Rochester, Michigan - Desiree Davila, a marathoner who ran in the London Olympics for the United States and owns the fastest time ever for a U.S. woman in the Boston Marathon, will participate in the 2012 Brooksie Way Half Marathon sponsored by HealthPlus.
And those who haven't registered yet and want Davila - or anyone else to know who they are - have until Sept. 3 to register at www.TheBrooksieWay.com to ensure enough time to have their names imprinted on their racing bibs.
Davila, 29, will take part in pre-race festivities and in the half marathon set for Sept. 30. Davila is a member of the Rochester Hills-based Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. She finished two seconds behind the winner in the 2011 Boston Marathon, setting a course record for American women at 2 hours 22 minutes and 38 seconds. She pulled out of the marathon in London early in the race due to a hip injury.
"We're thrilled Desi will be part of this year's Brooksie Way," race director Deb Kiertzner said Monday. "She is the latest in series of world-class runners who have participated in our races, including Bill Rodgers, Greg Meyer, Brian Sell, Lisa Rainsberger and Frank Shorter."
Davila will join approximately 6,000 runners and walkers who participate in the half marathon, 5k and one mile fun run which make up the Brooksie Way races.
"We're growing and the response from the community has been wonderful," Kiertzner said. "The event is bigger than it's ever been and our numbers support that. We have a new parking area at Meadow Brook which will make it much easier and more convenient for the racers."
The Brooksie Way, celebrating its fifth year, is named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and the son County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who died in 2007. Proceeds from the race support The Brooksie Way Minigrant program.
The 13.1-mile half marathon course begins and ends at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the Oakland University campus. It winds through Rochester and Rochester Hills, parts of the Paint Creek Trail and the Clinton River Trail before returning to the campus. The 5k race and One Mile Fun Run are contained on the OU campus. You may walk or run any of the events. A half marathon competitive walk is among the races. There will be entertainment every mile on each course.
All half marathon entrants receive a neon long-sleeve Brooks technical shirt and finishers also receive a sun-catcher medal designed to commemorate the fifth year of the race. Participants in the 5k receive a t-shirt and - new this year - those who finish receive a special medal.
Other features include:
- The deadline has been extended for free name-in-the-bib registration. Those who wish to have their named imprinted on their race bibs must register online by 9 a.m. Sept. 3. Registration is available at www.TheBrooksieWay.com.
- The Meritor Team Challenge will be capped at 35 teams. Adult beverages and food from restaurants in The Village of Rochester Hills will be served in the tent. Registrations are coming in at record numbers, Kiertzner said.
- The Post Race Celebration is expanded to include more food vendors, a live band, photo booth, Oakland County Parks Kids Zone and DMC Cool Down tent.
- The Brooksie Way Fitness Expo is Sept. 28-29 at the OU Rec Center and includes a family-friendly all-you-can-eat pasta party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday with food from Italia Gardens and many health and fitness vendors and speakers. Tickets are available at the Expo, which is open to the public.
- The Brooksie Way needs to fill more than 500 volunteer positions for this year's race. Volunteers are needed at the start/finish line, at the Fitness Expo, on the course manning a water station and a host of other duties. Individuals and groups are encouraged to register online. A complete list of volunteer opportunities and expo registration can be done at www.TheBrooksieWay.com.