Race director Karl Bastion welcomed about 200 runners and walkers to the 2017 version of the Resolution Run/Walk 5K, held at The Little Fleet, in downtown Traverse City, Jan. 1. The course flowed through downtown, crossing the Boardman River and through neighborhoods along snow-covered roads and trails. Runners looked happy and bushy-tailed as they congregated on a morning they might have been sleeping off New Year’s Eve celebrations. And let me be the first to wish you a happy 2018! Hahahaha!

The race was timed professionally by Joel Gaff and Laramie Bates of Endurance Evolution. Everyone who ran could quickly see their finish time and pace.   If you want to see your time or the time of your friends, results can be found here.


All proceeds from Resolution Run 5K Run/Walk benefit Traverse Health Clinic, which provides health care services to individuals and families. This event promotes a healthy, active lifestyle, family fun, and is a wonderful opportunity to support a very worthwhile, community focused cause. Traverse Health Clinic is a critical resource in the community that ensures that all in the region get the health care they need at an affordable cost.

Runners and walkers were thinking about their New Year’s Resolution of better health. Better health is the reason most of us entered the event. For example, better health drew the race’s biggest loser, Samantha Denham, 37, of TC. Samantha has lost 85 pounds because of a healthy diet and running. She says, “Running makes me feel amazing and positive about every day. I’m going to lose another 50 pounds in 2017.” What makes Samantha’s weight loss even more amazing, is her success while she is managing a local fast food eatery. She is challenged every day to follow her eating program. Samantha may not have finished among the fastest runners, but our biggest loser is clearly a “winner.” Another “winner” is Gene Ward, 44, of TC. Gene is a retired Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer.  He says, “It was my job for 25 years. Now, I just try to keep up with my daughters, and to be able to drink a few beers.” Gene was in the life-saving business. It was his job to keep fit. Today, Gene keeps fit by running. Thank you for your service, Gene.  Dawn Newman, 48, of Maple City, runs for a better mood, to ease heel pain, and for overall strength. Running has also helped her stop smoking. How many of us could use running instead of stop-smoking gimmicks? Dawn also had the pleasure of running with her family friends, Kylie, 33, and Miller, age 9. Another “winner” is Leith Butler, 67, of TC. One year ago, during this race, Leith experienced heart problems leading to surgery. Currently, Leith is happy to report, he is feeling fine. He needed to repeat the race “as a kind of victory dance.” He adds the following; “I would encourage everyone to try running.

Bill Gifflen, 67, of Frankfort, loves to run. Running brings him joy, energy and good health. Bill should know of what he speaks. He is a retired emergency room doctor who has viewed all the problems associated with a sedentary, smoking, over-weight lifestyle from the perspective of a professional. Furthermore, Bill comes from a family with diabetes and heart problems. Running helps him control both issues. Bob Boomer, 63, simply enjoys running. But on further discussion, Bob shared an important message for others. Running has helped him to stop smoking and has reduced his blood pressure. Congratulations to Bob.

Our last “winner” is Eric Stark, age 6, of Kingsley. Entered in the 5K, Eric is learning early in life the lessons we all need to know, that exercise is good for us.

 Next year, Karl Bastion and Traverse Health Center, would like to see you in the Resolution 5K Run/Walk. You needn’t be the fastest, but you may be one of our “winners.” You will feel better for the effort. Ask your doctor for permission to start any exercise program.

Mickey Fivenson, 74, of TC, is a stroke survivor. Mickey’s doctor credits running to his survival. He is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Races. Mickey founded the Cherry Festival Golden Mile and Wheelchair Races. He completed over 60 marathons and holds a marathon record with sons, Zack and Adam. He has trained 150,000+ miles in 48 years of running. If you’d like tips on running, on marathons, if you have a story to share how running has impacted your life, or if you would like coverage of your race, contact Mickey through the editor.

Photo(s) by Mickey Fivenson