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Posted: 04/09/14


EASTER RUN
The Wilt family will be one of many families planning to run in this year's new Rabbit Run/Walk and Bunny Hop scheduled to take place April 19 of Easter weekend. The Rabbit Run replaces the former Apple Blossom Run and is used as a way to inspire people to get back out on the trail after the winter months. Members of the Wilt family, from left, are Chris, Julia, Jacob and Tracey Wilt.

(Observer photo by Mike Nicley)

Macomb Orchard Trail good place for families

by JERRY FRAEYMAN
Observer Special Writer

      For an active family like the Wilts, of Washington Township, the Macomb Orchard Trail is a dream come true.
       Tracey Wilt is an avid runner who uses the trail to stay in competitive shape. Her husband, Chris, gets out every chance he can for fresh air and exercise, as do their two children, Julia, 11, and Jacob, 8.
       This year, the Wilts are demonstrating their support for the trail by participating in the 2014 Rabbit Run/Walk and Bunny Hop, which takes place Saturday, April 19 of Easter weekend at the Washington Township offices.
       The family-focused event features a 5k walk/run, starting at 9 a.m., following by the Bunny Hop at 10 a.m. The Bunny Hop includes a one mile and a quarter-mile running race. Kids will have the chance to grab Easter eggs and goodies along the race path.
       Walkers and runners of all levels are welcome.
       The entire Wilts family is registered this year. Tracey has competed in numerous races in the past, including the Detroit Free Press half-marathon. Julia is joining her in the 5k this year.
       "We come on the trail frequently," said Tracey. "Our parents live in the area, so we're out here at least once a week."
       Chris appreciates the trail's safety and convenience. The Wilts live in a neighborhood that lacks sidewalks.
       "It's really nice not having to worry about the kids running or bike riding on the road," he said. "When they are on the trail, I know they are safe. It's really beneficial."
       The Rabbit Run replaces the former Apple Blossom Run, held the past seven years. The springtime race has always meant to inspire people to get back on the trail, according to race organizer Tracey Moro.
       "We want to get people outside and remind them they've got this jewel of a linear park right in their backyard," said Moro.
       Moro says the 2014 event has been moved back a few weeks to take advantage of warmer weather.
       "We changed the date and have a new theme to coincide with Easter," she said. "We want families to participate and enjoy the activities."
       The 5k walk/run starts and ends at Washington Township offices, on Van Dyke north of 26 Mile Road. Participants will head north on Van Dyke to West Road, then south on the Trail, then through subdivisions back to the start.
       Runners will receive a T-shirt and race snacks. Door prizes and entertainment will be available. Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers, as well as for age groups. Baskets are provided for the Bunny Hop
       Participants can pre-register online or by mail for $20. To pre-register, to go to www.active.com and search for "rabbit run." Mail-in pre-registration is due by April 10; online registration by April 18.
       Same-day registration will be available the day of the event, starting at 7:30 am, for $25.
       The 24-mile Macomb Orchard Trail is a hike and bike path that starts at 24 Mile Road and Dequindre in Shelby Township and travels northeast to the City of Richmond. For more information, visit www.macombgov.org/macomborchardtrail.
       To join Friends of the Macomb Orchard Trail, go to http://www.orchardtrail.org.
      


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