meekhoff, 50, Ray Horton, 25, ran the race and represented sponsor Westwind Construction. Running is their “mental therapy” to help relieve stress.

Volunteers were important to the success of the race. Tony Anderson, helped with late registration. Tony says he is feeling no ill effects from his replaced hip. He has run four marathons this year and is planning his next marathon in Mankato MN, as he approaches running a marathon in every state. Tony is raising funds for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Find out how you can help at Tony’s website. Congressman Larry Inman helped at registration and passing out water to help honor firefighters. Diane Goss, XC Track coach, and Allison Goss, assistant coach at West Senior High, brought about forty team members to help with the race. The team acted as course marshals and helped with registration. Among the XC team members were Carter Dean, Audrey Braurd, Claire Wells, Abbi Klco, Kate Eveleigh, Abby Hunter, Elliott Smith, and Margret Church.

Jen Casey, Race Director, hopes you will join her for next year’s 9/11 Honor Run. You will enjoy the effort and you will honor the first responders who help make your life safe. Remember to discuss with your doctor before starting an exercise program.


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 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the ice in over 600’ of water in middle of West Bay,,,,,, and saving his dog! He plays blues harmonica globally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need training tips, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. Mickey finished first in his age group.  

Harvest Stompede 5K and 7mi Run, 2018, Sat. Sept 8, Ciccone Vinyards

Race directors, Mario Ciccone and Jamie Dalke, welcomed over 400 runners and walkers to the 18th annual 2018 Harvest Stompede Races. Sponsored by Ciccone Vineyard and other Wine Makers consisting of participant wineries in the Leelanau Wine Trail, the course is open to the public only on race day and takes place through a matrix of beautiful grape-filled vineyard rows and wooded trails in the majestic rolling hills of Leelanau Peninsula. Runners receive a high quality, long sleeved tee-shirt, great snacks, including delicious table grapes, (of course), were available at the end of the race. The course provides landscape views that are unrivaled. Both courses wind through vineyard rows that allow for viewing of nearby participants. Medals go 3 deep in each age group. The race allows the Ciccone’s and others to give back to the Leelanau community. Proceed are donated to non-profit organizations in the Leelanau County area. Results can be found at this link;   Harvest Stompede 2018 Results

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It is a privilege and honor to hear the amazing stories why runners run. It is not my intent to interview the fastest runners, to tell you another story you will soon forget. The intent of these articles is for you to meet people who have changed their lives through running. The Harvest Stompede is a prime example of the life-changing aspect of races, lessons from which we can all learn a valuable life aspect. Mario and Jamie, these interviews will tell you and others of the importance of this race. Thank you for providing us with this vehicle!

As author, I get to pick my “winners”. They may not be the fastest runners, but they are “winners” in the race called “life”. Without a doubt, the “winner” of the 2018 Harvest Stompede is Darcy Dewey, 56, from Grand Haven. Darcy was not the fastest runner, but Darcy is one of the bravest runners. Seven years ago, Darcy’s doctors gave her two years to live. Darcy had contracted a rare form of breast cancer, which did not show up on mammograms until it reached a serious level. Seven years later, Darcy runs marathons. Darcy has a family history of cancer. Many of her family members discovered their individual cancer at about the same time. Remember, this cancer does not show up on the typical mammogram. Darcy’s message to you? “Always get a second opinion. Don’t believe everything the doctors say. I looked around for a doctor until I found one familiar with my type of cancer. This doctor gave me hope“. Darcy is training for the Chicago Marathon where she will join 40,000 other runners. But chances are, Darcy will be the only Chicago Marathon runner who will run the race after returning from a “death sentence”. Congratulations to my most amazing “winner”, Darcy Dewey. Darcy was joined in this race by her husband, Don, 58, Jean Lear, 32, from Denver and Jeff Stewart, 64, from Seattle, who proudly wore his Seattle Marathon Tee shirt. Jeff has run 3 marathons and loves the Leelanau area.

