Another Year of Living the Brooksie Way

Less than a week after the completion of the 2013 HealthPlus Brooksie Way, planning has already begun for the seventh edition of what has become one of the premier road races in the Midwest.

The Brooksie Way family of races, which include a half marathon, 10k, 5k and a series of races for children and athletes with disabilities, completed its biggest weekend ever on Sept. 29 and 30 in Rochester and Rochester Hills. The weekend was the culmination of a year’s worth of planning, fundraising and organizing.

The race is named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, the son of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.  The races had more than 6,100 participants – the most ever.

“The Brooksie Way gets bigger, better and incredibly more exciting every year,” Patterson said. “Thanks go to the race committee comprised of about three dozen professionals and dedicated volunteers who put in hundreds of hours anticipating every detail. They’re already working on the 2014 race.”

New to the 2013 Brooksie Way were the 10k and the expanded races for children and athletes with disabilities. Patterson thanked the sponsors, the communities of Rochester and Rochester Hills, and Oakland University – where the race begins and ends – for embracing the race and its impact on the larger community.

“The growth and the popularity of The Brooksie Way have exceeded my fondest expectations,” Patterson said. “It’s growing at a rate of 15 percent a year. The Brooksie Way Minigrant program has allowed us to fund many worthwhile health and fitness causes throughout Oakland County.

The minigrants are awarded three times a year and support health and fitness activities in Oakland County. The program has awarded more than $100,000 in grants since its inception four years ago. Seven minigrants totaling $7,700 were awarded at a sponsor reception at the Royal Park Hotel on the Wednesday preceding the race. Organizations that received the minigrants were:

The Kenny Goldman Basketball League at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit

•           2013-14 Season of The Kenny Goldman Basketball League. Kenny’s League will use the grant award toward the purchase of new score clocks, basketballs, nets, athletic tape, an air compressor and air compressor needles.

Strive Recreational Therapy

•           New Pathways – Strive is partnering with Clarkston Hot Yoga for their program, New Pathways. This is an 8-week program for any person with disabilities, 8 years old and older, and their families. They will participate in yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and Pilates.

Special Olympics Michigan Oakland County Area 15

•           Southeast Regional Tournaments – The Brooksie Way Minigrant award will fund the facility charges for the Southeast Regional Tournaments for poly hockey and basketball.

Rochester Hills Public Library

•           Activity Camp Try-athlon – The library will be hosting a 3-day camp of physical activities during midwinter school break. Activities planned include: yoga, dance, tumbling, Zumba, and martial arts. The goal of the camp is to introduce community members to fitness and to the library’s offerings of books and DVDs on physical fitness and general health.

Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Foundation

•           Mommy & Me Walking Program – Crittenton Hospital, in partnership with the Village of Rochester Hills, is developing a Mommy & Me Walking Program. The program will take place weekly, through Sept. 2014, and will serve mothers, children and families in the area.

Sheiko Elementary School

•           Chef for a Day/Farmer for a Day – Sheiko Elementary School will participate in an educational program developed by Henry Ford West Bloomfield that focuses on fitness and nutrition for kids. All of the school’s students will participate in 5-session program, including visits to the hospital’s Demonstration Kitchen and greenhouse.  The Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital will install 6 hydroponic flood and drain systems at the school, and provide seeds and plants.

Grant guidelines and applications are available at

Brooksie Way winners (pictured above)

First Place: Leo Foley
Second Place: Shane Logan
Third Place: Steven Marcinkowski