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Recap of our 2017 Run of the Dead

Hundreds of residents and visitors of Southwest Detroit gathered at Patton Park Recreation Center on November 4th to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. The Southwest Detroit Business Association’s (SDBA) Run of the Dead 5k/10k kicked off early Saturday morning. Participants of the run were immersed in the culture surrounding this traditional holiday. An ofrenda dedicated to the victims of the deadly earthquake in Mexico was created by local artist, Kia Arriaga. She stated “In this ofrenda, there’s grieving, tragedy and sadness, but also hope through love, compassion and empathy towards others. The solidarity of Mexican people is amazing.” The Folklorico dancers from the Center of Music and Performing Arts Southwest (COMPAS) entertained with their performance of traditional Mexican dance. As race time approached, the crowd gathered by the starting line for Zumba with Roberto! Roberto led the runners in fun and unique warmup. We then heard remarks from President Rob Dewaelsche, SDBA Board Members Bishop Hanchon and Tonia Patino, Mayor Duggan Representative Rico Razo, and Honorary Chair Jesse Gonzales. Jesse lined up with the runners at the starting area and fired the opening shot and the runners were off! When asked about the importance of being the honorary chair, Jesse stated, “”It is always an honor to help Southwest, people from Southwest are givers, they are my familia.”

Winners were announced and awarded custom 2017 Run of the Dead medals along with gift cards to El Nacimiento Restaurant and RunDetroit. President Robert Dewaelsche stated “It was amazing to see everyone come out and support this event. We are already looking forward to next year’s run”. After the run, participants expressed positive comments and what they enjoyed most about the event. Andrea Blake competed in her second Run of the Dead and stated “I had so much fun, marking my two-year running anniversary with you! A beautiful course, meaningful event, and of course Roberto helped us with his perfect Zumba warm up. Thank you for a terrific event!” Kerlyne Alexis-Pinkins and her husband “had a blast, it was our first, but definitely not our last. Thank you for a great start to the weekend.”

The 2017 Run of the Dead was a success because of the team work displayed by everyone involved. We are looking forward to next year! Thank you to our sponsors, staff, board members, volunteers, and friends who supported this year’s event.

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