The tri-county area is filled with great runners.

 The high school season proves it annually with our area cross country squads routinely having quality teams qualify for the state meet. And during the spring, Fenton’s track and field teams captured Metro League titles once again.

 When summer hits, the running season doesn’t end. There are plenty of racing events for running enthusiasts for anyone at any age during the summer in the tri-county area.

 The first one starts on Saturday with the FirstTry Triathlon at Linden’s Byram Lake Clover Beach and Linden County Park.

 The event includes more than running, however. It starts with a 300-yard swim in Byram Lake, continues with a 9.1-mile bike ride and then ends with a two-mile run through Linden County Park. The event is created for athletes who want to try a triathlon at shorter distances than a traditional one. There are also plenty of competitors who attend the event annually.

 Registration for this season’s race is already closed, but for those who want to witness the race, there will be plenty of action at Linden County Park starting at 8 a.m.

 One of the areas most successful running events also returns this summer when the Wednesday Night Races in the Park begin Wednesday (June 19) at Linden County Park at 6:30 p.m. Races are also scheduled for June 26, July 10 and July 17. This event hosted by Linden Community Education has a half-mile race for kids, a one-mile race, a two-mile race and a three-mile race for people of all ages. The children’s 1/2-mile race begins at 6:30 p.m. with the one-mile event beginning at 6:45 p.m. The two-mile and three-mile races are run at the same time, starting at about 7 p.m.

 The cost of the event is only $2 a person and $5 for an entire family, paid the day of the race. All races are timed and ribbons are distributed to all competitors. Many of the area’s top prep runners began their careers as youngsters running in the shorter races. It’s a perfect event for those who want to find a race for everyone in the family to race at a non-pressured pace in front of a supporting crowd.

 Another event that’s quickly becoming a tri-county tradition is the Wings of Mercy Runway 5K Race held at Linden’s Price Airport on June 22. A large portion of the 5K race is ran on the smooth runway strips at Price Airport, with the 5K event beginning at 9 p.m. It is ran at that time so those finishing in the dark can enjoy the lighting around the runway. The cost of the event is $35 for both the 5K run and walk. There is a one-mile fun run/walk for free at 8 p.m. as well.

 Proceeds go to Wings of Mercy Eat Michigan Inc. They provide free air transportation for patients with limited incomes needing treatment at medical centers within 600 miles of Eastern Michigan.

 For those wanting to get their children excited about running, there is the Linden Summer Track and Field Day Camp being held at Linden High School from June 25 through June 27.

 It is designed to give students from first- to eighth-grade an introduction to track and field events. The athletes will be divided into age groups. The last day of the camp the athletes will compete in a mini-Olympics. The cost is $30 a student. Contact Linden Community Education at (810) 591-0980 for more information.

 The sixth annual Fenton Firecracker 5K and 2.5K Run will begin on July 4th at 9:45 a.m. as well near Fenton Intermediate School on Ellen Street. The race is held along a large portion of the parade route, giving runners a large fan base to cheer them on while trying to complete either the 2.5K or 5K event. Those running the 5K race must maintain a 3.5 MPH pace or move to the side walk due the parade.

 Registration is $25. More information can be found by calling (810) 629-5261.

 The Bastille Day 15K Run and 5K Run/Walk has a tradition of attracting many of the area’s top runners since it started in 2002, and will certainly have many at this year’s July 13 race as well. It starts in downtown Fenton and registration costs are currently $30 with a shirt and $20 without a shirt. Those prices will eventually rise. The event supports Genesee County Habitat for Humanity.

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