From left, Deanna Hart, Dawn Horner, and Sue Barnes are getting ready for the Back Roads race events. Photo by Phil Custodio
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
It’s only the beginning of August, but those training for the Clarkston State Bank Back Roads Half Marathon and 10K/5K are already halfway to their goal.
“The training program is going well. We’re up to seven miles,” said Sue Barnes, director of social wellness for Socially Motivated Wellness, who’s leading the race training.
The group of 84 runners meet on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at Clarkston United Methodist Church. The group includes all paces and uses interval training, Barnes said.
“We started in the beginning of June with shorter mileage and ramped up,” she said.
This year’s Back Roads races are on Sunday, Nov. 12, with the half marathon at 9:15 a.m.; 10K, 9:30 a.m.; and 5K, 9:45 a.m.
“Last year was awesome. We had close to 1,000 participating,” said race organizer Deanna Hart. “We hope for the same this year.”
Dawn M. Horner, executive vice president for Retail Banking at chief sponsor Clarkston State Bank, is training for the 5K.
“Running is a great way to get rid of stress,” Horner said. “This is one of the best races to get to before the end of the year.”
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of the hills,” Barnes said. “It gives you something to accomplish.”
Lisa Loetzner designed the course and included several steep hills around Crooked Lake in Independence Oaks County Park.
“Lot of trails and dirt roads that aren’t as hard on the knees,” Barnes said.
In the race’s four years, participants have donated $20,000 to SCAMP, Blessings in a Backpack, and other charities.
“It’s about giving back to the community, getting involved, and promoting exercise,” Hart said.
“We’re happy to support local charities – this is one way to do that,” Horner said.
The event includes live music, beer, mac and cheese, fire pits, warm up exercises by Mueva Fitness, and support from other local groups and sponsors.
Admission for the half marathon is $65 through Sept. 30, $80, Oct. 1-Nov. 9; 10K run/walk, $40 through Sept. 30, $45 Oct. 1-Nov. 10; 5K run/walk, $35 through Sept. 30, $40 Oct. 1-Nov. 10; and youth, age 13 and under, $45 half marathon, $30 10K, and $20 5K.