18th annual Simsonian 5K Kick-Off Classic carries on

Charity Event Goes Virtual


“We know the what, the why, and the how.  We just didn’t know the who and the where.” 

The 18th Annual Simsonian 5K Kick-Off Classic, which has become a Downriver tradition, has adapted to the time and tribulations of life in the summer of 2020.  

The race, originally scheduled to be run in person on Saturday morning, Aug. 15, 2020, at Grosse Ile High School, will now be an entirely virtual event—making it your race, at your pace, at your place.

Race organizers, faced with cancelling the event due to the restrictions placed on Americans due to the still-raging global pandemic, had to overcome the second whammy—the closure of the County free bridge.  To race or not to race, that was the question 

Friends of Sims directors Jim Okler, Ray Geist, and yours truly reached out to road race gurus

Gary Olsen of Race Timing Services; Grosse Ile’s own Rock CF founder, Emily Schaller; MSU senior Katie Kobiljak; Development and Events Coordinator Anna Blakeslee; Lakewood High School Athletic Director Mike Quinn; master Marauders Michael Pehote and Max Bailey; the Sims Family; and anyone else who would listen.  

The result: The show must go on.  

We will still hold the fund-raising Simsonian 5K Kick-Off Classic, but it can be done whenever the heck you want to do it.  How’s that for Freedom!

Runners, walkers, crawlers, or somnambulators, can register at runsignup.com at a flat fee cost of $30 for all ages and categories. Your entry fee includes your race bib, coveted Simsonian 5K T-shirt for 2020, and covers all postage and handling.  Race packets will be either socially distanced-hand delivered or mailed out the week of Aug. 10, 2020.

Once you sign up, you can use your GPS in whatever form you have, to participate in the 1 Mile Fun Run, or race your 5K (3.1 miles).  

Whichever distance you choose, the window of competition must be completed between Saturday July 4, 2020 to Saturday Aug. 22, 2020—so, you have a l-o-n-g time period to get your run in.  

If you don’t have a GPS, you can manually submit your results on-line based on the honor system.  No “if you’re not cheatin’, you’re not tryin” allowed.  There is a donation option if you wish to support the cause and don’t want to run at all!

Once you register, an email will be sent to you with all of the information you need to upload your results and photos to see how you rank among the other racers. 

The awards for the 18th Annual Simsonian 5K Kick-Off Classic Virtual are the same as the regular race would be.  5K First Place Male/Female Overall;  Gold, Silver, and Bronze—Male/Female age groups:  12 & under;  13-15; 16-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60 & over.

There may be some virtual surprises along the way.

Yes, we still will be having raffle prizes for registered runners. Contrary to popular belief, we are not giving away free rides in Sims’ 1980 Chevy Cavalier.

The 18th Annual Simsonian is held in memory of beloved Grosse Ile High School teacher and coach, Steve Sims, who died unexpectedly of a dissecting aortic aneurysm in 2003. Sims touched many lives throughout his career as an educator, and was the winningest coach in Grosse Ile history in Girls’ Basketball, and Girls’ Track and Field. 

All proceeds from the race, virtual or not go to a scholarship given to an outstanding female scholar/athlete at GIHS.  More than $40,000 has been awarded throughout the history of the race. 

So, come join us as you can to support a great time and an even better cause.  ‘Cause, This Is the Spirit that Made America.”

Register now at runsignup.com.  You are virtually guaranteed to have a good time.