Mentoring: A Running Start 2008

Welcome mentor teams!

Program Description

Mentoring: A Running Start provides an opportunity for youth to train for a 5K race to learn lessons in teamwork, goal setting and accomplishment. Participants in the running program will train for the noncompetitive 5K that is a part of the Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon festivities in October.

The program aims to instill a life-long love for running and physical fitness in Michigan youth and adults. Knowledge and motivation are provided to reach the goal of running a 5K. After completion of the program, participants are encouraged to continue running and setting new physical activity goals.

Mentor Teams in Detroit October 18-19

Governor's Residence Day August 19

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Congratulations mentor teams, you did it! We are so proud of everyone for completing their goal and crossing the finish line. It was a great weekend making new friends and memories.

On Saturday, October 18 mentor teams from across the state made the trip to Detroit. Our day started with a tour of the Renaissance Center including a glass elevator ride to the top with amazing views. After eating lunch and checking into our rooms at the Marriott, we headed to Comerica Park. Guides led our group on the exclusive behind-the-scenes tour where we were able to visit the press box, locker room and dugout. Then, we stopped at the Marathon Health and Fitness Expo where we picked up race numbers. The day ended with a pasta dinner at the Detroit Athletic Club where we had special guest speakers Curt Munson, owner of Playmakers of Okemos, Patricia Ball, Marathon Race Director, and former State Senator and current Michigan Fitness Foundation Board member Dale Shugars.

Sunday morning started early, with all teams walking to the start line at 6:45 a.m. dressed in their navy and white uniforms. Our mentor teams joined more than 2,000 other runners at the start line for the 5K and were included in the total of more than 18,000 runners in all Marathon events. Everyone finished and did a great job! After the race we had a celebratory breakfast at the Compuware building. The Marathon Web site lists mentor race result times and mentee times categorized by age. On Monday, the Free Press mentioned our group in their Marathon re-cap.

We hope you keep your momentum going by setting new physical activity goals together. Search for running events across Michigan endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. Also, check out the following youth running resources:

Thank you to all of the mentors for your commitment to your mentees and to Get Michigan Moving! Lastly, a special thanks to our sponsors that make this program possible including Accident Fund, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Consumers Energy, Dean Trailways of Michigan, Delta Dental, Detroit Lions, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Michigan Health and Hospital Association, Michigan State Medical Society, Playmakers of Okemos, and WK Kellogg Foundation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meet Team Butzel

Ten students from Butzel Elementary/Middle School in Detroit will participate in the Mentoring: A Running Start program as a part of their KidMILES program. Kid MILES, Mentoring Interest in Living and Eating Smart, was developed by Dr. Scott Eathorne, MD, St. John Health, Providence Athletic Medicine. KidMILES is an after-school 10-week physical fitness program for fourth- through eighth-grade students at Butzel Elementary/Middle School. The program coordinator is Quanda Clay, Professional Counselor, for the St. John Health, Napolean B. Jordan School Based Health Center. The goal of the program is Living and Eating Smart by getting and keeping kids physically active and eating healthier foods. Students learn about the importance of nutrition and how to live healthier lives. They also participate in some form of fun physical activity weekly, such as basketball, soccer, and running obstacle courses, etc. The students who successfully complete the program participate in the Detroit Free Press Marathon 5K Fun Run and Fitness Walk, and are rewarded with the finishers medal and gifts such as running shoes, t-shirts, gift certificates, and school supplies. There is also a party and award ceremony held in their honor.

The program has successfully run since April 2003, and Butzel Students have participated in five Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon 5K Fun Run and Fitness Walks. The program has several volunteers and mentors from many different professions including the Wayne State University Medical Student organization, Young Doctors of Detroit. The KidMILES program has also been very fortunate to have local professional athletes and celebrities come out to speak and play sports with the students.

The Butzel team members include:

Mentees Rickea Brannon, Takia Crocheron, Kayla Evans, Daesuan Felton, Delvin Felton, Charnetta Irving, Charnelle Irving, Tanisha Renfroe, Dominique Sanders, and Larry Smith

Mentors Carla Bryant, Quanda Clay, Kenneth Dorsette, Dustin Lucarelli, Brian Jackson, Devon Moore, Alicia Shelby, Brittany Thomas, Heather Thompson, and Debra Wilkerson

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Countdown Begins!

Our 5K race is less than one week away! Nearly 18,000 runners will be in Detroit this weekend to participate in the marathon, half-marathon, 5K and relays. Forty two mentors and mentees from across the state will come together for the weekend festivities and to put their summer training to the test. Check out the 5K route you will run on Sunday. Hundreds of people will gather to cheer you on and live entertainment will keep you moving. Don’t forget your tips about eating and drinking before, during and after the race. We will see you in the D on Saturday!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fresh Food Feature, never expires always inspires

Optimum fluid consumption leads to optimum performance. Learn about the best amounts to drink before, during and after exercising with the following recommendations by Dr. Anne Murphy.
Fluid Balance

Water comprises about 60-70% of a person's body weight. Because muscle tissue is 70-75% water, the body weights of lean, muscular athletes may exceed 70% water. In contrast, fat tissue is only 10% water. How much is fluid is enough? Fluid needs are linked to energy expenditure. The more energy an athlete expends, the greater are his fluid needs.

