For the fourth year, students in Kristy McDonald’s business communications class are behind the popular BIG Little Hero Race at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. The race, which features a 10K, 5K & kids’ fun run, is set for this Saturday, April 14. All proceeds of this run benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan.

As anyone who has planned a running event knows well, lots of time and energy go into bringing a race to fruition. Each year, a new crop of college students take on this task, handling everything from seeking and finding sponsorship and volunteers, to figuring out race-day logistics and marketing the event.

Photo courtesy race organizers

On this episode: three of the students involved in this year’s event — Noah Britton, Lauren Peterson and David Filkins — talk with me about what it’s like to tackle this kind of real-life project as a college student. Race Director Kyle Brownley, a college graduate who returned to this project after starting with it as a student himself, also joins the conversation. They all give the scoop of how this race has come together this year, what runners can expect on race day, and why their post-race party is among the best around (games! prizes! family-friendly food!) {To listen to this episode, click on the player at the top of this post — or download the episode using your favorite podcast app.}

Runners and walkers typically dress in costume for this race — there will be lots of Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Ironman, and Captain America kids and families (among other fabulous and creative costume choices). Free superhero capes are given to the kids. Races are timed and awards are handed out post-race.

While online registration has ended, day-before and day-of signups are available. The race takes place on part of the Bayshore route, making it a perfect training run if you’re participating in the Bayshore Marathon, Half Marathon or 10K this Memorial Day weekend!

Learn more about this race here » 

The race’s Facebook page »


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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 here.

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