Sarah Carpenter, 42, of Livonia, was a “winner”. We were “winners” because Sarah shared her story with us. Sarah wore a tee-shirt that read in large bold letters, “I FINISNED MY CHEMO”. Sarah learned last May, she had breast cancer. This week, Sarah finished her last chemo. Sarah says; “Running helped me through my chemo”. Sarah’s message to you? “Embrace the suck and take the good when you can”. Sarah met her friends from Ann Arbor while playing ultimate Frisbee. Joining Sarah in the race were Rich Stubbs, 43, of Livonia, Callie Corsa, 34, of Ann Arbor, who is in biomedical research at U of M hospital. Aaron Huba, 39, of Ann Arbor, and Melissa Sterlekar, 39, of South Lyon who is a U of M Nurse and reminds us UM Nurses will be voting on a work stoppage due to lack of a contract. Susan Hund, 57, MaryKay Bickman, 55, and Jenny Moening, 53, all of Rochester, wore matching tee- shirts, while running their 10th annual Harvest Stompede. Jenny tells us that running helped her lose her added baby weight while Susan attributes her 42 count resting heart rate to running. Andrea Burkholder, 40, and Jenny Dallolme of Traverse City, are both moms of three children, both kindergarten teachers and both use running to connect to “who we are”. Running provides stress release and “something special for themselves”. The Stanton family reminded us of the importance of running together as a family. Dad, Doug, Mom, Ann, son, Will and daughter, Katherine, ran the Stompede as a family event. Guess who came in last from this family group. Nice try, Doug!!! Haha! Ann runs with her 4 year old setter, Princess. Jan Zanyk, 61, from Midland and Sarnia, Canada, runs for fitness and mental health. “Running keeps me happy.” Jan was accompanied by her family who ran the race and her two dogs. The brown dog, Scout, (my dog, as a kid, was called “Scout”). Scout is a therapy dog to the other dog, Cooper, when they go to the vet.  Jan’s family, who either ran or watched were, Katie, 28, and Karina, 22, both doctors at UM, GO BLUE!, twin son, Sean, a computer engineer at MSU, (boo!!!),  Austin, 23, an MBA candidate at Northwood College, who coaches and dad David, 61, an IT Executive at Dow in the nature conservancy.

Tom Henderson, and his lovely bride, ran the 7 mile race. Tom remembers running the first Harvest Stompede Race. He was a writer for “Cranes Review”, in Detroit and for the “Michigan Runner Magazine”. That first year, Tom joined 60 other runners in the Harvest Stompede. After publishing his stories about the race, the following year there were 600 runners! Because of the great publicity, the original race director gave Tom a lifetime pass to enter the race. Those were the days, eh, Tom?

The Harvest Stompede could not have been successful without participation of many volunteers who worked registration, course marshals, set-up and clean-up. Angela Richardson-Gross, worked registration as a volunteer. Angela is from the oncology center at Munson Hospital. Daughter, Abigail, worked with her. Sarah Buhl, worked registration.

Mario Ciconne told us about the origins of the race. Mario’s dad, Tony, was an avid runner. Tony ran most of his life. Nate Rouse, an early employee of Tony, was an early race director. Mario took over for him. Jamie Dalke will take over for Mario. Jamie, by the way, is no slouch to running having completed two ultra-marathons and numerous shorter races.

Mario Ciccone and Jamie Dalke, invite you to attend next year’s Harvest Stompede Races. You will enjoy the beauty of the unique, grape-filled, vineyard course, the long sleeved tee-shirt and the great snacks. Maybe your story will be told in next year’s article. Always ask your doctor for permission to exercise.

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 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the ice in over 600’ of water in middle of West Bay,,,,,, and saving his dog! He plays blues harmonica globally and with area bands. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need training tips, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com. Mickey finished first in his age group.  

Dune Dash 4Mi Run, Aug 18, 2018, Sand Dunes Climbing Hill, Glen Eden

Race director Matthew Ross and #1 volunteer, his wife, Jennifer, welcomed runners and walkers to the 7th annual Dune Dash, four mile run-walk, August 18, 2018, at the foot of the beautiful Sleeping Bear Climbing Hill. The race course showcases the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail located in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Starting and finishing at the base of the Dune Climb, runners follow the paved Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail past rolling dunes and beautiful forests to the turn-around point at historic Glen Haven garages, garages I almost burned down. (As a dunes driver, one summer, I slept above those garages in Glen Eden, and almost burned them down when my electric blanket caught fire).