Fluid Consumption Before Exercise

Consume a balanced diet and drink adequate fluids for 24 hours before exercise.

Drink about 16 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise.

Goal: promote proper hydration before exercise or competition.

Fluid Consumption During Exercise

Start drinking early.

Drink fluids regularly.

Consume cool, flavored fluids to encourage fluid intake.

During intense exercise lasting longer than one hour: Carbohydrate ingestion at a rate of 30-60 grams per hour is recommended to maintain carbohydrate oxidation and delay fatigue. Electrolyte addition in the fluid helps maintain the osmotic drive for drinking.

Goal: replace fluid at a rate that equals water loss from sweating.

Fluid Consumption After Exercise

Drink at least 2 cups of fluid for every pound of water loss during exercise.

Goal: replace fluid losses during exercise and return to normal hydration.

Before exercise: Drink 16 ounces (2 cups) of fluid 2-3 hours before you begin. You should drink another 8 ounces (1 cup) 10 to 20 minutes before exercise. Water is usually the best source of fluid for athletes. Make sure that a water bottle is a regular part of your sports equipment!

During exercise: Drink lots of fluids, especially water, during exercise because you can lose a lot through sweat. Even being a little dehydrated can weaken your performance. Drink at least 8 ounces (1 cup) of water or fluid every 15-20 minutes during exercise. For exercise that lasts more than 45-50 minutes, a sports drink can help replace water, carbs, and electrolytes. Avoid sodas and drinks that contain caffeine because they can dehydrate you more.

After exercise: Drink at least 16 ounces (2 cups) of fluid after exercising. If you sweat a lot, drink more! Calorie containing drinks (like juice or a sports drink) can replace water and glucose. You can figure out if you are well hydrated by looking at the color of your urine. A clear color is a sign of good hydration; a darker yellow color, this means that you need to drink more fluids.

10 to 20 minutes before exercising: Drink 8 ounces of fluid
While exercising: Drink 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes
After exercising: Drink at least 16 ounces of fluid

Monday, September 29, 2008

A message from First Gentleman Daniel G. Mulhern

Hello mentor teams,

Congratulations for taking on a new challenge together! For some of you, running three miles may seem out of reach but what about running an eighth of a mile? And then one-quarter, or a half? Your long term goal is to run a 5K but don’t forget the power of accomplishing short term goals first.

Heading out for a run in the summer heat may not seem like a great idea and even while you are running you might question your decision. But doesn’t it feel great when you finish? One of the hardest parts of exercising is getting started. Once you fall into a routine you will feel yourself becoming stronger and slowly able to go farther and farther. Being in a mentoring relationship allows you to have someone to rely on and someone that relies on you to put in the effort of training.

After all of the sweat and hard work you do together, your reward is a trip to Detroit and a chance to put your training to the test. Imagine the feeling you will have when you are in the heart of the city with electricity in the air as thousands of people gather to accomplish the running goals they have set.

This is a great opportunity and I wish you the best of luck on your journey to become more physically fit! Challenge yourself, challenge each other and remember that your biggest obstacles are not physical, but mental. Put a picture of the finish line in your head, and move closer to crossing it one practice run at a time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meet Team Hoogerwerf/Castle

Lisa Hoogerwerf, mentor from Holland, and Desiree Castle, mentee from Holland

Lisa is a graduate of Hope College and worked as a correctional nurse before becoming an AmeriCorps volunteer. She currently works with Heights of Hope in community development. She volunteers for neighborhood events, tutoring programs and Blacktop, her church’s summer day camp. Lisa is also involved with Miles for Mentoring. She enjoys photography, graphic design, jewelry making, scrapbooking and hanging out with kids in her neighborhood. Lisa and Desiree have known each other for more than a year, but were only recently matched. They both love art and enjoy trips to Paint-a-Pot. They also practice photography, watch movies, swim, and chat. Desiree attends Holland High School and is involved in volleyball, track and softball. She also volunteers with Lisa at Blacktop. Desiree has a special interest in animals (especially dogs), the beach and art. Desiree and Lisa share a favorite memory of ice skating together. Lisa says “Desiree is incredibly smart, talented and fun. She is a very strong young woman with so much potential.” Lisa looks forward to getting in shape with Desiree by her side so they can encourage each other to be healthy. Desiree thinks Lisa has an awesome personality and is glad to have the opportunity to spend more time with her.

