Rochester, Michigan --- Walkers and runners who want to participate in the 2013 HealthPlus Brooksie Way just got an easy way to enter the family of races.
The Kroger Co. of Michigan is distributing applications for the half marathon, 10k and 5k races in 128 of the chain’s grocery stores stretching from Bay City to the north and Monroe to the south. Kroger is the sponsor for the half marathon race.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is thrilled with the new partnership. Besides distributing the applications, audio messages will be played in the stores touting The Brooksie Way. The race, now in its sixth year, is set for Sept. 29.
"Where can you find a race application – any Kroger store," Patterson said. "It makes our job that much easier. Bringing Kroger on increases the likelihood that we will increase our number of participants and already we're 15 percent over last year’s registrations. I want to publicly thank Kroger for its support of The Brooksie Way."
The Brooksie Way, which includes a half marathon, 10k and 5k races, is named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, the son of the county executive, who died after an accident in 2007. The 10k race is new this year. The races can be run or walked and begin at the Meadow Brook Music Festival at Oakland University. The half marathon route goes through Rochester Hills, Rochester and includes parts of the Paint Creek Trail and Clinton River Trail. The 2012 race had about 6,000 participants.
Kroger, for its part, seemed equally smitten with the new partnership.
"As part of the Oakland County business community, we feel a sense of urgency to support organizations like The Brooksie Way to encourage healthy eating habits and active lifestyles as well as help individuals reach their goals," said Dale Hollandsworth, Kroger customer service communications manager.
Race Director Deb Kiertzner said details will be released later this month about a special Saturday race for children. Racers for the half marathon and shorter distances have about a week to take advantage of discounted entry fees. On July 16, the fee increases by $10 for the half marathon.
The Brooksie Way is endorsed by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness/Michigan Fitness Foundation as an officially sanctioned race. The designation allows Brooksie participants to apply for inclusion in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day weekend race.
Novice runners and walkers who want to participate in Brooksie Way races can register for the 16-week training program at www.TheBrooksieWay.com. Training locations are in Rochester, Grand Blanc, Milford and Royal Oak.