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All proceeds from this event went to the continued construction and maintenance of Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Unique carved awards were presented to the overall male and female finisher, and the top three finishers in each age-group. All entrants received a souvenir tee shirt and excellent post-race snacks. Special thanks to race director Matt Ross, who directed the event even though he was recovering from a still-painful, recent serious accident. Matt would not let the injury come between him and his beloved race.

The race was sponsored by Williams Honda, Tart Trails, Meijer, The Filling Station, and Pure Water Works. KLT Radio, was represented by their colorful broadcasting trailer, a prize-filled roulette game and Krista Gothard, Jason Gothard, Shelly Grant and Jim Smith. Trevor Step, owner of RF Timing and Brian Marhofer, who lives in TC, were present with their computers to score the event. The results were ready in a timely, legible fashion and can be found at; Dune Dash 2018 Results

And the race “winner”? He did not enter the race, but Tom Van Pelt, of Northport, was the clear race “winner”. Tom brought his restored 1956 Oldsmobile, #8 Dunes mobile to display at the event. The car is an amazing duplicate of the car I drove as a Dunes Driver during my college years. Beautiful Red and white, with its’ own stuffed sleeping bear complete with cubs, the car has only 60,000 miles. Decades ago, Tom saw the car for sale and asked his dad to buy it. At the time, Tom did not know the price. He wanted the car. It was purchased from Chet Swanson Olds for an unheard of price. It’s worth a few more bucks, today. Thank you, Tom for bringing your beauty to the 2018 Dune Dash.

Jerry Peterson represented The Friends of the Sleeping Bear Trail. The group maintains the trails, clearing, mowing, repairing, and removing down trees. Jerry graduated from University of Michigan, (GO BLUE), was a Ford executive, and upon retirement from Ford, taught for 14 years at UM business school (my alumni school)!

More “winners” follow; everyone in the event was a “winner” but these “winners” excelled; Matt Tiberg, 39 from TC lost weight and runs because it feels good. Judging from the smile on his face as he crossed the finish line, I’d day Matt had a good time. Matt was joined by he wife, Heidi, who finished along with Matt. Matt is the son of Michael Tiberg, who I used to race with. Mike and I were always dead even at the start, but somewhere along the way, Michael pulled ahead and beat me. Michael has completed seven Boston Marathons. We were fortunate to meet the Johnson Family, of Muskegon, who run/walk as a family. Tammy Johnson, 43, runs to stay in shape to keep up with her son, Trenton, 8, who also plays hockey. Cindy, 58, walks the course to keep physically fit with her family. Dad, Dan, 38, is Trevor’s hockey coach.

Rhonda Workman, 63, director of the Mesick Mushroom Festival 5K, and veteran (thank you, for your service) beat me handily. Next time, I will catch you, Rhonda. Mike Herron, 68, of TC, runs to keep the weight off. Dave Jousma, 55, of Grand Rapids, lost 60#. For him, running is a healthy habit. Dave’s wife, Melisa, 53, runs “To get out of my head”. Many of us could use “getting out of our heads”. Mark Hammerberg, 60, of Beulah, runs “to maintain his weight and his sanity”. Eric Suehrstedt, age 60, from Maine, proudly wore his Beach to Beacon 10K tee shirt. He ran the race in Cape Elizabeth, ME. The race is sponsored, in part, by Joan Benoit Samuelson, the famous women’s marathon record holder.  Eric’s wife, Wendy, ran today. She met and became friends with “Joanie” through her firm’s sponsorship of the 10K. “Joanie is a wonderful person and was kind enough to send me congratulations after I ran my first marathon”. Nice friend!!! Lorelie Suehrstedt, 49, Bay Village, Ohio, (Near Cleveland) “started running when I was 42 because I hated it. I wanted to teach my children that hate can be turned into love. And when you turn hate into love, you can do anything”. Wise words to live by. Her husband, Craig, 47, says “running has turned into a family event, with fun adventures and lots of travel around the USA and even many foreign lands. We’ve been to Yellowstone and Glacier National Monument. We have met many wonderful people because of running”. Danny Zolik, 71, ran last year, but walked the course, this year with his two year old grandson, Theo. Danny says “Walking keeps me looking forward.”

