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Joseph Kalmar

Sunday, November 13, saw the 38th running of the classic Roseville Big Bird Run. It was a bright, sunny morning, a bit windy, when over 400 runners embarked on the run that over the years has become a mainstay for runners. For me, I have only missed a couple of the runs and it is the highlight of my running season.
A one mile run had 43 participants. The winner, Alex Williams of Caro, Michigan burned up the route with a time of 5:30! Immediately following the one mile run, 158 participants lined up for the 4K. The gun sounded and runners traversed the route with Ella Willis of Detroit turning in a 17:09
time. Evan Tonn of Roseville led the men in a time of 13:15.
Then came the classic 10K run. I say classic because the 6.2 mile route goes over the I696 Highway pedestrian walkway twice. You can always tell first time runners in this event because they become a bit leery when approaching the walkway. It doesn’t sway or rock but the view from the top is spectacular as cars whiz by underneath. For me it is the highlight of the run and I think the 201 runners who embarked on the 10K would
agree with me. Jen Rock of Sterling Heights won the women’s division with a time of 36:42. The men’s division was won by Matt Fecht with a time of 33:53. This was a special event for me because members of my family participated. In fact, we have made this run a family affair every year. We all participate in the 10K. For me, I came in fifth in my age group – and yes, there were only five in my age group! I looked at my competition before the race and decided I had seen these guys before in other events and concluded that my finishing in the first three slots in my age
group was not going to happen. So I just enjoyed the race especially the aroma wafting from the White Castle Restaurant as we passed by.
Son, Bill, Jr. finished third in his age group having just returned from running a half marathon in Canada the weekend before. Kim, his spouse and our daughter-in-law finished first in her age group. Their son, Joseph, a sophomore at Michigan State University drove in for the day and finished first in his age group. Granddaughter Rachel Harris who runs cross country at Grosse Pointe South High School where she is a junior, came in second in her age group. And niece Kayla Kalmar rounded out the family running empire coming in third in her age group. I often tell people that in order to be a member of our family you have to run and you have to finish in the top three of your age group. Everyone heeded to that directive except me!
As usual, Tony Lipinski and his team orchestrated a wonderful event. It was
flawless. Great shirts – wonderful route – excited volunteers – and lots of awards and lots of prizes in the drawing which included frozen turkeys.
This is an event that should be on everyone’s calendar. So hope to see you next November. And if you drive the I696 highway, take a look at the pedestrian overpass near Gratiot because that’s where you will be next year!