Saline City Council paved the way for a new race in Saline.
At Monday’s meeting, council voted 6-0 to allow the inaugural running of The Memorial Day Mile run, which is being presented by The Running Institute.
The event features two races on Michigan Avenue on Monday, March 27, starting at 9:30 a.m., prior to the annual Memorial Day parade.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Saline Community Education, the Saline Police Department and Resurrecting Lives, an organization that assists veterans with traumatic brain injury.
Cost is $15 for people who pre-register and $20 for late registration. Runners will be able to preregister at www.salinecommunityed.com.
The first race – the elite mile – begins at 9:30 a.m. and features some of the top runners in the area. The race will begin on Michigan Avenue at Ann Arbor Street, go east to Maple Road, turn around at the Memorial Day parade barricades, and head west on Michigan Avenue to a finish line about 250 yards west of Ann Arbor Street.
“We’re excited about the partnership with The Running Institute for this event,” said Derek Stern, one of the three race directors for the event. “They have the ability to draw some of the top area athletes from high school, college and post collegiate ranks to this race. Who knows? Maybe we will even have a few Olympians on Saline’s Michigan Avenue.”
A second race, which begins at 9:40 a.m., is open to all who would like to participate.
“We’re hoping that Saline’s awesome running community will come out in force for this race,” said Cindy Barnett, another race director. “There aren’t very many opportunities to run a mile on Michigan Avenue. We hope that entices runners of all ages and abilities to come out and run their fastest times.”
Organizers say they hope the race will bring even more people to Saline for the annual Memorial Day parade. Stern said the race has found a great partner in the American Legion Post 322.
“This is their day,” Stern said. “We appreciate their willingness to let us use the parade route for the race.”
Stern said he hopes runners will receive an American flag when they finish the race, and then stay downtown, holding their flag, to honor veterans as they march down Michigan Avenue.
All of the proceeds from the volunteer-organized race will be donated to the Saline Police Department, Saline Community Education and to Resurrecting Lives, an organization which helps veterans with traumatic brain injury recover and reintegrate. According to the organization’s website, as many as 500,000 personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer effects from traumatic brain injury. Untreated traumatic brain injury often leads to substance abuse, according to the organization, and a patient. is at risk for unemployment, incarceration, and even suicide.
News of the Memorial Day Mile came at a city council meeting where it was also announced that the annual Celtic Festival 5K run was being replaced by the new Mastodon Fun Run at Mill Pond Park.