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5th Annual Brooksie Way Half-Marathon Set for Sept. 30 in Rochester

Here's what will change and what will stay the same for this year's race.

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.
Peoplearenuts February 09, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Thanks for the warning when Brooks gets to shut down Rochester.
Mimi D February 09, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Wow! Already with the negative comments about this race. It is only 1 morning in 1 entire year. The money raised directly benefits our county but I guess you are right, a little inconvenience for 1 morning that you can plan for in advance, is asking to much. I guess we could do nothing in our community. That probably makes more sense. I hope you are picking up my sarcasm. I'm laying it on pretty thick.
Peoplearenuts February 09, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I am not against raising money for the cause. However, THE KING thinks he can do anything. If someone else wanted to do this, he would block it anyway he could. The last I knew, he was elected to represent ALL the people of Oakland County and last night he acts like a child and doens't invite people that do not agree with him to his SOC report. When is his term up so we can vote him out? His shelf life has expired.
Brian Birney February 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Looking forward to running this year. You guys do a great job and it's a great event.
Karen Lorenz February 09, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Should I run?? Shouldn't I run??? Decisions...Decisions.... I feel as if to be called a "true" runner, I should participate in a race right???
Debbie Larsen February 09, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Unfortunately, it is more than a little inconvenience for the people who live in subdivisions adjoining the route and are unable to leave their homes to attend church on that Sunday morning. It is also no small issue for the churches located directly on the Walton portion of the route. This problem has been brought to the attention of race officials in past years but they seem to have little sympathy for the folks who live on the route.
Daryl Patrishkoff February 10, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I live in the area and when the race is on it has an impact on my Sunday morning. Big Deal, it is a great event and many residents get to use our city for something they love and it is a great cause. I am even thinking about dusting off my running shoes and getting into the race this year. Why do some think this is a bad thing?
Peoplearenuts February 10, 2012 at 02:27 AM
The whole point is that Brooks is a bully. He would never tolerate this from any other group - he thinks he owns Oakland County and the people be damned - especially those with opposing view points. He has done some good things for the county, but his time needs to be up.
Amanda Kirksey February 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Some things don't need to be made political. People and businesses from our community and all over the state come and run our beautiful streets and trails, THEN they stay, eat lunch and shop in our local restaurants and stores. This is one of those events that is so powerful and it is an honor to participate and be involved. I suggest that all of the people who are feeling negative about the one morning of inconvenience should lace up their running shoes and go out for a run!
Karen Lorenz February 10, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Right On Amanda!! You have made my decision for me!! Lacing up the shoes and running. Of course now the Patch readers will be subjected to my blogs about training, eating, running, all in preparation for the race. But it definitely will be and honor to participate. Come on...Who is joining me in the fun???
Jen Anesi February 10, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Debbie, I've live along the route (adjacent to one of the churches on Walton), and I've never been inconvenienced by the Brooksie Way. It's usually over by the time I'm up and dressed and ready to go somewhere. I don't think the church has really been inconvenienced, either, but they hold services later in the morning. Maybe that could be a once-a-year compromise for other churches?
Susan M. February 11, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Even the Rose Bowl won't be played on a Sunday - so as not to interfere with church services (or so they say.) Disruption for just "one day" shouldn't cause negativity? When those who attend church services only for 1 morning a week, just 52 weeks a year. By the time the roads open back up - church services are over. However, held on a Saturday morning - sure, you'll disrupt businesses, but most are open at least another 5 days a week, and they continue to remain open after the race is over. Thus if the race were on a Saturday morning, it would only delay the day of activities -- not cancel it altogether.
Daryl Patrishkoff February 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Susan, If you look at other races in Southeast Michigan they are run on public streets and on Sundays. To list a few big ones: Crim in Flint, Marathon in Detroit, I could make a huge list. In my running days I ran in many local city runs on Sundays and the people lined the streets cheered us on and there was a great party at the end giving exposure to the area. These were all good positive events. I agree with Amanda, let’s not turn this into a political argument. If you do not like Brooks address him on the issues, not criticizing him on a great event that helps the area and widely supported by the residents.
Susan M. February 12, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Daryl - Please point out the comment that I made making this political? That was never my intent. And as my mother always said, "Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't mean you should too," which seems to be your only argument to this. While we may be only talking a foot race here that is just 1 morning of the year, that statement stands true throughout our lives.
Daryl Patrishkoff February 12, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Susan, My first comment was about the race bing on Sunday. This race went through the approval process and is normal and similar to other events we do in the area: Christmas parade, winter fire and ice, dancing in the streets, etc. As a comminity a majority agree this is a good thing, some do not, that is part of living in a community. I am sorry you thought my polical comment was to your post, it was not. l was supporting Amanda's comment about the other comments talking about politics.
Scot Beaton February 13, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Daryl, it's to bad the residents can turn their inconvenience into a positive. We could try to think of it this way, my Church or Subdivision every year is inconvenience by the Brooksie Way Marathon... that's ok, that's our contribution of thanks to this great event. Our sub especially my street Bolinger gets a lot of cut thru traffic when downtown Rochester has its Christmas Parade doesn't bother me in the slightest.
Sara Kohn February 13, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I have to say a bravo to the members that organize the event have done a fantastic job with letting us know weeks in advance about the impact, and it has been consistent over the years. Yes, you have to pay attention, much like everything in life, to make sure you are not in the wrong place at the wrong time, but so what! To those that cannot stand the impact, why not try and take a weekend away...

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