The race was conducted with the help of many volunteers. Julie Alton, registered runners and passed out unique tee shirts. Allen Olander, worked with the friends of sleeping bear and helped marshal the course on his bike. He took bottles of water to several struggling participants, thereby avoiding a possible serious incident.

Matthew and Jennifer Ross hope to see you at next year’s Dune Dash. You will enjoy the beauty of the course and the unique awards. And the Ross’s welcome you to the scary Zombie Run, 5K, held October 27, at Right Brain Brewery on 16th Street in TC. Remember to ask your doctor before starting an exercise program.

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 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the middle of West Bay ice in over 600’ of water,,,,,, and saving his dog! He 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.  Yes, he was a Dunes mobile driver!!

Five of the Best Mickey Fivenson Commercials from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s

From the 1970s to the 1990s, Mickey Fivenson was a force in Northern Michigan television advertising. In his ads, Mickey acted, fought, sung, and announced, alongside Ron Lundmark, who played a variety of characters, most notably Sven The Swedish Chef. It was Sven who coined the commercials’ catch phase, “Thank you, Mickey.”

What was unique about Mickey’s commercials was that while 98% of the viewers were not potential clients, the remaining 2% were. If you were a restaurant, bar, hotel, hospital, nursing home or school, you came to Mickey.

In the commercials, Mickey was shown popping out of food mixers, pounding nails with a cup, breaking old toasters, in his running gear or playing blues harmonica; The spots were so unique that the Television Bureau of Advertising created a training video of Mickey and his spots for national B2B advertisers.

Below are five select commercials from a recently recovered trove of Fivenson Food Equipment commercials. You’ll need to click play, wait a moment, then click play again to watch them.

1. The earliest commercial recovered. This was before the commercials featured the tag line, and before Ron appeared as The Swedish Chef.


2. Mickey wore his running gear for this early commercial. Still no “thank you, Mickey” or Ron. The commercial begins after a few second of blank screen, and audio quality is low.


3. In this Western-themed commercial, Mickey and Ron debate the merits of commercial ice makers. Ron’s cowboy character was an early experiment–the first of many–that would lead to the creation of the Swedish Chef character.


4. This commercial includes the first known reference of the trademark tag line “thank you, Mickey!”


5. Mickey always enjoyed turning the spotlight on others, and he did just that in a series of later commercials featuring customers in his show room.

Alden Run, 5K, 10K and Fun Run, 2018, Downtown Alden

Race director, Steve Kershner welcomed over 400 runners and walkers to one of the oldest runs in Northern Michigan, The Alden Run, 5K, 10K and Fun Run, 2018, with start and finish in downtown Alden. The course is on paved and dirt roads. Results can be found at this link; Alden Run Results .

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Overall awards were presented in ten year age groups for the 5K and 10K through age 70+ for both men and women. Race winners received gorgeous home-made plaques cut from a log. Proceeds from the run go toward beautification and improvement projects in the Alden community and to the Bellaire and Mancelona High School Cross Country teams. Sponsors of the race were merchants of downtown Alden who contributed unique door prizes.

My “winner”? Hands down, it was the husband-wife team of E. Wright Davis and his wife, Cindy. E. Wright, a retired attorney from Georgia and Memphis, walked the 2 mile fun run with two replaced hips caused by an auto accident. He walks most days, usually pain free. He also swims 12 laps 3-4 times each week. He is meds free! Congrats to E. Wright. Wife Cindy is no slouch. Cindy lost 85 pounds in about one year. Cindy had been diagnosed as pre-diabetic with high cholesterol and a high A1C test. Now her blood measurements are normal. She is totally free of meds. Their friend, Marcia Wiinamaki, ran the 5K. Marcia runs for the sense of accomplishment and to relieve stress. Their “leader”, I call her a leader because we ran together for about 1 mile, then she took-off and left me “sucking wind”, Mary Beth Good, 61, from Berrien Springs, runs for her sanity. Mary Beth started training with a friend for a marathon and never looked back. Now she needs to run. I will catch you next time, Mary Beth.

