Summer in the city: Race around Belle Isle on July 18

Detroit… The 7th annual Escape to Belle Isle – Spirit of Detroit Challenge, a grassroots 5k and 10k run/walk that draws around 800 participants, will be held July 18 at 8:30 a.m. on Belle Isle. The Kids Fun Run of 400 yards starts at 10 a.m.

This summer event, which also features music, face painting, a sketch artist and refreshments, attracts families as well as competitive runners who use it as a training event. Last year, Mike Anderson, of Walled Lake, came in first place for the 10K race and went on to win the men’s division of the Detroit Free Press-Talmer Bank marathon.

The cost is $35 for the 5k/10k and $25 for the Kids’ Fun Run. Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House of Detroit, which offers a home away from home for families whose children are hospitalized for serious illnesses.

The race is sponsored by Kitch Attorneys & Counselors, Absopure, Running Fit, and The Thurswell Law Firm, PLLC. The race was started by Jenna and Milt Greenman of West Bloomfield, both attorneys who run together as a couple. They saw a void in summer runs in the city of Detroit and decided to change that, while raising money for a good cause.

Jenna is a board member of the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit. She and her husband are dedicated to helping raise funds for the Hearts, Hands and Home campaign to benefit expanded services at the new Ronald McDonald House of Detroit at 4707 St. Antoine.

They became aware of how important it was for families to have a place to stay to be close to their children while they are hospitalized through their work on medical malpractice cases.

Jenna, who has run 13 marathons, serves as master of ceremony at the Race to Belle Isle, and calls out runners’ names as they pass the finish line.

Adult registrants will receive a dry-fit tech shirt and custom medal; kids will receive a T-shirt, medal, and trophy. The top male and female in the 5K and 10K will receive a gift card prize ($75 and $100, respectively). Register online at by July 16 (11 p.m.) to guarantee a tech shirt. Participants can also register on race day. Shirt and number pick-up will be from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. on race day at the Belle Isle Casino. A recreation passport or day pass is required for entry to the state park.