Meet Team Fisher/Baker

Matika Fisher, mentor from Flint, and Tameria Baker, mentee from Flint

Matika is a graduate of the University of Michigan Flint where she studied criminal justice. She has been a police officer for 15 years, a DARE instructor for eight years, and currently works for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Matika became an advocate for physical activity in her community by initiating a Police Athletic League, and the Flint Heat Track Club which she coaches with her husband. She is also the number one fan for her two sons who are active in football, basketball and track. Matika recently met Tameria through the Flint Heat Track Club. Tameria attends Pierce School in Flint and is involved in basketball and swimming. She enjoys shopping, traveling and running. Together Tameria and Matika go shopping, run and participate in community events. Matika appreciates having “girl time” with Tameria, as she is outnumbered at home. Matika looks forward to getting back into shape and motivating others to do the same.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fresh Food Feature, never expires always inspires

Should fat be eliminated from a diet?
Do I need to eat meat every day?
Do low-carb diets work?
Our Nutrition Specialist Dr. Anne Murphy confronts common nutrition myths in the following piece about nutrition fallacies.

Nutrition Fallacies: Anne Murphy (PhD, RD)

It is difficult to get enough protein. (False)

Dairy, meat, dried beans are very high. Average American diet provides 2-3 x the need.

People need meat every day. (False)

Kids need protein (about 25 grams) which can come from dairy and other foods. Adults need about 50-60 grams.

Eating meat/protein builds muscle. (False)

Activity builds muscle. Protein is needed for all growth but extra amounts are stored as fat or converted to glucose and used for energy.

Low carbohydrate diets are a good way to lose fat (False)

The body needs a minimum amount of glucose (which can be supplied only by carbohydrates). If it is not supplied the body will convert protein (from foods or from muscles) to glucose to meet the brain’s need for energy. The ONLY way to lose fat is to consume fewer calories than you burn.

Fat is “bad” and should be eliminated from the diet. (False)

Fat is essential and important for development of brain tissue in infants

People need to take vitamins to be healthy. (False)

A multiple vitamin/mineral is a good idea. Areas of concern: iron (children over age 1) calcium after puberty especially if pop is consumed instead of milk.

Foods labeled “low or non fat” are nutritious. (False)

Look at calorie and sugar levels.

Chocolate milk is less nutritious than white milk. (False)

They have similar levels of calcium and protein, as do skim, 2%, whole; not high in iron

Salads are not fattening. (Might be false)

Dressings add lots of calories! So do cheese, hard-cooked eggs, etc.

Frozen fruits/vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh ones. (Nearly false)

They have about the same nutrient value as fresh ones.

Sugar makes kids hyperactive. High amounts of sugar consumed “alone” cause a quick rise and then drop in blood sugar. Starch is digested more slowly. The problem with sugary foods is displacement of nutritious ones and they tend to be low in iron

Recommendations: Snacks should include fruit, low or non-fat milk and dairy foods (yogurt, cheese). Limit sweets, processed foods, juice drinks and sweetened cereals. Increase fiber by consuming WHOLE grains, fruits (with peels), veggies and legumes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet Team Milne/Echols

Denise Milne, mentor from Farmington, and twins Christian and Christopher Echols from Detroit

Denise has been a PE swim teacher in Detroit Public Schools for 30 years. She is also involved in USTA tennis and singing groups at church. She enjoys reading the Bible, playing tennis, and getting together with high school friends. Denise has worked with Christian and Christopher for a few months. Christian and Christopher are twins, with Christian being the oldest by 10 minutes. They attend Hutchins McMichael School and are involved in basketball and chess club. The brothers enjoy watching and playing sports. With Denise, they eat healthy lunches, play tennis and go running. Denise spends time making food and stretching with Christian and Christopher and was happy when they said “stretching feels good,” and that the salad they ate was “better than honey buns.” She admires their commitment to training and eagerness to learn. They both enjoy their Wednesday practice runs and look forward to meeting new people at the 5K.

Meet Team VanWyngarden/Jordan

Jonathan VanWyngarden, mentor from Holland, and Andy Jordan, mentee from Holland

Jon works for Americorps through the Faith In Youth Partnership, and is also studying to become an English teacher. He is involved in church programming, Kids Hope USA, after-school tutoring and middle school youth group. Jon enjoys playing the guitar, reading good books, writing and gardening. Jon and Andy have been matched for a year and a half. Together they enjoy biking, getting ice cream, hiking, goofing around and simply hanging out. Andy is in eighth grade at West Middle School and is involved in Blacktop recreation at Calvary Reformed Church. He likes basketball, baseball and running, especially with Jon. One of Andy’s favorite memories with Jon is when they cooked a homemade pizza with his family. Jon remembers one of the first nights they hung out when they walked on the beach and pier. He appreciates Andy’s carefree spirit, and love of life. Jon also admires that Andy loves people for who they are and is very creative and fun. They look forward to accomplishing the goal of running the 5K together.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fresh Food Feature, never expires always inspires

"Athletes/active persons do not need more nutrients than others; but they do need more calories with an emphasis on carbohydrates" - Dr. Anne Murphy

As the 5K race approaches and training kicks into high gear, it is important to remember the impact nutrition has on performance. Our Nutrition Specialist Dr. Anne Murphy put together recommendations for our mentor teams to follow in preparation for the run.

