Editor's note: The following news was submitted by Patch reader Melissa Rush.
With all the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes consumed on Thanksgiving, it doesn't hurt to start the day off with a run. Thousands flock downtown annually to the Detroit Turkey Trot, but a local woman decided to start a race of her own.
Kimberly Martin, 45, of Oakland Township sent an email invitation to family and a few close friends to see who would be interested. The response was more than she had anticipated.
“I had hoped we could gather about 20 people for a fun race through Rochester,” said Martin. “Before I knew it my friends were forwarding the invite to their friends who also sent it on and the RSVP list jumped to more than 70.”
Young and old turned out at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning for the 5K/10K event, meeting in the parking lot of Nick's Country Oven for a group photo before heading to the course set up that morning by Martin's husband and daughter.
The race started and ended at the corner of Silver Bell and Adams with runners heading south on Adams, winding through subdivisions along the way. The 5K race had its share of walkers who enjoyed the route that took them through a scenic trail along Silver Bell before doubling back to the finish line.
“Everyone was cheering each other on as we passed along the path. It was hard to believe how big our group was,” said Maureen Malone, Martin's sister, 52, of Novi. “It didn't matter if you were running or walking, everyone was out there to get in a little exercise before heading home to watch the Lions, or in my case, cook the turkey.”
Whether they were out there for a leisurely 5K stroll or were running their hardest to win the 10K, as 17-year-old White Lake resident Connor Dudas did, everyone was thankful for the beautiful November weather.
Following the race, participants headed back to the restaurant and got started on everyone's favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition: eating. Nick's Country Oven awarded gift certificates to the top male and female finisher in the 5K and 10K races.
Martin also wanted to include a charitable component to the race which resulted in more than $300 raised for the Ronald McDonald House of Southeastern Michigan.