By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Aaron Lehr began running in elementary school. To his classmates, he was known as “The Flash.” Throughout elementary, middle and high school, Lehr continued to run for sport. Now, a graduate student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, he’s running for himself, and his next big event will be the Brooksie Way half marathon that will start at finish at OU’s Meadow Brook Hall on Oct. 5. Lehr will document his training through a blog.
“[I began running] because I was always perceived as ‘The Flash’ in elementary school and I had to live up to my expectations. I just developed my speed-legs early in life and by the seventh grade, I was no longer ‘The Flash,’ but I still liked to run because it was a great sport to do with friends in high school. Now I just run to run,” Lehr said.
Lehr learned of the Brooksie Way half marathon after it was announced and decided to participate. He had participated in marathons before but the training is time consuming. The half-marathon training allows him to run shorter distances and still have time for studying.
“I train from my experiences, whether from trial and error or from the advice of others and books. I also like to not get too tied down to a set schedule. Plans can change easily, even within a day. I keep my training flexible to accommodate what I can do for that day, especially if my body isn’t fully recovered after the previous day’s workout. But I always make sure I get in what I need for the week,” Lehr said.
The Brooksie Way is dedicated to the memory of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s son, who was killed in a snowmobile accident in February 2007.The Brooksie Way also includes a 5K and a Crim 10-mile event.
Staff members of OU’s Division of Student Affairs also are training to participate in the Brooksie Way. The group is tracking their progress through a blog. Nicknamed Snyder’s Striders, the team from Student Affairs registered together for the Brooksie Way. Many will participate in the 5K and some will participate in the 10-mile event.
“Members of our division wanted to be healthier. When you are healthier, you feel better all around. We thought the Brooksie Way was a great way to work toward our goal,” said Linda Harding, administrative assistant in Student Affairs. With the support of Dean of Students Glen McIntosh, Harding helped organize the staff to participate in the Brooksie Way and is keeping them motivated through weekly updates and a blog, where the members can share walking/running schedules and other thoughts.
To learn more about the Snyder’s Striders, visit the Snyder’s Striders blog.