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Event attracts a record-holder

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Chris Newton of Ann Arbor carries sons Cameron, 3, and Jamie, 1, during Sunday's 10K race.

Event attracts a record-holder

Dodson, an amputee, owns world record


Serena Kessler of Ann Arbor nears the finish line in the women's half-marathon. She finished first in 1 hour, 22 minutes, 24 seconds.



News Sports Reporter

Among the competitors at the 31st Dexter-Ann Arbor Run Sunday was a world-record holder.

Amy Dodson, who set the marathon record for female leg amputees in 2002, ran the race with her training partner, Eric Clarke. The Adrian resident lost part of her left leg to cancer at 19, and her left lung to the disease two years later.

“It sounds kind of corny, but after going through catastrophic illness and disfigurement, I just feel so fortunate to be able to compete,” she said.

Dodson, 41, has been running for just a few years. Her carbon-fiber prosthetic, custom made for Dodson’s weight and the mileage she runs, wasn’t available to her when she was younger.

“The running community has just embraced me and made me feel so welcome,” she said.

She finished the half marathon in 1:51.04.

First gentleman

Governor Jennifer Granholm’s husband, Dan Mulhern, an avid runner, competed in the race with the hope of sparking change in attitudes toward fitness.

“It’s good to have public figures embracing a fit way of life,” race director Lew Kidder said. “It can only be positive for our race and our society as a whole.”

All ages aid race

To put on the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run takes some 400 volunteers. Sunday, volunteer posts were filled by old pros as well as new recruits.

Ann Arbor’s Mimi Olsson, 7, sported a size large T-shirt that came down past her knees as she handed out energy gel to runners as they crossed the finish line.

The crew manning the microphone and reading runners’ names was slightly more experienced. Announcer Dave Armstrong’s crew of Pete Brown, Pam Guenzel and Beth Freitas worked with precision to feed Armstrong names and bits of information.

Guenzel has been working in the race since it was a 15-mile event that finished at Pioneer High School.

“(The runners) work so hard to prepare so it’s just nice for them to hear their name and be recognized,” Guenzel said.

Dash for cash

Adam Daoud, a junior at Huron High School, set a half-marathon course record in the 15-17-year-old age group with a time of 1 hour, 15 minutes, 33 seconds. The time bettered Daoud’s old personal record, which he set in last year’s race, by more than 2 minutes.

“Last year, I was just running for fun,” Daoud said. “This year, I was trying to run fast.”

Daoud, one of three age-group record setters, won’t be collecting the $100 in prize money the record entitles him to. Taking the cash would result in a one-year ban from competing in high school sports.

The 10K event saw a pair of records set. Milford’s Doug Goodhue set the 60-64 record with a time of 39:06. Esther Rubin’s time of 1:34:43 established a record in the 80-95 age group, for which no time had previously been recorded.

Boatload of water

Quenching the thirst of the thousands of runners in Sunday’s race took a boatload of water bottles - literally.

Bottles containing more than three tons of water were rotated into a canoe full of ice to be kept cold, then into the hands of thirsty runners. Volunteer Craig Young said canoes have been used to hold the bottles for the three years he’s volunteered.

“The canoes work just fine, I guess,” Young said.

Brett DeGroff can be reached at or (734) 994-6812.