Runners, walkers trek 8th annual Brooksie Way

Runners and walkers from all over the state of Michigan (and even some from outside the state) tracked across Oakland University’s hill-filled campus at the 8th annual HealthPlus Brooksie Way Sunday morning.

In what has become an annual fall tradition, the Brooksie Way marathon was able to attract over 4,200 runners and walkers for the 5K, 10K and half marathon races. The race began at the Walton Road entrance at Meadow Brook Hall with the different courses spanning across the OU campus.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. James Lentini, ran in the Brooksie Way for the first time this year and thinks that not only does the event bring the large community together, but it is able to show people from out of the area the true beauty of OU.

“One really cool feature is that in the 10K, we ran past the Elliot Carillon Tower from different angles, and we even got to run right through the arch under the tower,” said Dr. Lentini. “Overall there’s no doubt that the number of people who participate and their friends and family have to be impressed with OU.”

When the race debuted in 2008, it was used to promote Oakland County and encourage a healthier lifestyle for its residents, but now the race attracts thousands of runners and even helps the community financially. Race proceeds are used to support programs that encourage healthy and active lifestyles in the Oakland County community. The Brooksie Way Minigrants have donated over $50,000 to Oakland County programs in the community.

Even though most runners were participating to help the community or aim for personal bests, there were some that came to compete. The morning’s 10K winner, John Worthington, is an experienced runner but ran the Brooksie Way for the first time this year. He said that he used this race to get ready for this year’s Turkey Trot in Detroit, but was very pleased with his results and the race itself.

“I liked the atmosphere and all of the support with the cross country team, cheerleaders and dance team all scattered throughout the race. There are definitely a lot of passionate people here and it made for an enjoyable race,” said Worthington.

It was another successful year for the HealthPlus Brooksie Way event at OU. No matter if it was an OU professor, young children, or someone preparing for their next race, the event had something for everyone.