This weekend, the hills will come alive with the sound of footsteps — some fast, some at an easy pace — and it’s all for some great causes. Everyone is a winner at the 12th Annual Run For the Hills at Hidden Lake Gardens Saturday, September 17th, 2022.
This weekend’s beautiful forecast is a perfect opportunity to put on some athletic shoes and enjoy the beauty of nature. People of all ages are welcome to challenge themselves to the hilliest course in southeast Michigan. This run/walk event gives folks the choice to take a one mile or 5K route through the natural beauty of Hidden Lake Gardens, a gem of the Irish Hills.
This year, all participants will receive a finisher medal and the top male and female finisher in each age group will win a gift certificate for the 5K and 1-mile run/walk events. The certificates are from various businesses in the area and are sure to delight the winners. The age groups are as follows: 14 & under, 15–19, 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, and 80+.
The top male and female overall, plus one randomly drawn registrant will get their name on a 18” x 24” sign on a hill, hollow, or switchback of their choice. Their mark will remain on the course until next year’s Run for the Hills event. “The signs serve as inspiration to people throughout the year that others have completed the course and so can they,” said Kay Roumell, Vice President of Oh These Irish Hills!
The proceeds of the event will be divided between Hidden Lake Gardens’ Reach for the Sky Canopy Walk and Oh These Irish Hills! The canopy walk, still under construction will allow visitors to experience a 700-foot long birds-eye view of Hidden Lake Gardens. Oh These Irish Hills is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing the Irish Hills. They work with other organizations to put on area parades, festivals, a tree lighting ceremony, as well as donate to the Brooklyn Food Pantry. Their year round efforts enrich the lives of those who live or visit the Irish Hills.
The event is especially blessed this year by a gift match from the late Grace Edwards Owens. “That means every entry fee will be matched,” Roumell told me. “Grace was a realtor in the area for years and an avid runner. When she was 80 years old, she won the Run for the Hills event in her age group and received a gold medal. She loved the Irish Hills and was a huge part of this community.”
Grace’s spirit remains alive. On the front of this year’s T-shirts are the words: I run with Grace.
Registration for Run for the Hills is easy. You can register here. Downloadable race applications are available here. Registration is also available onsite between 7:30–8:30 AM on Saturday, September 17th. The event begins at 9 AM and will be officially timed.
For those unable to attend in person, no worries. You can also participate virtually from September 18th — October 2nd at Hidden Lake Gardens when they are open. Their hours are Tuesday — Sunday from 9 AM — 5 PM.
What are you waiting for? Grab your friends and family and Run for the Hills!
If you have participated in Run for the Hills before or have enjoyed the beauty of Hidden Lake Gardens, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments!