There are 234 days between now and the biggest gathering of runners and walkers in all of Oakland County.
This year's Brooksie Way Half-Marathon will be Sept. 30 — a week earlier than in years past.
The date was moved to avoid a conflict with World Communion Sunday, which takes place Oct. 7, the first Sunday in October. That's the day the race typically would have been scheduled. The September date also leaves more time between the Brooksie and the Detroit marathon, which is Oct. 21.
"There are a lot of pluses to the date change," said Sue Barnes, community outreach coordinator for the race. "Another is the weather — anything we can do for a little more warmth on race day is a good thing."
The Brooksie Way started in 2008. It was named for Brooks Stuart Patterson, the son of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who died in a snowmobile accident in 2007. "If you want to live life to the fullest, you have to live it the Brooksie Way," Patterson has said repeatedly since then in describing the race's namesake.
That the race has grown each year is a testament to the community that has embraced it, race Director Deb Kiertzner said.
"We've proven that Oakland County really was ready for a world-class race event," Kiertzner said.
The official kickoff for the race will be next month, when the next round of are awarded (race entry fees contribute to grants for nonprofit programs in Oakland County).
Until then, here's what you need to know:
- The race is no longer part of The Crim Foundation. It is its own race, under its own staff who are focused exclusively on the Brooksie.
- If this is your fifth year of participating in the Brooksie Way, you'll be considered part of the five-year streak and you'll get to wear a special race bib.
- The popular training program for the race will start June 7. New this year: A southern Oakland County annex group for trainees.
- The shirt color for this year's race has yet to be determined;
Like last year, the race will begin and end on the campus. There will be a 5K run/walk and a one-mile fun run. The race route will remain unchanged.
"The runners love the hills and trails. I hear all the time from people, 'Are there really hills in that race?' " Barnes said.
Paul Coughlin and Greg Guidice are co-chairs of the race.
"To me, the five year anniversary is a huge milestone," said Coughlin, owner of in Rochester Hills. "It was a year and a half before that first race that we sat down with Brooks (Patterson) and first started talking about having a race. To see it grow to this point is really exciting."
Register and train for the Brooksie
- What: 2012 Brooksie Way - half-marathon, 5K and fun run
- When: 8 a.m. Sept. 30
- Where: start and finish on Oakland University campus
- Register: The fee is $45, but if you register before April 1 online registration fees will be waved. Register here
- Train: For more about the training program, see thebrooksieway.com/Pages/training.
- More information: www.thebrooksieway.com
- For complete coverage of the 2011 race, see the Brooksie Way page on Rochester Patch.