Nutrition Recommendations for Optimal Athletic Performance

Dr. Anne Murphy, Registered Dietitian (9/10/08)

Nutrient recommendations for teenagers that actively train and compete:

· 2,600 – 3,500 calories per day

· Nine ounces of grains (choose foods with 4 or more grams of fiber per serving)

· 3½ cups vegetables and 2 cups fruit (I know this is difficult!)

· 3 cups milk (choose low-fat)

· 6½ ounces meat or dried beans/cooked (choose lean meats)

· Water: stay hydrated to prevent cramps, exhaustion, heat stroke and a drop in performance:

  • 8 to 10 cups daily (avoid thirst)
  • 2 cups 2-3 hours before activity
  • 1 – 1½ cups during activity
  • 3 cups for every pound of weight lost during activity
  • For activity lasting less than 30 minutes, cool water is the best choice
  • For activity lasting longer than 60 minutes, use sports drinks to provide carb + water (and electrolytes that are lost in sweat)
  • Pop (and other drinks that are highly concentrated in simple sugars) takes longer to be absorbed and can cause nausea, cramps and diarrhea.
  • When you are active for 90 minutes or longer, you should have 30-60 grams of carb (120-240 calories) every hour (to prevent depletion of stored carbohydrate in the muscles). Sports drinks or diluted fruit juice can provide that.
  • The best sports drink is one with a 4-8% concentration of carbs (14 grams carb per 8 oz).
  • A combination of carb sources in a sports drink is usually better and more quickly absorbed.
  • Avoid sports drinks with high amounts of fructose or galactose (not as easily absorbed)
  • Sodium in the sports drink helps with the carb absorption and replenishes sodium lost in sweat, 110-220 is a good level of sodium per 8 ounces.
  • Sports gels might have honey (slows absorption of carb) or caffeine (a diuretic). They do not contain needed fluid but have the advantage of being easier than drinks to carry.

Where should the calories come from?

  • Carbs are the body’s preferred energy source; 50-60% of your calories should be from carbs BUT most of them should be complex carbs/starches; less than 10% should come from sugars.
  • Protein is needed for growth of any tissue including muscle; 12-15% of calories should be protein.
  • Fat has many functions in the body and is a secondary source of fuel during duration activity; 20-30% of your calories should be from fat. Good sources are fish, vegetable oils and nuts.

Splitting up the 2600 calories:

  • Carb: 1,560 calories or 390 grams (four calories per gram)
  • Protein: 312 calories or 78 grams
  • Fat: 728 calories; 81 grams

How does this relate to food:

  • Plenty of cereal (not sweetened), pasta, buns, bagels, pancakes, bread/toast, waffles, rice, tortillas, pretzels, English muffins, granola
  • 24 ounces of milk=24 grams, one hamburger=28, one egg=6 grams =58 grams protein.
  • Unlimited fruits and vegetables
  • Limit candy, donuts, cookies, cakes, brownies, pop and juice drinks
  • Beverages: drink milk, 100% fruit juice and water

Good snack choices: fig newtons, pretzels, fruit, yogurt, cereal, dried fruit, trail mix, meal replacement drinks, peanut butter on toast/bagel, string cheese, tortilla with melted cheese, pudding, energy bars, smoothies, low-fat popcorn, flavored milks, and some muffins


  • Athletes/active persons do not need more nutrients than others; but they do need more calories with an emphasis on carbohydrates
  • Eating protein does not enlarge muscle mass.
  • Skim and lowfat milk have the same amount of protein and calcium as whole/vitamin D milk

Pre-competition Meal Recommendations:

· Important to prevent hunger and supply needed nutrients to be alert and perform well

· Timing depends on how long the activity lasts. Have your last meal 2-3 hours before you exercise (longer if it contains much fat); you can still snack on fruit since it supplies carbohydrates + water

· Sample pre-competition meals: (Goal: stomach empty and blood full of nutrients)

  1. oatmeal, milk, toast/bagel/English muffin with peanut butter, juice
  2. pancakes with yogurt and fruit, chocolate milk
  3. chicken sandwich, salad, fig bars, milk
  4. tostada or taco (beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato), orange, milk
  5. spaghetti with tomato sauce, break sticks, vegetable or fruit milk

Eating during competition/activity. If you are active for more than 30 minutes at a time, your muscles will need to replenish their carbohydrate stores. Every 30-60 minutes, have any of these: sports drinks, energy bars or fruit. It doesn’t matter whether the carb is provided in liquid or solid form. Solid food helps delay hunger longer if you are competing over long periods of time. Try a fruit (banana) + sports drink. Keep carbohydrate high and fat low. [Energy bars with 45 grams carb are good choices. Drink water with it. High protein bars are only needed for people who do not 60 grams per day. Some bars have saturated fat or added sugars. Check the label.]

