Alden 5K and 10K Run and Walk, July 29, 2017, Downtown Alden

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Alden 5K and 10K Run and Walk, July 29, 2017, Downtown Alden

Kudos to Steve Kershner for directing the 32nd  beautiful Alden 5K and 10K Run and walk. 369 runners plus 102 walkers participated and enjoyed the good food at the finish, the homemade awards, the raffle, and the free soft serve from Higgin’s unique store. Proceeds from this event go toward the Downtown Alden Business Association and the Bellaire and Mancelona Cross Country Teams.

Generous sponsors were; Alden Mill House, Nifty Things, Lakeside Dip, Warm Fuzzy, Alden Store, LaVoie Design, Spencer’s Creek Trading Co, Mama’s Kitchen, Vista Ridge, Muffin Tin, Carter’s Candles, The Pear Tree Gallery, Alden Outfitters, Higgins Store, Village Market, South Torch Lake Fire Dept, Antrim County Sheriff, Shanty Creek Resorts, Pepsi, Paradise Properties. The race course was on paved and dirt roads through the wooded countryside. Race results are posted at this link; here.  Send your friends and colleagues a copy of this article which will soon appear at this link;  Traverse City Runner.

Steve doesn’t know the stories of many of the runners who participate. He can’t because there are too many runners. But every runner has a story. The reason they run may be better health, stop smoking, family genetic history, stress release, family fun or friendship.  Following are a few of the race “winners”. They may not have been the fastest runner, but they are the “winners” in the race called “life”.

Ted Navarro, age 75, from Bear Lake Township, is a “winner”.  Ted served five years in the US Air Force in Okinawa. Thank you for your service. In 2013, Ted received a triple bypass.  Since the operation, Ted has lost 40 pounds, his blood measurements have dropped to the normal range and Ted is no longer taking medications. Ted says; “Exercise is a great use of your time”. Ted, you are an example of good health and the benefits of exercise. Fay McHaney, 65, from near Cheboygan, broke her wrist and ran sporting a lovely pink cast which she hopes comes off soon. The cast is not the reason Fay is a “winner”. Fay survived not one but two surgeries for brain cancer. Fay’s first race was the Chicago Marathon. Fay says “Today is the day. Don’t wait until tomorrow.” Fay, you are a “winner”. Fay’s daughter, Shannon Canal, 43, from Baltimore, is a power walker who relieves the stress of being a middle school teacher by running. Running also helped Shannon with sore knees and sore hips. John, age 63, and Louise, 61, Wenzel, of Bellaire lost weight and lowered their blood measurements. John dropped his PSA level 2 points. Bob Davidson, 68, walked the course with his Grandson, Alden (yes, his name is Alden) Pellett, age 3. Bob has experienced shoulder and back surgeries. Bob swims, plays golf and hikes. Bob says; “Even if you’ve had health issues and surgeries, walking or running is a great way to stay in shape. Bob, you are a “winner” at the Alden Run.

Chris Delange, age 37, from Bellaire, is a paralytic confined to a wheelchair. Chris suffered damage to his back and is a paraplegic as a result. Chris trains in his wheelchair in the sand! Chris was joined in the 5K by his daughter, Amy, age 7. Ward Nichols, 70, from Ann Arbor says; “Running lifestyle promotes wellness and fitness”. Kris Koerber, 55, from Palm Beach Gardens, FL, has run all his life. Running keeps him young. Daughter, Ana, 16, joined the fun. For Bill Swift, 74, of traverse City, the Alden run will be his 1059th race. He ran six minute miles as a youth. Now, his time is 12 minutes a mile and Bill says he is having more fun than he ever had. Bill attended the U of M Business Grad School,,, GO BLUE!!!! Speaking of U of M, Kyle, 46, and Karen, age 50, Huss, recently ran the Ann Arbor 5K finishing in the Big House, the famous U of M stadium. He ran under the M Go Blue banner. Kyle was amazed how high the banner was and he almost lost his balance touching the banner in the traditional hand slap.  He was amazed at the emotion of running through the historic tunnel where so many football legends ran. Kyle has eliminated severe back pain by running. Melpo Kavadella, 61, originally from Greece, as a teen, trained along the original marathon course. She injured her knees ice skating. After 3 decades of non-activity, Melpo began running. She hasn’t stopped.

Perhaps you can relate to Eileen Johnson, 60, from Battle Creek. Eileen’s parents both had diabetes. Her mom was diagnosed at age 60, the same age Eileen is today. Eileen keeps a healthy diet and exercises regularly to stave off those diabetic genes. “Keep moving. Have a buddy to help keep you motivated” are wise words from Eileen. Steve Tobiczyk, 47, of Commerce, quit smoking, quit drinking, and started running 3 years ago.  Last year, Steve ran a marathon. He liked the experience so much, this year, he ran another marathon. Gale Easton, 61, from Jackson, missed competition. Gale was a college lacrosse athlete. Today, Gale runs races.  Michelle Bowling, 56, saw her cholesterol drop. Terry McHugh, 60, experienced drops in his blood measurements. Dave Burck, 67, from Grand Rapids, wears knee braces to keep his knees from dislocating. Dave suffered a bad back and was hospitalized for several months. We would be remiss if we did not give a huge pat-on-the-back to Ginny Vance, 83, of Rapid City, who walked the course. Ginny says; I enjoy exercising and keeping fit. My health is very good,,,,so far.” Or  Joanne  Alspaugh, 82, who walked the course.

The race would not have happened without the help of some important volunteers. Diane Verploegh, was in charge of registration. Diane has registered Alden runners for 6 years. John and Judy Wethy, have greeted participants for 18 years. The Wethys help runners find their way around the vast registration room among various tables.  Bonnie Fish organized the raffle of gifts donated by Alden businesses. Marian Johnson, helped organize and run the adjacent Quilt Show and sale. Marion has volunteered for 23 years. Maureen and Chris Clore organized and ran the sale of past run t-shirts. Don Williams helped with the finish line. Don wore a U of M hat. He grew up in the shadow of the Big House. As a 5 year old, Don sold apples to the football crowd.

Steve Kershner, you’ve done it again. You organized a fun, exciting, competitive event. Thank you to you and to all your volunteers. Want to join Steve next year? Before you start an exercise program, talk to your doctor. You will enjoy a fun and healthy life-long sport.

Mickey Fivenson, 75, is a stroke survivor. Mickey’s doctor credits running to his survival. He is a 100 pound loser and former director of the National Cherry Festival Races. Mickey founded the Cherry Festival Golden Mile and Wheelchair Races. He completed over 60 marathons and holds a marathon world record with sons, Zack and Adam. He has trained 150,000+ miles in 48 years of running. He took second place in his age group.  If you’d like tips on running, on marathons, if you have a story to share how running has impacted your life, or if you would like coverage of your race, following is a link to contact Mickey



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