Brooksie Way brings sense of community to campus


Nicole Marshfield

The 12th annual Brooksie Way race took place Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

Taylor McDaniel, Staff Reporter

The 12th annual Brooksie Way race brought together members of the Oakland County community to show a sense of undying comradery and support.

“Almost there — keep it up!” shouted a girl, sitting in the dirt and grass to cheer on participants. 

A wife yelled to her husband, “Come on, Henry! Finish strong,” encouraging him to not give up. 

“Good job!” one friend called to another from the opposite side of the half marathon track. 

With all of the cheers and aid from those around them, no amount of heat, humidity or sweat could stop the runners — or walkers — from finishing what they started at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22. Participants of the race had the choice of completing a half marathon, 10K or 5K. 

The half marathon began back in 2008 as a way to promote physical activity to those in Oakland County. Proceeds from the race support programs that have the same goal in mind. 

Not only does this year mark the 12th year of the race, it is also the first year without its creator, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. The race was named in honor of Patterson’s late grandson, Brooks Stuart Patterson.  

Patterson also founded The Rainbow Connection — a Michigan organization dedicated to granting wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions — back in 1985. Over 200 children and family members helped by the organization walked the 5K at the 2019 event. 

Besides Patterson, the day was made possible by sponsors and volunteers of the event — including title sponsor McLaren Health. McLaren had medical staff on site and in a specified tent during the race to assist participants in case of an emergency. 

As being the host location of the event, Oakland University was a sponsor as well. OU students from the physical therapy program volunteered at the Orthopedic Spine and Sports Therapy tent to give free massages to competitors after the race. 

The Oakland Sheriff Department, Rochester Police Department and OUPD kept the grounds safe and secure as well as manning the traffic — cars and people. 

Perhaps most importantly to the children, though, were the inflatable bounce houses provided by OC Parks and Recreation. 

Once the participants were done with their respective races, they could relax with food and drinks inside a large tent on the Meadowbrook Amphitheatre grounds. Live music was provided by local group Rev. Right Time & The 1st Cuzins of Funk. Participants could also snap a post-race selfie. 

Announcing the awards in the post race tent was Race Director Deb Kiertzner-Flynn — not before asking the crowd how the race went, and thanking the many sponsors of the event. 

Kicking off the award session was the shorter length races. For the 5K, the winner of the male category was 13-year-old Luke Maher with a time of 18 minutes and 16 seconds. 

First place 5K winner of the female category was bib number 6452: Alejandra Hernandez — 15th rank overall for that section. John Worthington II nabbed the 1st place slot for the 10K for the males while Mary Williams did the same for the females. 

Coming in at one hour, 14 minutes and 14 seconds, the winner of the half marathon run for the 2019 Brooksie Way was Samuel Parlette. 

Parlette excitedly expressed his joy of the race after posing with Rochester resident Dot McMahan who won the female section — her second at Brooksie Way. 

Whether first place or last, walking or running, The Brooksie Way Half Marathon yet again continued its goal of encouraging those in the community to lead active, healthy lifestyles.