By SCOTT BRENT
For the Sunday Times
WYANDOTTE – Participants expended more calories lifting their beer cups than they did racing in a 500-meter run Nov. 4 in downtown Wyandotte. Hosted by 101 WRIF’s morning show, the “Dave and Chuck ‘The Freak’” .5K Run accommodated anyone who could run, walk, or crawl half a kilometer.
A heated party tent was set up behind Whiskeys on the Water, 2903 Biddle Ave., with a live disc jockey, Tito’s Handmade Vodka Bloody Mary Bar, games and food trucks.
Julie Law, president of 360 Event Productions, was pleased to see that the turnout was considerably higher than last year.
“Now that our location is by the water, both residents and newcomers are able to see just how vibrant Wyandotte has become,” Law said. “We have it all – the Dave and Chuck look-alikes who drink like it’s their bachelor party, and those who come in serious running gear, believing this is actually a 5K.”
Anyone who pre-registered received a Dave & Chuck the Freak T-shirt, runner bib, gold medal, and a post-race drink.
The event was free and open to all ages; however, guests were encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the U.S. Marine Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
Evelyn Hurrell, a resident of Wyandotte for 25 years, said she has not found a better place to live, in no small part due to these community events.
“Let me count the reasons I fell in love with Wyandotte,” Hurrell said. “I think the restaurants are just wonderful with lovely patios, nice décor, beautiful food” she said. “Frank’s Pizza is here. People are especially friendly, probably because of the river.
“Speaking of which, we have our own water treatment plant, electrical plant that’s much less expensive than what you’ll find in other cities, though we still depend on Detroit for gas. … Last year, our art fair had about 250,000 people in it over a four-day period.”
Erik Aratari, the promotions manager at WRIF, said the event is an opportunity to garner more visibility from people outside of Downriver.
“I think it’s important to keep in mind that we, as radio personalities, always need to find some way to re-introduce ourselves for every event we broadcast, while making sure our hosts cultivate their individual flairs that’s so recognizable and familiar to our current listeners,” Aratari said. “For instance, I can’t wait for people to see our producer, James Campbell, while he’s riding on his toilet trailer with the racers, or Jason, our ‘Jewish Call Screener.’”
Contestants were brimming with energy even after the run was finished.
“I don’t know how I made it through with my fuzzy leggings,” said Lynne Felkner of Brownstown Township. “I thought I was going to topple somebody over.”
Tom Kearns of Taylor said his costume shielded him from excessive frivolity.
“I’m thankful for my Detroit Lion’s beard, because without it, I might have drank more than I should, and my senses wouldn’t be intact.”