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.
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?