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30 and counting

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30 and counting

Gamble was there for the inaugural run and every one after that


News Sports Reporter

During the first Dexter-Ann Arbor Run - which started in downtown Dexter, went west for 2 miles, then reversed course and headed east toward Ann Arbor - Dan Gamble had no idea he’d become part of race history.

“It was very low key,” Gamble said last week of the inaugural run. “Most us of had never run that far in our life, let alone trained for it.”

On Sunday, though, Gamble wore the No. 30 race number to celebrate his 30th Dexter-Ann Arbor Run. Only he and Commerce Township’s Bob Drapal have competed in all of the runs.

“There were a lot more people here today than there were in the first one,” said Gamble, who ran the half-marathon.

Completing his 29th run was Gamble’s friend and training partner Larry Friedman. The only Dexter-Ann Arbor Run that Friedman missed was the first.

Kids on board

When Ann Arbor’s Lisa Siebelink trains, she always has company: her two children, Isaac, 3, and Stella, 1.

It was no different Sunday, as Siebelink pushed Isaac and Stella along the 5K route in a threewheeled running stroller.

“It actually makes it easier,” Siebelink said. “I have to catch up to them on the downhills. We talk, I sing to them. It gives me less time to think about the pain and agony.”

While spying city buses and police cars are highlights of any run with the kids, Siebelink got a nice surprise at the finish Sunday when she spotted the doctor who delivered Isaac. He had also run in the race.

Successful switch

With participation declining and the volunteer base thinning, Dexter-Ann Arbor Run organizers decided after the 2001 event to shift the run from its traditional Memorial Day weekend to Sunday of the following weekend.

Change is good, apparently.

In its second year of the new schedule, the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run drew 4,190 competitors. Add in 200 from the affiliated Kids Run on Saturday and the total of almost 4,400 participants represents a substantial increase from the 3,100 people who ran in 2001.

Young runner

It was a quite a weekend for Dexter’s Petey Potsos, a 6-year-old who scored a goal in a soccer game Saturday and became the youngest finisher Sunday at the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run.

Running alongside his father, Peter, Petey took a short break a mile from the end of the 5K race to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that was provided at an aid station.

Then he faced a long uphill on Main Street. “I figured he might be the youngest to finish, so I told him that,” said Peter. “That seemed to give him the will to make the last hill.”

Blowing bubbles

Kathleen Kryza figures that runners sometimes take things too seriously. To lighten the mood along the race course, Kryza likes to blow bubbles as she walks through the 10K distance.

“We’ll last longer,” said Kryza, comparing runners and walkers. “You can have more fun walking. I can still go out dancing tonight.”

Kryza said she has blown bubbles during the race for the last 12 or 13 years.

Fighting cancer

Race director Lew Kidder said he estimates that $8,000 to $9,000 of the race proceeds will be given to the Coach Carr Cancer Rind, which was founded by University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr and his wife, Laurie.

Running blind

Tim Paul of Hinsdale, Ill. and his brother Jim Paul of Chelsea ran side by side through the half-marathon, remaining about a foot apart, each holding the end of a string. Jim was the guide runner for his brother, who is blind.

“We’ve run together a lot, so it’s not hard,” said Jim. “We talk a lot and have fun. I keep him away from potholes and train tracks.”

Tim, who also ran the Boston Marathon this spring, said he enjoyed the race.

“It was beautiful, there were a lot of gentle turns,” he said. “And it wasn’t crowded.”

In the money

Half-marathon men’s winner Trent Briney and women’s winner Pat Murray each boosted their bank accounts by $500, thanks to their victories. A total of $3,000 in prize money was distributed to the male and female runners who finished in the top three overall, or in the top three in the masters (40-and-over) category. The 2,020 competitors in the half-marathon were the most in Dexter-Ann Arbor Run history.

John Heuser can be reached at or (734) 994-6812.


Dexter resident Peter Potsos high-fives son Petey, 6, after they completed the 5K run on Main Street.

Top left. Grass Lake's Mike Holik won the Men's 10K while Lansing's Nikki Norris-Smith won the Women's 10K. Above left, Rochester's Trent Briney won the Men's Half Marathon, while Livonia's Pat Murray won the Women's Half Marathon.