Eating between events: When you compete or practice more than once a day, you need nutrients to perform and fluid to stay hydrated. If you have 2-3 hours between events, you could eat a bowl of cereal with low-fat milk, yogurt with or without fruit, energy bar, or 100% fruit juice (can be diluted). If you have less than one hour between events, choose: sports drinks, fruit, energy bar, graham crackers or pudding cups. If you have a break of longer than 3 hours, you could eat:

  1. pancakes with fruit, scrambled egg, juice
  2. turkey/chicken/ham sandwich, fruit or vegetable, low-fat milk
  3. vegetable pizza, salad
  4. PB and J sandwich on whole grain bread, apple, low-fat chocolate milk

Recovery Nutrition: During activity muscles use up their energy (carb). Normally it takes 24-36 hours to replenish carb in muscles but you can decrease it to 12 hours using this method. Within 30 minutes of activity, eat something with carb in it (yogurt, milk, sandwich, energy bar, crackers, juice, fruit). Chocolate milk is great since it contains carbs + protein, tastes good and is easy to consume. If you can’t eat solid food right after competition or can’t drink milk, drink 2 cups sports drink. In 2-4 hours have a small meal that is mostly carb with some protein and some fat.

Recovery meals:

  1. turkey sandwich with tomato and lettuce, fruit, chocolate milk
  2. cereal with milk, toast with jelly, fruit and/or juice
  3. baked potato with grated cheese, juice
  4. cheese and crackers, fruit, chocolate milk

Monday, September 8, 2008

Meet Team Kehoe/Goff

Vicki Kehoe, mentor from Gobles, and Konor Goff, mentee from Gobles

Vicki has been a health club manager since 1979 and is a personal trainer with an exercise science degree. She volunteers at the local SPCA and enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, biking, camping and gardening. Vicki and Konor have been matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters for two-and-a-half years. Konor is 11 years old and attends Gobles Middle School. He is interested in hockey and soccer and enjoys riding his bike and scooter. Konor and Vicki bike, skateboard, hike and play games together. Some of their favorite memories include visiting Vicki’s house, and mountain biking on the El Sabo Trail. Vicki admires Konor’s sense of humor and great personality. They both look forward to spending more time together.

Meet Team Karpinsky/Michalski/Zabrowski

Bo Karpinsky, mentor from Sterling Heights and Beth Michalski and Elizabeth Zabrowski, mentees from Hamtramck

Bo is a PE teacher in Hamtramck and has been teaching for 25 years. He coaches football and volleyball, and is president of the Hamtramck Federation of Teachers. Bo has a love for the outdoors especially fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing and walking. He is also involved with the Immaculate Conception Church in Hamtramck. Bo is Beth’s PE teacher at Kosciuszko Middle School and has coached her in volleyball. Beth will be in eighth grade this fall. She is involved in sports at school and is looking forward to the opportunity to train for the 5K and be active this summer. Bo says that Beth is very determined and always has a smile. Elizabeth is also a coached by Bo in volleyball at Kosciuszko and is a friend of Beth’s. Bo says that she was added to their team because she is very competitive and has “grit.” Bo strongly believes that physical fitness should be a priority in schools because it has been found that exercise directly affects learning.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Meet Team VanPamel/Brugnone

Sarah VanPamel, mentor from Clinton Township, and Kianna Brugnone, mentee from Clinton Township

Sarah currently attends the University of Detroit Mercy and is a Boys & Girls Club volunteer. She has 13 years of experience as a dancer, and teaches dance to young children. Sarah is also a fan of her hometown sports teams, and she enjoys water sports and other outdoor activities. Sarah and Kianna were matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Kianna attends Tenniswood School and has an interest in swimming, basketball and food. Some of the activities they do together are eat lunch, play putt-putt golf and attend Big Brothers Big Sisters events. They also stay in touch by talking on the phone and e-mailing. Kianna and Sarah share a favorite memory of going out to dinner together at the Fondue Room. Sarah appreciates Kianna’s “constant upbeat personality and beautiful smile.” They look forward to achieving a healthy goal together.

