The Losee's own Inspirational Races LLC oversees three such events in the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg area each year. Following Saturday's road race, they'll put on the Coast Guard Park Trail Run in Ferrysburg, and in the fall, the Oktoberfest 5K and 10K invades Spring Lake.
All three events benefit the Faith Marie Losee Fund, which is in memory of the couple's daughter who was stillborn in 2006 due to an issue with her umbilical cord.
The fund is set up through the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.
Diane Losee explained that the original organizer of the Heritage Festival 5K, Brian Fett, was inspired to donate proceeds from the race to the children's units at North Ottawa Community Hospital. The Losees have continued that vision, as they've helped purchase used equipment for the neonatal ward at the hospital.
“The doctors let us know what they need, and we'll go out and purchase it,” Diane Losee said.
The Heritage Festival 5K is part of the five-event Lakeshore Challenge 5K Run/Walk Series, which also includes the already-completed Tri-Cities YMCA Klever Innovations Kick-off to Summer Run; the Seaway Run in Muskegon on June 23; Grand Haven High School's Patriot's Day Run on June 30; and the Tri-Cities Family YMCA's Coast Guard Run, presented by North Ottawa Community Health System on July 28.
“If people run at least three out of the five races, they'll be awarded a special mug (at the Coast Guard Run award ceremonies), with the logos of all the events on the mug,” Diane Losee said.
Following Saturday's 5K in Spring Lake, a free kids race will follow, where young competitors will receive a free T-shirt and ribbons for participating.
Runners can register for the race from 4-7 p.m. today on site or on the day of the race from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. The cost to enter is $35 per person or a family rate up to four for $70. They can also visit the event's Web site at www.heritagefestival5k.com.
Losee said runners are attracted to the event, in part due to the scenic course, which features stretches of views along Spring Lake.
“It's a pretty run by the lake,” she said.
Awards will be presented to the overall male and female winners, and medals will also be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in 14 different age divisions.