September 17, 2014

Two Arenac County residents selected to participate in Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run

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ARENAC COUNTY — This Labor Day, two Arenac County residents participated in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run.

Omer resident Bruce Jurewicz and Michelle Reed, of Sterling, were two of 400 people from across 73 counties in Michigan selected to run.

The run took place right before the 53rd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk which features around 50,000 people.

Jurewicz is a lifelong runner who moved to Omer with his wife, Diana, around two years ago.

“My wife and I run four or five races every year,” he said.

Jurewicz said he has done a number of races from Bay City to Cincinnati, Ohio.

“It’s nice to have little goals to keep running,” he said.

Reed is also an experienced runner who moved to the Sterling area when she married her husband seven years ago. She said she is looking forward to a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“I am looking forward to finishing,” Reed said a few days before the run. “I am looking forward to the adventure and enjoying all of it.”

Gretchen Mensing, public relations and development manager for the Michigan Fitness Foundation, said this Labor Day was the seventh time that the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run was held.

“The run starts right at sunrise,” Mensing said. “It’s very beautiful.”

She added that the run is a “bucket list” type of experience for many runners.

Mensing said the bridge run was started by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in an attempt to help improve health in Michigan.

She said this is a run for seasoned runners who have experience and run throughout the summer.

To be selected, runners must be a resident of Michigan, be at least 18 years old, and have participated in at least one event endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Fitness.

“We had almost 1,000 people register,” Mensing said. “We selected the 400 participants in June, and 73 counties will be represented.”

“Runners will be split into groups of around 25, and sent on their way,” Mensing said Sept. 2.

Jurewicz and he and his wife started walking in the Mackinac Bridge a number of years ago and continue to go back every year.

“This is a (great) opportunity, and I am pleased to have been picked,” he said. “It is an honor to be chosen.”

Jurewicz said the run will be more memorable than it will be challenging.

“In the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, I run around eight miles.”

He added that he has been running all of his life.

“I remember when I was in high school, seeing two people running and thinking, ‘Man, they are running far. That would be really fun,’” Jurewicz said.

He said he now runs around three miles several times a week. He said running has contributed to good health.

“I have been fortunate to have had no major health problems,” Jurewicz said.

After walking the bridge for a number of years, Jurewicz said he encourages everyone to try it.

“It does not cost a lot, and it is a good time,” he said.

Reed said she will be traveling with her family and a co-worker, Dustie Montbriand, who was also one of the 400 runners selected.

“I normally run with Dustie,” Reed said.

She added that she has been running since high school and enjoys the competition. She said she contiues to run whenever she gets the chance.

“Running has always been a passion, and I like competing,” Reed said.

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