Five Bucks Gets Oakland County Middle School Students Entry in the 2019 McLaren Brooksie Way 5K Race

Middle school students interested in running or walking the McLaren Brooksie Way 5k race can register for the 2019 race and save themselves a bundle.

For a mere $5, middle school-age students can participate in the Middle School Challenge — an effort to encourage students to put down their electronic games, turn off the TV and take part in a fun and healthy activity. Middle school students, who save $32 over the normal race fee, will receive all the race benefits including a race T-shirt, timing, runner bib, finish line refreshments and a finisher medal upon completion of the race.

“You would be hard-pressed to find a T-shirt for five bucks and we’re offering students the opportunity to participate in one of the state’s premier races — with all the benefits including a race T-shirt — for $5,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “The mission of the Brooksie Way from the beginning was getting people active and healthy. I challenge all of the middle school students in Oakland County to get up and move towards a healthy and active lifestyle.”

The 12th running of the McLaren Brooksie Way Half Marathon, 10k and 5k is set for September 22. The race, which can be run or walked, has become one of the most popular regional fall half marathons. The course begins and ends at the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University and includes parts of the Clinton River and Paint Creek trails, Rochester Hills and downtown Rochester. MLive readers named the Brooksie as one of the top courses in Michigan. Race applications are available at Runnin’ Gear stores in Rochester and Waterford and can be completed online at Students must indicate on their registration what middle school they attend.

The Brooksie Way races, which include a 10k, 5k and “The Lil’ Brooksie” children’s race, were named in honor of Brooks Stuart Patterson, the son of the county executive and a young father, who died in 2007. Brooksie Way apparel and souvenir merchandise can also be purchased at the site.

Walkers and runners interested in any of the races can save money by registering before Aug. 25. Complete race details and the fee structure can be found at

The Brooksie Way is also seeking applications for its minigrant program. Not-for-profit organizations and community groups whose programming is designed to promote active lifestyles for Oakland County residents have until Aug. 20 to apply for a Brooksie Way minigrant. Patterson started the minigrant program to channel race proceeds back into the community.

The program has helped support more than 150 projects throughout the county that range from a martial arts club for young people with cancer and adult yoga classes to summer basketball camps and swimming lessons for children. Since the program began in 2010, more than $260,000 in Brooksie Way minigrants has been distributed. The maximum award is $2,000.

Minigrant winners will be announced in late April at the kickoff for the 2019 McLaren Brooksie Way Half Marathon.

“This is one of the true legacies of The McLaren Brooksie Way and our family of races of which I am most proud,” Patterson said.