Rochester, Michigan -- Runners and walkers who want to participate in the Brooksie Way Half Marathon sponsored by HealthPlus have until the clock strikes midnight on Thursday to register online for the fifth anniversary race.
Online registration can be done on www.TheBrooksieWay.com.
After Thursday at 11:59 p.m., interested participants must register in person at the 2012 Brooksie Way Fitness Expo at the Oakland University Recreation Center on Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The races - the half marathon, 5K and one mile "fun run" - begin Sunday about 8 a.m. at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the OU campus.
"We're expecting this to be our best race yet," said Brooksie Race Director Deb Kiertzner. "We're expecting a record number of runners, the post-race party is bigger than ever and we have U.S. Olympic marathoner Desiree Davila in the field. If you're on the fence as to whether to register or not, the clock is ticking and I'd hate for you to miss the fun."
Davila, 29, lives in Rochester Hills and ran in the London Olympics for the United States. She owns the fastest time ever for a U.S. woman in the Boston Marathon. She is a member of the Rochester Hills-based Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. She pulled out of the marathon in London early in the race due to a hip injury.
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.
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. 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 custom 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 Meritor Team Challenge was capped at 55 teams - 20 more than last year. 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 Friday and Saturday 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.
- A new parking area was created adjacent to the start-finish line. The entrance is the same as to the music festival. There is also ample free parking at the corner of Adams and Walton Boulevard. There is NO shuttle service available because of the new parking area.