'Non-wimps' brave the cold at 10th annual Martian Invasion of Races in Dearborn

- There were a couple of not-so-seasonal sightings at this year's Martian Invasion of Races in Dearborn on Saturday.

At the event, there were real-life snow birds in April, and athletes who took the falling flurries and frigid temperatures in stride.

Race organizer Randy Step said the people who ran on Saturday and trained through winter are the "non-wimps."

"These are the tougher runners," he said. "I have a lot of respect for the people that out here today -- there is not a wimp in sight."

Roughly 8,000 runners and walkers took part in the 10th annual event that began and ended at Ford Field park. They weathered the weather to get fit, while following inflatable aliens the entire way.

"Once you actually get moving you get warmed up and it's a lot better," a runner said. "Heading north will be rough -- that wind's a little bad but I'll take it as it comes, and thank goodness it's a short one for me."

There were a number of race options -- something for every type of endurance, inclunding a 26.2 mile marathon, a 13.1 mile half marathon, a 5K and 10K, and even a race for kids.

"The children log 25 miles during the school year and then they're eligible to run 1.3 miles and be a marathoner," said Dearborn Mayor John O'Reilley. "We're going to have probably about 3,000 or more school-age children that will do their marathon finish today."

The goal is to get people moving to fight childhood obesity. A part of the proceeds from Saturday's run will also help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Dearborn Recreation and Parks Department.


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