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Great Michigan Race in Rochester

Metro Detroit residents are ready to help Special Olympics Michigan at this first-ever Oct. 17, 2010 event – and there's a special Metro Parent spot for kids!

Looking for some family fun in the crisp metro Detroit weather – and a way to help a great cause? Then on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, Rochester is the place to be, as the Great Michigan Race arrives to benefit Special Olympics Michigan.

In this new event, four-person teams will compete in both mental and physical challenges over a five-mile span. It's sort of like the CBS show The Amazing Race, culminating with winners racing to the finish line. Although the race itself is for adults, those who aren't participating can show up to cheer everyone on – and watch the action unfold.

But that's not all. If you've got the kids in tow, you won't want to miss the family activities at Metro Parent's very own Family Fun and Fan Park. (Read on for details!)

Meet our 'Doodles' winner

Two local parents are gearing up for "V.I.P." participation in the race. Mom Jennifer Schott of Ferndale won Metro Parent's "The Doodles' Great Summer Adventure Contest." (She also scored a Flip Video cam – perfect for capturing the excitement of the day!)

Maybe you saw The Doodles – Metro Parent's mascot family – hanging out in various cultural institutions this past summer. The Schotts found our illustrated family at the Detroit Children's Museum, The Henry Ford and the Detroit Zoo. Our gang also was at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Cranbrook Institute of Science and the Pontiac Silverdome Drive-In. It was all part of our summer-long promotion of getting up, out and on the go with your kids.

Now, as the winner, Schott and her husband are participating in the ultimate hunt this month. "It sounds like fun!" says Schott.

Family Fun & Fan Park

As a sponsor, Metro Parent is making sure there are plenty of cool activities in store for kids of all ages. The MetroParent.com Family Fun and Fan Park houses everything from music to food and games for the kids.

"The area is truly a fan zone," says Jill Fraeyman, co-founder and organizer of the Great Michigan Race event. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., listen to a live band and the Street Teams from 96.3 WDVD and 93.1 Doug FM – or hang out on the bleachers to watch racers cross the finish line.

And while kids can't tackle the main race, they can totally go for the gusto in the Children's Challenge mini-race – which is packed with fun activities and prizes.

"(Kids) will go from challenge point to challenge point in the park," explains Fraeyman. MetroParent.com's Family Fun and Fan Park is the finish line where prizes are awarded. There, you'll find balloon art, face painting and a meet-and-greet with The Biggest Loser Season 7 winner Helen Phillips.

And for you Star Wars buffs, there are a couple big treats. "We have 17 of the original Star Wars characters coming out in their original costumes," says Fraeyman. Plus, there will be a Battle of the Storm Troopers event. Cool!

"It's going to be a great event for families – just filled with great things to do and see," Fraeyman says. We hope to see you at the Great Michigan Race!

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