March 18 2013 12:00 AM

Mayor Virg Bernero gets pumped up for April's Lansing Marathon

Thursday, Jan. 12 — Lansing mayor Virg Bernero insists the inaugural Lansing Marathon, scheduled for April 22, will put Lansing “on the map in terms of health and economic development.”

The Lansing Marathon will begin in front of the State Capitol and end in front of the Lansing Center on East Michigan Avenue. It is an opportunity for runners, joggers and walkers in the Lansing area to promote health awareness within the community. The registration fee is $100.

The marathon is also an opportunity to showcase the Lansing region, Bernero said, and to support several charity organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Cancer Society, Beekman Therapeutic Center, Greater Lansing Food Bank, Mid-MEAC, Boys and Girls Club and Medals4Mettle. Participants can choose to run for charity, raising funds to support these or any other organization of their choice.

The Lansing Marathon is also expected to be an economic boon for the community. Based on a study of marathons in cities similar to Lansing, the race could boost the local economy by over $7 million during the week of the event.

“I envision a race that not only benefits the local economy, but also raises vast amounts of money for local charities, improves the health and fitness of the overall Lansing community and attracts visitors to Lansing from all over the world,” said Lansing Marathon creator Owen Anderson.

Anderson is an entrepreneur, coach, runner and author (“Great Workouts for Popular Races,” “Aurora” and “Science of Running”). He has been planning what he describes as a “race with a big, big heart” for several months, and said he received an overwhelming amount of support from Bernero and other community leaders earlier this year.

While speaking at a Thursday afternoon press conference, Bernero encouraged everyone in Lansing to volunteer and participate. Although he wore a track suit to the conference, Bernero does not intend to run the marathon personally, however; he says he plans to “walk the race.”

“You don’t have to be a runner to be involved,” Bernero said. “If you can’t run, walk. If you want to make a difference, this is an opportunity to promote your economy and your health by volunteering.”

Besides the race, there will also be a half/5K Lansing Marathon (with a $60 registration fee), and a 1.5-K race for kids (no registration price announced) on April 21.

Participants can register online at, or call race director Anderson at (517) 303 6173.