Meet Team Howard/Wysinger

John Howard, mentor from Benton Harbor, and Corey Wysinger, mentee from Benton Harbor

John works with youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor. He loves playing sports, camping and biking. John has been matched with Corey for one year and they spend time together at the Club. They also are involved in volunteer programs throughout their community. Corey is 12 years old and attends the Lighthouse Education Center. At the Boys & Girls Club he is a member of the Torch Club and Peer Council programs. Corey enjoys wrestling, football, and playing chess and baseball with John. He has a fun memory of cleaning up a cemetery with John. John’s favorite memory is when Corey got his first base hit in a baseball game. Corey is excited to visit Detroit and go sight-seeing. John admires Corey’s courage to be different and Corey appreciates John’s wisdom.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Governor’s Residence Day

On Tuesday, August 19 many of our mentor teams traveled to Lansing for a special event. The day started with a visit to the home of Michigan State Basketball, the Breslin Student Events Center. Our tour guides showed us the practice gyms, trophy showcases, the main arena (including the freshly polished basketball floor), and also the Coaches’ Offices. Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach Dwayne Stephens spoke to our group in the official team film-review room. Assistant Coach Stephens praised our mentees for committing to physical activity despite all of the current technologies that can often distract youth from being active. After eating lunch, we headed to the Capitol. Our group saw the House and Senate floors and even Governor Granholm’s ceremonial office. We ended our trip with a wonderful reception at the Governor’s Residence. Program sponsors, legislators and other dignitaries including the First Gentleman Dan Mulhern, Surgeon General Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health Janet Olszewski, and Executive Director of the Michigan Community Service Commission Musette Michael. Each team was fitted for running shoes by staff from Playmakers, and also received one piece of the 2008 team uniform.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A message from Virtual Coach Steve Santer

Anytime I start to train for an event I always try and keep this in mind:

-You will have good days and bad days.

I have a friend who always says that running is like life, sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. There will be days where you feel weightless and you are moving really well, where everything seems to come together during a run and it's really fun. There will also be days where your legs will feel as though they are made of lead, days where you don't want to get up and go for that morning jog.

Remember, EVERY ATHLETE has those days, they are perfectly normal. If running were easy, then everyone would be doing it. The other thing to remember is that in order to have good days you have to have less-than-good days.

The other thing I would like to say to you is welcome to your new life. It's a new life as an athlete, even if you don't feel like it right now each and every one of you is an athlete. In the coming months you will find that things will change for you, you'll get more sleep at night, eat better. Even your vocabulary will change. You will start saying things like "I only have to run a mile today".

Welcome to the Group.


As a reminder if you have any questions for Steve about training, post it as a comment here and he will respond.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Meet Team Dudycha/Lucas

Michelle L. Dudycha, mentor from Paw Paw, and Mary Lucas, mentee from Mattawan

Michelle, a graduate of Western Michigan University, is a middle school teacher and a newlywed. She is involved with a women’s ministry program through her church and recently completed her first mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Michelle is also a fall-season cheerleading coach. She enjoys playing rugby, running, biking, camping, cooking and traveling. Michelle and Mary have been matched for more than a year, and they are always looking for a new adventure. They usually enjoy riding bikes, antiquing, playing tennis and swimming. Mary is in seventh grade at St. Monica Catholic Church. She is one of seven children in her family and loves to have fun. Mary is also artistic both in her creative and physical outlets which include drawing, playing soccer and tennis, and running. Mary’s favorite memory with Michelle is when they spent the day with the animals at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. Michelle enjoyed their time together riding bikes on the Kal-Haven Trail when they rode for 12 miles. Mary is excited for the 5K race, and Michelle looks forward to seeing Mary in her element of running. She also admires Mary’s sense of self, maturity and sense of humor. Mary appreciates that Michelle teaches her something new every time they get together and hopes to be as intelligent as her.

Meet Team Midgley/Hall

Becky Midgley, mentor from Holland, and Govonna Hall, mentee from Holland

Becky is currently a college student and an AmeriCorps member with the Ottawa County Mentoring Collaborative. She is a tutor and is involved with her church, Searchlight Ministries. She likes to read, do art projects, star-gaze and go on adventures. Becky and Govonna met at the Miles for Mentoring 5K and have been in a tutoring program together for a year. Their favorite memory is the first time they ran together. Govonna is 13 years old and in eighth grade at West Middle School. She volunteers at her church and enjoys double dutch, running, hanging out with friends, and hopes to try out for basketball in the fall. Govonna is looking forward to her first trip to Detroit for the 5K race. She admires Becky’s “bubbly personality” and her willingness to help others. Becky thinks Govonna has a quiet, strong presence and many other kids look up to her. They are looking forward to strengthening their relationship and conquering a challenge.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fresh Food Feature, never expires always inspires

Congratulations Sarah VanPamel and Kianna Brugnone for your prize-winning recipe! Sarah and Kianna took on Dr. Anne Murphy’s healthy challenge and submitted a recipe of their favorite berry treat.

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

1 15-oz. can blueberries

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

16 oz. frozen or fresh blueberries

juice of one lemon

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

3/4 cup cup firmly-packed light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1-1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 cup non-hydrogenated butter or margarine (such as Earth Balance)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Drain canned blueberries over a medium bowl, reserving blueberry liquid in the bowl. Whisk cornstarch into blueberry liquid until smooth. Place canned blueberries, blueberry liquid, frozen blueberries and fresh lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, salt and baking powder. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press two-thirds of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Spread blueberry mixture over top of crust. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 36 bars.

