Inaugural Carter’s Running of the Hills Oct. 14.
By Greg Buckner
Staff Writer | email@example.com
WEST BRANCH — The inaugural Carter’s Running of the Hills event is scheduled to take place Oct. 14 at Surline Middle School.
According to event organizer Dorothy Munn, the event is in memory of her and her husband Jim’s late son Carter, who died shortly after he was born in 2008 after battling a congenital heart defect.
“I was pregnant with Carter and the 36th week into the pregnancy, the ultrasound showed that he had a congenital heart defect,” Munn said. “We decided to have him delivered prematurely at 37 weeks so we could have surgery done, but he passed after 52 days of life following open heart surgery, after he developed pulmonary hypertension, which caused his liver and kidneys to shut down.”
During that time, Munn said she and her family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor, as Carter was being treated at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“The Ronald McDonald House was a godsend,” Munn said. “They really helped our family through that difficult time.”
Due to the support the family received, Munn said when her family started to come up with the idea for an event in Carter’s memory, she decided the profits would be split between the Ronald McDonald House and the children’s hospital.
“We wanted to pick a foundation to have the profits from this event to go to, and we couldn’t think of two better places after all they did for our family,” Munn said.
For the event, Munn said there are four different races, including a half marathon, a 10K run, a 5K run/walk and a 1K kids fun run, all beginning and ending at the middle school.
The kids run is scheduled to start at 9 a.m., with the other three races starting at 8 a.m.
While the 5K and kid’s fun run will keep contestants mostly in town, Munn said the half marathon and 10K events will take runners on a far more scenic route.
“We wanted to choose a time of year where we’d have a lot of colors,” Munn said. “We also wanted to pick routes for the longer races that had lots of hills, to give people a challenge.”
Currently, Munn said there are more than 40 people signed up overall, as she said she spent a lot of time posting info about the race to national running websites and forums, along with getting the word out in the local community.
“Most of the people we have right now are not local,” Munn said. “But, I expect a lot of the local people will sign up this week or the day of the race.”
The registration fees include $50 for the half marathon, $35 for the 10K, $25 for the 5K and $5 for the kids fun run.
She said there will be registration tables set up the day of the event at the middle school, with registration starting at 7 a.m.
For those competing, Munn said every participant will receive a medal, with the top three racers in each event and the top overall male and female runners earning trophies.
In addition to the racing events, she said the Red Cross and other organizations will set up tables outside the school during the event, having information about heart defects and other conditions available.
“Every three out of 10 people will develop some sort of congenital heart defect in their lifetime,” Munn said. “Some can be very mild and some can be fatal. It’s important to know as much as you can about it, so you know what to look for, because this is something that affects a lot of people.”
Prior to the event, Munn said those involved can go to G’s Pizzeria in West Branch Oct. 13 for a pasta dinner from 4-8 p.m., with $2 of each $6 cover charge going to the two organizations benefiting from Sunday’s event.
She said there will also be a prerace packet pickup and expo at the school the night before the event from 5-7 p.m.