We have another “winner”, (of course all 400+ runners are winners), but Steph Lockman, 46 deserves special attention. Steph weighed 333 pounds before she started losing weight with yoga. Today, she weighs a svelte 175 pounds. Steph lost 158 pounds! Amazing. Because of her incredible weight loss, we are awarding her the title of “Big Loser” for the 2018 Alden Run. Steph has continued her exercise program 570+ consecutive days.  The “winners” keep coming. Theresa Hubbard 61, of Dewitt, was diagnosed with full blown diabetes and hypertension. She had an A1C of 8.2! Today, her A1C is a remarkably normal 5.5. Her goal is to get off all meds. She lost 20 pounds in the last 2 months. Rick Anderson, 71, of Rapid City, was pre-diabetic. No More! Through diet and daily exercise, Rick has brought his potential diabetes under control. Beth Dole, 50, of TC, runs to improve her lung capacity, for weight loss, and better endurance. Steve Shuster, and wife Beth, (58 and 57) moved to the Alden area from Brighten in October of 2017. They run to meet friendly people. Steve and Beth lose about 10 pounds every time they train for a ½ marathon.

Mike Wise, 65, of Parma, runs to stay in shape for backpacking trips he leads for the Sierra Club. Mike has taken hiking trips to the Grand Canyon, Utah, and California. Recently, Mike hurt his knee stepping off a stool, but is returning to good condition. His friend, Eileen Johnson, 61, of Battle Creek, runs for strength and because it makes her feel good. Her mother was a diabetic, with high blood pressure, Eileen runs to avoid both diabetes and the high blood pressure in her family. Looking at Eileen, one could say she has successfully beat questionable family genes. Maggie Wise, Mike’s daughter, is 23, also from Parma. Maggie runs because running improves mood, she feels good and for overall strength. For Bill Swift, The Alden Run is his 1078th race. Bill’s goal is to hit number 1200, then what? He will continue running. Twenty years ago, Bill was in a “danger zone” for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Now, his blood measurements are normal. Bill wrestled at 133 pounds in high school and ran the 440 yard “dash”. So, Bill’s exercise pedigree runs high. Bill says to new runners “Make it fun. Enjoy all runs. Don’t over-do exercise or you could suffer injury.  Support area races“. Wise words from experience. Barbara Klingenmaier, 70, from Muskegon, runs for mental health first and fitness second. Barbara has been running since 1975. “Running kept me sane while working in child welfare, supervising in child protective services the last twenty years.” Roy Winegar, 69, of Muskegon, often wears thumb braces due to arthritis. Shaking hands hurts him. He runs to avoid meds. Kent Walker, 77, of Alden and Baltimore, beat me in our age group. Kent was a high school track coach for 37 years. He trained with his cross country teams. He began to train for marathons. 30 marathons later, he can claim several nationally famous runs including the Pikes Peak Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon (I ran the Marine Corps Marathon) the JFK 50 miler, which he ran twice and he ran around Torch Lake, 42 miles in 1980. His “Run around Torch” was covered in area newspapers.

The Alden Run could not have been so nicely conducted without a great crew of volunteers and course marshals. Diane Verploegh, is in charge of all volunteers. She worked in registration and was always available to answer volunteer questions. John Wethy, has volunteered over 20 years. He owned Higgins Store, the former start site. John started the tradition of giving free ice cream to the runners. John was helping in registration. He was ably assisted by Suzanne Walker who is also a 20 year volunteer. Chris and Emma Clore, were selling Alden Run tee shirts from prior years. They were having great success. Marion Johnson and Sandy Bodenbender were in charge of the Torch Area Artisans Guild (TAAG) quilt sale. What a lovely bunch of quilts including the drawing prize quilt. But the quilt that attracted my attention was a unique multi-colored quilt handcrafted by Carolyn Nowfel called “Grandmother’s Dream”, in honor of Carolyn’s grandmother who was alive when Carolyn started the quilt. The quilt could be had for only $135, which Carolyn said “the amount hardly covers materials”. What a beautiful quilt!!

Race Director, Steve Kershner hopes to see you at next year’s Alden Run. You will love the camaraderie and the challenge. Ask your doctor for permission before starting an exercise program, and as Bill Swift says “Make it fun!”


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 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 credits his running fitness and his scuba skills with surviving a fall through the middle of West Bay ice in over 600’ of water,,,,,, and saving his dog! He 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.