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Week of March 12, 2012

Big House Big Heart Run/Walk moves to April 15; U-M leaders issue challenge

The annual Big House Big Heart Run/Walk (BHBH) has moved to the spring and, this year, will take place April 15. The chip-timed 5K and 10K races start at Michigan Stadium, go through campus and end inside the stadium at the 50-yard line. There also is a one-mile “Fun Run,” open to everyone but especially designed for children.

U-M leadership has issued its annual “Go Blue Challenge” to every university school, college and unit to form a BHBH team and participate in one of the run/walk events. Two U-M areas — one school or college and one non-academic unit — will win the Go Blue Challenge Award, given to the area with the highest percentage of participants.

The Big House Big Heart Walk/Run takes place April 15 at Michigan Stadium. Last year, more than 15,000 people participated, raising more than $120,000 for ALS Research at the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, and the Cardiovascular Center. Photo by

New this year is the “Go Maize Challenge,” given to the U-M school, college or non-academic unit with the most volunteers. Also, returning for its second year is the “Mott Mile,” for former and current C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital patients to walk or run with U-M student athletes and celebrate their personal successes.

A portion of BHBH registration fees goes to a number of U-M programs, including ALS research at the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery, the Cardiovascular Center, and the Mott Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who comes together at this legendary stadium to help further ALS research and many other good causes,” says Dr. Eva Feldman, director of the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery and the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute.

“It is through efforts like this that we will continue to raise awareness of — and funding for —research that is leading to therapy for these terrible diseases,” says Feldman, a practicing physician who has worked with ALS patients for 25 years. “Knowing that thousands of generous people are willing to give of their time and energy to help us speed cures to patients is so inspiring and moving. For so many patients, time is their enemy, and I want every Big House, Big Heart participant, volunteer and organizer to know that by joining in they are helping us offer hope that effective treatments are on the way.”

BHBH teams also can raise money for a charity of their choice by getting tax-deductible donations for completing their event. All funds raised by teams go directly to their charities. Last year, more than 15,000 people participated in Big House Big Heart events, raising nearly $1.5 million for local charities.

“Big House Big Heart is one of Ann Arbor’s most-anticipated charity events — you can get outdoors, cast off those winter blahs and have fun with colleagues,” says Colleen Greene, MHealthy wellness coordinator and logistics chair for BHBH. “You can walk, run or wheel, go one mile or complete a 5K or 10K run, all while being physically active and raising money for charity and three outstanding U-M programs.”

Big House Big Heart is organized by Champions for Charity and supported by U-M’s MHealthy and Rec Sports programs. The event welcomes walkers, runners, wheelchairs and strollers.

Cost varies based on registration for the race or walk. Participation fees for 5K or 10K are $32 through March 16; $36 March 17-April 13; and $39 on race weekend, April 14 and 15 ($9 of the entry fee is a tax-deductible contribution split between the three UMHS programs). Participation fees for Fun Run are $13 through March 16; $18 March 17-April 13; $23 on race weekend, April 14 and 15 ($4 the of entry fee is a tax deductible contribution split between the three UMHS programs).

Register by April 13 at; select a school, college or unit from the drop down menu; and register for distance of choice. Volunteers also can sign up online.



Nicole Green-Valentine, assistant director, Department of Recreational Sports, on officiating: "You need to be confident in yourself, confident that you know the rules and know how to apply them, and that you communicate well with the players, coaches, parents your partner officials."


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