June half marathon, 5K race showed community at its best

Jackie Mall/Tim Ward: June half marathon, 5K race showed community at its best

Times Herald
July 13, 2013

Kudos to Port Huron residents for their great support of the inaugural running of the Blue Water Half Marathon and 5K race.

This includes the many community members who came out to cheer the runners on race morning, June 30, the homeowners who put up with route markers in their yards and all the patient drivers who experienced any delays.

We were fortunate to have favorable weather. The half marathon was completed by more than 400 runners. More than 100 runners finished the 5K.

The YMCA of the Blue Water Area organized this event as a fundraiser for ongoing efforts to provide scholarships to youth and families who might otherwise not be able to afford to enjoy the Y’s wonderful facilities. The race committee was made up of some very dedicated volunteers who deserve a big thank-you for the many hours they spent organizing what most have said was a well-run race. Thank you, Bob Emmert, Sarah Grewe, Michael Eckert, Jamey Lewis, Ken Sturgis, Martin Boyd and Colleen Boyd.

Thanks also to the community organizations that staffed the 11 water stations and cheered on the racers. Their efforts were greatly appreciated. The U.S. Navy Recruiting Station, U.S. Coast Guard Port Huron Station and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Sherman Woods Home Owners Association, Port Huron Tennis House, Howard D Crull Elementary PTA, Grace Episcopal Church, Cub Scout Packs 201 and 216, St. Clair County Community College Student Government, JR22, Team Sandbag and St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron.

The half marathon would not have been possible without the wide variety of financial support we received from local businesses. They included monetary support from sponsors Michigan Mutual (Gold); Cardiology Associates of Port Huron and Huron Automatic Screw (Silver); and Earl Smith Distributing, Eastern Michigan Bank, Leverenz Family Chiropractic, David Lomasney DDS, Murphy Inn-Dorsey House and Greg Busdicker of Wells Fargo (Bronze).

A wide variety of help and support was contributed by Acheson Ventures, the Bay Mills Indian Community, All Star Services, Baymont Inn, Blue Water Convention and Visitors Bureau, Blue Water Area Transit, Blue Water Young Professionals, Brooksie Way Half Marathon, Comfort Inn, Tri-Hospital EMS, Elite Feet, Hampton Inn, E&A Credit Union, Heritage String Band, McDonald's-Schulz family, Micaela Muzzarelli, Radio First, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Shier Blues Band, Times Herald, School for Strings, the Rev. Tom Seppo, Super 8 Motel and Troy Cleaners. Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron also provided pre- and post-race massages that were greatly appreciated.

A big “attaboy” goes to Roger Sheldon of Blue Water Aggregate, Tim Burgess of Burgess Contracting and Duke Dunn of Boddy Construction for providing the labor, equipment and material to groom the running path from 10th Street to the tunnel under Military Street.

Runners were kept safe with the assistance of the Port Huron police, the St. Clair County Sheriff Department, Port Huron and Port Huron Township fire departments, as well as St. Joseph Mercy Hospital via the MASH tent and all the first aid supplies.

And we absolutely need to acknowledge the many volunteer course marshals who gave up their Sunday morning to guide and aid the runners.

A special thank you goes out to course marshal Marilyn Moncrief. She was in the right place at the right time to aid a 20-year-old runner who collapsed on the course at 10th Street and the Rail Trail under Military Street (after more than 12 miles on the course). Moncrief monitored the runner’s vital signs, reassured her she’d be OK and turned her over to paramedics when they arrived.

The race was led and “swept up” by several local bike enthusiasts, which provided an added safety benefit.

The race would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of local government — particularly Port Huron’s special events committee, the DPW (that erected and took down barricades) and the Forestry Division (which trimmed some limbs along the route), Port Huron Township and St. Clair County.