KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Lynn Houghton said it’s the camaraderie that’s motivated her to participate in the annual One One Run over the last 31 years.
Everyone’s happy, she said. Some of the runners come with their small children or dogs, while others dress up in costume.
“You know when I grew up, you sat in front of the television and watched football even when you were at a young age,” Houghton said during an interview before the race started. “This is great to see this many people out here.”
As soon as 1 o’clock hit, Houghton and hundreds of other people ran or walked through Spring Valley Park for the 37th annual John Daley Memorial One One Run.
“This is all done in his memory,” said race organizer and operations manager Cheryl Pickett. “He created this vision of people getting out on January 1st at 1 o’clock and starting their new year in a healthy way.”
Pickett said Daley was an executive at Borgess Hospital and was an avid runner. He’s since passed away. However, prior to his running days, he was a drinker and smoker, she said. Then one day he changed his life and decided to start moving.
“We’re guessing that we are over 700 people today. So, that is great. [It’s] exactly what we wanted,” Pickett said. “We’re just so blessed that we have great weather and all these people to move with.”
Houghton said Wednesday’s weather, which was 36 degrees and sunny, was good for the participants. They got to either walk or run 2.2 miles or 4.4 miles.
Houghton chose to run and walk and didn't have worry about lipping or falling, she said.
“The course is great,” she said. “They are making sure that everything is ice-free.”
Houghton added that all the proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo. She said it was a ‘great cause’ and that she’ll be back again raising money for them again.
“If God willing and the creek’s don’t rise, as they say, I should be here January 1st 2021,” Houghton said.