Au Gres races to raise money for Special Olympics


Au GRES — People looking to challenge themselves by running a half-marathon, 10K or 5K can do so Oct. 12, while supporting the Special Olympics of Michigan (SOMI) at the same time.

Jack Irving, a member of the SOMI-supporting group the Wertz Warriors, said the Lakeshore Lap for Special Olympics is a new fundraising effort for the group.

“We’ve done golf outings in the past, and we kind of beat people up with the golf outings, so we figured we’d do something different this year,” he said.

The event features several different races for all ages and experience levels, Irving said.

“They’ll be running a 13-mile half-marathon along Michigan Avenue, to the point and back,” he said. “We have a 10K and a 5K, and what we call a superheroes race for the little kids. They dress up in a costume and run around a little track.”

The children’s race is free to run in, and all of the races are free for individuals with disabilities. The 5K and 10K races will also include walking participants.

“Any special Olympians that come and want to run, there’s no charge for them either,” Irving said.

According to the race website on, runners will be separated into the following age groups: 16 and younger, 17-22, 23-28, 29-34, 35-40, 41-46, 47-52, 53-58, 59-64 and 65 and older. The site says there will be prizes for first- through third-place finishers in each age group.

Irving said all participants will be recognized.

“There will be medals for everyone, plus T-shirts,” he said. “As far as first, second, third place, there’ll be certificates.”

Interested participants can register or get more information at, or at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Au Gres, where the races will start and end. Registration will also be held the day of the race from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The half-marathon is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., with the 10K and 5K run/walks starting at 9:10 a.m. Irving said there will be marked turnaround areas along the half-marathon route where racers in the 5K and 10K can change route accordingly. The children’s race is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., and the awards ceremony is slated to be held at noon.

Registration is $35 for the 5K, $40 for the 10K and $55 for the half-marathon.


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