Hundreds Freeze Their Frannys for a Good Cause
Freeze Your Franny 5K Walk and Run was a success.
Four inches of new snow and 23 degrees was not enough to deter runners and walkers alike from coming out in droves to the first annual Freeze Your Franny 5K Walk/Run at Stony Creek Metropark on Saturday.
In fact, 427 total participants braved the cold to enjoy a morning of fitness and the opportunity to help two worthy causes. The event was sponsored by the Utica Education Association’s Staywell Committee and was aimed at our community to encourage folks to get off the couch and get moving.
The UEA received 295 preregistrations for the event and UEA Staywell Chairperson and Freeze Your Franny Event Director Nancy Smith was elated at the actual turnout.
“We had a huge walk-up and we are very excited with the turnout as it’s our first time for the event,” said Smith. “I’ve been sending e-mail broadcasts to the people that preregistered reminding them that ‘neither snow, nor cold, nor sleet would prevent the Frannies from the swift completion of their 5Krun’. No more hibernating in Michigan in the winter, get out and get active!”
“The weather actually encouraged us to come,” said Doug Handler, Franny participant and member of the Stoney Creek Running Club and the Oakland University Masters Triathlon Club. “I started texting my daughter Liz at 7 a.m. this morning to get her out of bed at Oakland University.”
The registration area at the park’s boathouse was brimming with excitement and the atmosphere was that of a winter festival. A DJ provided fire-up music for the runners and bagels and coffee were provided by Panera Bread and Biggby Coffee (23 Mile/Van Dyke store).
Generous event sponsorship was provided by HealthQuest, Hanson’s Running Store, the Stoney Creek Running Club, Daude Family Chiropractic and eVitamin.
“The park has been wonderful to us,” said Smith. “They’ve been working hard to take care of all of the preparations for us.”
John Tarantino, president of the Stoney Creek Running Club and the River Riders Bicycle Club, assisted Smith by providing event suggestions and donating seed money to help get the event off the ground.
“We agree whole-heartedly in encouraging the community to come out and get moving,” said Tarantino. “If you’re going to live in Michigan, you may as well enjoy it and this park is perfect for winter fun. You can ice skate, cross-country ski and sled here. The six-mile trail is maintained throughout the winter, many people don’t know that. It’s a safe place to run and walk safely without the worry of slipping and falling.”
This year’s event raised $2,000. The UEA is proud to announce that they will donate $1,000 each to the American Cancer Society and the Ronald McDonald House.
Winners of this year’s Freeze Your Franny 5K race are as follows:
Overall Male Open Winners
1st Andrew Cusmano (17:29)
2nd Kevin Salter (18:47)
3rd Luis Fowler (19:06)
Overall Female Open Winners
1st Kennedy Aldrich (22:53)
2nd Cassandra Jenema (23:26)
3rd Kelly Batzloff (23:27)
Overall Male Master Winners
1st Thomas Preiss (17:55)
2nd Bruce Paul (19:34)
3rd Hans Boelstler (20:21)
Overall Female Master Winners
1st Lisa Shaw (21:24)
2nd Michelle Sebaly (21:42)
3rd Barb Smith (24:43)
Smith has announced that the Freeze Your Franny 5K Walk/Run will return in 2012.
“We are already excited thinking about next year based on the popularity of this event,” said Smith. “For added fun next year, we are going to have a Freeze Your Franny costume contest. The best dressed Franny next year will receive an award.”