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.
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.