Per bar: 120 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, 3% vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 4% iron

Meet Team Foster/McClurg

Sarah Foster, mentor from Portage, and Kendra McClurg, mentee from Kalamazoo

Sarah is a graduate of Western Michigan University where she studied human resources. She is now a Logistics Coordinator for Roadway Express Inc. Sarah enjoys camping, fishing, reading, traveling and volleyball. She also has a love for animals. Sarah and Kendra have been matched for one year through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Kendra will be in seventh grade at Maple Street School this fall and she likes to swim, read and listen to music. Together they like to visit the library and the zoo, take walks, talk, and go to country music concerts. Some of their favorite memories together include playing the game Hilarium and off-roading in a Jeep. Kendra appreciates that Sarah gets her to try new things and is looking forward to proving they can accomplish the 5K goal. Sarah admires Kendra’s drive and ability to make the best of every situation.

Meet Team Richard/Henderson

Edward Richard, mentor from Saginaw, and Lance Henderson, mentee from Saginaw

Edward works at the VA Medical Center in Saginaw and also volunteers at his church for outings. He loves to help people and enjoys good friends, going to the gym and relaxing. Edward believes in living life to the fullest by spending time with people he cares about. He has only been matched with Lance for a short time, but has been a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters for six years. Lance attends Kempton School and is involved in soccer, basketball and football. Together, Lance and Edward play sports, talk and go to movies. Lance has a love for sports and his favorite memory with Edward is going to a football game together. They look forward to working as a team and getting to know each other better.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fresh Food Feature, never expires always inspires

Berry Good for You

Hope you are having a healthy summer and working on at least one healthy eating change (mentors too!). Every week I will be sharing information about healthy foods with you. Today I want to share a few food facts about a wonderful (and healthy) summer food...BLUEBERRIES!

Blueberries are nutrition superstars. Have you heard of antioxidants? Well blueberries have plenty of them which contribute to cancer prevention. In addition to antioxidants, blueberries have Vitamin C and five grams of fiber per cup. They have no fat or cholesterol, no sodium and only 40 calories per half cup. So put them on your cereal, in a smoothie or eat them plain instead of candy. Buy a bag of frozen blueberries and eat them right out of the freezer bag to cool off.

CONTEST (where everyone wins): E-mail (or mail) your favorite recipe to me that uses any kind of berry and I will send you a fruit/veggie cookbook as a thanks for sharing (or other "prize" if I run out of those). Have a happy, healthy day!
Anne Murphy, PhD, RD
Healthy Kids Evaluation Services
1771 S. Cherry Blossom Lane
Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Monday, July 28, 2008

Meet Team Christian/Jimenez

Bridget Christian, mentor from Grosse Pointe Farms and Erika Jimenez, mentee from Pontiac

Bridget is a contract employee with Generation with Promise, a program out of the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Office of the Surgeon General. She has a BA in communications from Saint Mary’s College and a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan. Bridget shares her life with her husband Chris and dog Kirby. She volunteers with Creekside Community Development Corporation, Earthworks Urban Farm, Greening of Detroit and CityScape Detroit. Bridget enjoys running, biking, softball, gardening, cooking, knitting and traveling. Bridget and Erika were recently paired together and look forward to being running partners. Erika will be a freshman at Pontiac Northern High School this fall where she plans to try out for the soccer team and possibly track and cross country. She currently plays on a travel soccer team. Erika enjoys spending time with her brothers and dog Luna. She also likes to bake, especially chocolate cake. Erika is excited to be able to run in Detroit with people cheering for her and Bridget.

Meet Team Kendrick/Carter

Dave Kendrick, mentor from Muskegon and David Carter, mentee from Muskegon Heights

Dave is the county Public Works Director and has a master's degree in agricultural engineering. In his community he is involved in the Lions Club, church children's programs and county diversity efforts. He is interested in wood working, running, volleyball, math and science projects, and puzzles. Dave and David have been matched for one year through Muskegon Heights Math Mentoring. David is entering ninth grade at Western Michigan Christian High School. He is involved with missionary trips, American Youth Basketball Tour and football. Together they attend church youth group, sports camps and take plant tours. They share a recent favorite memory of David's eighth-grade graduation. David says he admires Dave because he likes him for who he is. Dave admires the growth of David's personal faith and that he treats people with respect. They are looking forward to spending time together running at Hoffmaster State Park along Lake Michigan and eating pizza at Greek Tony's afterward on a weekly basis.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meet Team Denson/Williams

Asia Denson, mentor from Detroit and Amber Williams, mentee from Detroit

Asia is a graduate student in construction engineering management and technology. She is a facilities engineer intern at Blue Cross Blue Shield, a percussion instructor at the Detroit Academy of Arts and Science High School, and is involved with Upward Bound. She enjoys sports, getting in shape and browsing the Internet. Her interests include real estate, renovations and anything related to technology or construction. Asia and Amber have been matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit since October 2007. Together they enjoy going to the movies and sporting events, skating and going out to dinner. Amber will be in ninth grade this fall at Southeastern High school. She enjoys doing hair and is interested in basketball and computers. Asia admires that Amber has set goals for herself. Amber says she wants to be as successful as Asia and attend college like she did. They look forward to becoming healthier as a team.

