Central Michigan University Enrollment and Student Services division administrator Brad Kloha is close to culminating his crusade to run 100 races in 52 weeks and raise $1 million for his Run to Remember foundation.
An intense athlete who thrives on grueling obstacle and challenge races, Kloha, a native of Freeland, developed Run to Remember as a way to honor his Grandma Brinkman and Great-Grandma Lydia Kloha. Both had Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.
With 95 races logged and $21,465 raised so far, and despite countless cuts and bruises, pulled muscles, and running-related injuries, his fire is still fueled by his passion for raising Alzheimer’s awareness. Through it all is the photograph of his Grandma Brinkman that Kloha carries with him.
“That’s the symbol of hope for me and the reminder that this is not for me, it’s for everyone affected by Alzheimer’s,” Kloha said. “I know the emotional pain and hardship that families currently watching their loved ones battle the disease are going through right now. Whatever pain or exhaustion I might be feeling pales in comparison to that.”
The Run to Remember campaign started on June 15, 2013, with the Savage Race in Zanesfield, Ohio. Kloha’s been all but nonstop since then, often competing in as many as three obstacle races in different states during any given weekend. He has raced in over 15 states during the past 50 weeks.
The final race on his schedule, No. 100, is the Run to Remember Finale 5K Run/Walk at 10 a.m. June 14 in Mount Pleasant. This last race is meant to encourage people of all ability levels to come out and join Kloha in the last lap of his yearlong endeavor.
Both the run and walk will start and finish near the CMU Student Activity Center, Events Center and Kelly/Shorts Stadium located at 360 E. Broomfield Rd. Cost for both the run and walk is $25 until June 12, with special pricing for kids — ages 6 to 12 are $10 and under 5 are free.
Secure registration is available online at runtoremember.net and all participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, with those registered by June 2 guaranteed their shirt size. Registration also will be available onsite the day of the event for $35.
A post-race celebration, silent auction and raffle will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hunter’s Ale House, 4855 E. Bluegrass. Twenty percent of all food and beverage sales will go to Run to Remember.
“I know at the end of all of this, I’ll be able to look back on Run to Remember as a year I dedicated my life to something I’m really passionate about,” Kloha said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to see that I helped create greater awareness and impact for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, as well as helping those caring for a loved one with the disease or someone currently battling the disease.”