Looking for a great, beginner-friendly trail race this summer? The 13th annual Brainy Day Trail Run 10K & 5K on August 17 in Nunica, Michigan has all the makings of the perfect off-road race: a 5K that’s scenic and comfortable for those of us just getting into trail running, and a 10K that provides plenty of challenging fun (yep, there are hills!). The race, which has grown considerably in the past couple of years and benefits the Brainy Day Fund, also boasts an incredible after-party—homemade banana bread, anyone? In addition, Michigan craft brewer Oddside Ales provides cold ones and there’s local pizza, fruit and other goodies.

“I think as runners there are some races every year we run, and there are some races we do every year because it’s a great experience,” says race director Kevin Curley. “Our main goal is to create an experience.”

An extra bonus—and at the heart of this race—is proceeds go to an important cause. The Brainy Day Trail Run supports and raises awareness for those who suffer from a neurological condition called hydrocephalus. All proceeds are donated to The Brainy Day Fund, which supports families through a scholarship program as well as provides research grants for medical professionals looking to end hydrocephalus.

A race discount code is shared during the episode, just for MRG listeners.

To listen to this episode, click on the player at the top of this post. Or, download (and subscribe!) to the Michigan Runner Girl Show using your favorite podcast app.

Also on this week’s show…Jonny is back in northern Michigan!! Musician Jonny Tornga, who is part of the production team here at the MRG podcast, has spent the past couple of years in New York City, where he worked for Lululemon and truly found his, ahem, footing in the running community. Heather is super excited to have him on the show to give us a run-down (sorry, too many puns?) on life as a runner in the Big Apple and what it’s like to return to his hometown after some time away. Jonny, who is training for this spring’s Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, started running because of his involvement in producing this show. He ran his first 5K at the Great Beerd Run and then jumped to the 25K at the Riverbank Run.

“I got to do a lot of growing up as a runner in New York City, which is an experience all on its own,” he says. Winter running isn’t the same in NYC, he found. “It’s cold, but we get very little snow there. So that’s been interesting coming back [to Traverse City] and training for the Bayshore this year. I had turned into a little bit of a wuss out there. We get a lot of rain, so I ran in a lot of rain. It’s been interesting…and dealing with cars. In New York City, it’s normal to run in the streets and you come here and it’s a little bit frowned upon sometimes to run in the streets. So that’s been another interesting thing.”

Jonny is training for his second marathon, this spring’s Bayshore Marathon. “It’s a longer distance for me, but I’m excited to dig into it.”

The Michigan Runner Girl Show is made possible in part by the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

If you enjoy what you’re hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, we’d be so grateful if you’d take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes or via Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out this studio’s work 

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