The BIG Little Hero Race, a 10K/5K/free kids fun run organized by business students at Northwestern Michigan College, is back for its second year this spring. On today's show, Heather talks with Race Director Kyle Brownley, business professor (and runner) Kristy McDonald and students-turned-race-organizers Nicole Trine-Koewers and Justin Brown about the April 16 race. Tony Anderson, a northern Michigan marathoner and passionate advocate for children, also joins the conversation. Last year's event raised more than $8,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan. The race started last year as a service project for students taking Kristy's business communications class. The event was such a success that it's become an annual tradition, helping the students gain real-world experience helping give back to their community. This is a super hero-themed race taking place at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. Heather and her family are planning to run this one together. Join the fun on Saturday, April 16. (Free capes will be given to all kids!)
BIG Little Hero Race site: www.biglittleherorace.com
Registration site: https://events.bytepro.net/biglittleherorace
Blog post on MRG about this year's event: http://michiganrunnergirl.com/superhero-themed-10k-5k-fun-run-benefitting-kids-set-for-april-16/
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan: http://bigsupnorth.com
Downtown Grand Rapids each spring plays host to the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5K, attracting hundreds of runners to the female-focused event. This year's races, which are all about empowering women, take place April 17, with 100% of proceeds benefitting the event's charity partners. Heather takes a closer look at this race, which she ran with friends in 2014. Cara Zerbel, co-race director and assistant store manager for Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids, joins Heather on the show to talk about what's new for the 2016 Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5K (hear all about the "double down" medals now available to 5K runners participating in Gazelle Girl and the Fifth Third River Bank Run in May). Grand Rapids runner Colleen Urquhart, who has served as a team leader with Gazelle Sports training groups, also joins the conversation and shares why the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5K is close to her heart -- she's run each one since its inception four years ago: "I am looking forward to scoring the double down medal again this year."
While races that pit runners against obstacles like slippery climbing walls and mounds of mud have grown in popularity in recent years, few can claim they place athletes along the shores of one of our Great Lakes. The second annual ForeShore Adventure Run, set for May 21, does just that, at a Lake Michigan beach in Muskegon. It just might be the only one of its kind. "There are a couple of things that make this run unique: the setting — the run takes place on a world-class beach — and the number and type of obstacles the runners will have to conquer," says Dan Skoglund, assistant executive director at Muskegon Rescue Mission, which is behind the event that'll take place at Pere Marquette Beach Park on Lake Michigan. Heather talks with Dan about this year's event, which is family-friendly and features more climbing and more water fun compared to the inaugural event, thanks to runner feedback. On the show Dan shares the an important aspect of this race: Proceeds go toward providing shelter, food and care "for the most vulnerable in our community — homeless men, women and children." ForeShore Adventure Run is offering a special race discount to MRG readers and listeners this year -- Heather shares this code during the episode.
Episode #31: The Pure Michigan FITness Series