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What's New With the 5th Brooksie Way?

The shirts are bright, the medals catch the sun and the traffic? There's a guy to help with that.

On the last Sunday in Rochester, the 30,000th racer is expected to cross the finish line of The Brooksie Way.

That's one of several milestones that will be celebrated during this, the fifth year of Oakland County's half-marathon and 5K event.

During an official kickoff of the race on Thursday morning at the in downtown Rochester, race founder and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson thanked the sponsors and supporters of the race, which was named after his late son, whom he called Brooksie.

The race begins and ends on the campus of in Rochester; it will be held Sept. 30 and will include separate start times for the half-marathon, 5K and 1-mile fun run.

Here are five things to look for in this anniversary year of the race:

  • The traffic man: Need to get to church? Your child's soccer practice? The Detroit Lions game that afternoon? Race organizers have a special traffic manager and said they will publicize his phone number in the weeks leading up to the race. He will be able to answer, personally, residents' concerns about how to get around town.
  • A medal for the 5K: For the first time, those who participate in the 5K will receive a medal rather than a ribbon. Patterson called the race medals, which are also awarded to half-marathon participants, "collector's items." "You will want to finish," he said.
  • Text from the finish line: Runners and walkers will be able to choose five friends or family members to receive a text message, email or Twitter message when they cross the finish line.
  • Music every mile: Dozens of entertainers — everything from jazz to pep bands to rock — will line the course this year.
  • It's orange! The race shirt will be orange this year. Shane Logan, the , modeled the shirt color during the Thursday morning event.

Want to register for the race? Visit www.thebrooksieway.com.

Want to train for the race? The 5K training program is wrapping up, but another training program is getting under way next week. Training locations are in Rochester and Southfield. For details, visit www.thebrooksieway.com.

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