Meet Team Bilyeu/Gohl

Dan Bilyeu, mentor from Alpena, and Colin Gohl, mentee from Alpena

Dan is on Active Duty in the Michigan Air National Guard stationed at the Alpena CRTC where he works as a budget analyst. He will retire this August with more than 22 years of active service and 29 years of total military service. Dan has associate degrees in accounting, financial management and general studies. In addition to mentoring Colin, Dan is an adoptive father and licensed foster care provider. He enjoys running, working out, rock landscaping and volunteering. Dan and Colin have been matched for more than seven years and enjoy going to the movies, playing Frisbee and games, spending time in the woods scouting for deer, and going out to eat. Colin will be in eighth grade this fall with the goal of attending Princeton to study nuclear medicine after graduating high school. He is active in his church youth group, and God is an important part of his life. Colin is involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Alpena and enjoys hanging out with friends, traveling, skateboarding, playing X-box, creating graphic designs, sleeping and swimming. Colin also enjoys making “survivor” movies with Dan and going deer hunting. One of Dan’s favorite memories is when Colin nominated him for Big Brother of the Year by writing a letter of recommendation that touched Dan’s heart. Dan considers Colin as part of his family and says that Colin has a lot of potential. Colin thinks Dan is a great role model and says, “He spends time with me and does things I would do if I had a dad in my life.” Both Dan and Colin look forward to the challenge of training and encouraging each other to achieve this goal.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meet Team Wilbrink/Haller

Gerard Wilbrink, mentor from Williamston and Devon Haller, mentee from Williamston

Gerard is a retired welder and fabricator, and is now developing a handyman business. Gerard is also an assistant track coach at Williamston Middle School and will work with the cross country team in the fall. He loves the outdoors including camping, bike riding and yard work. Gerard and Devon have been matched since December 2007 through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Devon will be in seventh grade at Williamston Middle School this fall. He enjoys playing video games, biking, swimming, running and working out. His favorite memory with Gerard is the first time they went to Lake Michigan. Devon and Gerard like to run, fish, swim, go to movies, camp, run on the sand dunes, and bike. Devon admires Gerard for encouraging him and for being funny. Gerard is looking forward to seeing Devon improve his confidence through training for the 5K as he gets stronger and faster. He appreciates Devon’s compassion for others and great sense of humor.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meet your Program Coordinator Sarah Siewert

Sarah recently graduated from Michigan State University where she studied communication and public relations. She started as an intern with the Governor’s Council in January 2007 and is now employed full-time. Sarah enjoys playing tennis, weight lifting, running, and spending time with friends and family. She is currently training for her second 5K race which takes place in September. If you have any questions about the program logistics or plans, leave a comment here and she will post a response. Sarah can also be reached at or 800-434-8642.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Meet your Nutrition Specialist Dr. Anne Murphy

Anne Murphy was first a Kindergarten teacher and then switched careers because of her interest in nutrition. After finishing her PhD at MSU, she was on the faculty at U of M for eight years (teaching nutrition classes in the nursing major.) Now she works as a consultant--developing nutrition education materials, writing grants and evaluating benefits of nutrition and physical activity programs such as this one! If you have a question about nutrition, please comment here and Anne will post a response. Anne can also be reached at

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Meet your "Virtual Coach" Steve Santer

Steve is a veteran runner and triathlete. He is also the coach of Team Playmakers, a local team that helps runners and walkers properly train for and achieve their goals. Steve is available to help with any questions about training for the 5K race! Simply post your question as a comment and he will respond as soon as possible. Visit for more information about Playmakers and running.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Success Story from 2007

Participating in Mentoring: A Running Start in 2007 was life-changing for both mentor Laura Hahnfeld, and mentee Tiffany Jordan. The experience was said to be the most trying and exciting time in their years together as a mentor match through Faith in Youth Partnership. There were many days they doubted that they would make it across the finish line. But, they both learned in tangible ways what it looks like to never give up and to depend on each other for strength to push toward the seemingly impossible. “I watched an amazing transformation in Tiffany” says Laura, “I didn’t think she’d ever run a mile straight before we started and now she’s participating in sports at school and exercising in her free time.” Tiffany began to glow and it was obvious that she was feeling confident in herself and was learning that she is capable of doing more than she had ever imagined. “I showed myself that when I really try and put my mind to something I can do it and as long as I have people by my side supporting me, I can do anything,” says Tiffany. “This experience has affected my life in huge ways and I will never forget what it felt like to finally run the [Mackinac] Bridge!”

Laura and Tiffany are pictured above.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Congratulations on your acceptance to the Mentoring: A Running Start program! Our 2007 teams had great success and we can't wait to get started this year.