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Kozloff Helps Huntington Woods Earn National Running Honor

Ed Kozloff loves running and Huntington Woods, where he has lived in the same home since 1971.

So, he’s particularly proud to say Huntington Woods has earned a Runner Friendly Community designation from the Road Runners Club of America (RCCA), the largest running club in the United States with 1,500 affiliated clubs and 200,000 members.

The RCCA made the announcement last month, naming Huntington Woods one of eight cities across the nation to receive the designation for 2017.

“It’s a great honor for the city,” said Kozloff, who prepared the city’s application for the award along with Huntington Woods resident Alex Cooper.

With sidewalks on 99 percent of streets, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps in 99 percent of intersections, running tracks at Burton Elementary School and Burton Community Park, and the ability to run on every street, a total of 25 miles, without crossing a major intersection, it’s easy to see why Huntington Woods received the honor.

“Plus, we have great support from our police department and other city departments,” Kozloff said.

Huntington Woods has been the site or a portion of the site of 150 road races since 1980 including two historic races, both directed by Kozloff through the Motor City Striders, of which he’s been president since 1975.

The largest first-time road race in state history was the 5K Run the Reuther held Dec. 10, 1989, on a new stretch of Interstate 696 before it opened to vehicles.

About 5,000 participants ran on the freeway between Woodward Avenue and Coolidge Highway.

Kozloff was race director for Detroit’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure from 1992-2016. There were more 30,000 participants in the Komen event at the Detroit Zoo in 2000, which remains the record for the largest road race in the state.

“I remember we bused people to the zoo from Hazel Park Raceway,” Kozloff said.

Also named a 2017 Runner Friendly Community by the RCCA were Holland, Mich., Frederick, Md., Golden, Colo., Ithaca, N.Y., Memphis, Tenn., Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., and Sheboygan, Wis.

Kozloff himself earned an honor from the RCCA last winter when the organization held its national awards reception and banquet in Detroit.

He received a President’s Award for his dedication and service to the running community.

Kozloff’s tenure as Motor City Striders president — 42 years — is probably the longest of any RRCA-affiliated club.

He grew the club from a handful of members in the 1970s to one of the six-largest running clubs in the country in the 1980s and 1990s.

From 1959-2005, the Striders put on an average of 26 races per year, including more than 30 annually in the 1990s. It now organizes seven to eight races a year.

Kozloff has directed more than 1,000 races, including the Motor City Marathon and its successor, the Detroit Free Press Marathon.

Charitable contributions from races Kozloff has directed total more than $40 million.

His races have two driving principles: an accurate, well-marked course and an affordable entry fee so individuals of all abilities and backgrounds can participate in road racing.

Kozloff says road racing is undergoing its third boom since he became the Striders’ president.

The first was in the 1970s; the second in the 1990s. Now there’s a boom because of technology that makes it easier than ever to organize a race and determine results.

Gone are the days when timing was done by hand and competitors were given a numbered tongue depressor with the place they finished.

Kozloff, 74, retired from Warren Consolidated Schools in 2005 after 36 years as a health, physical education, social studies and science teacher. He served as coach of men’s and women’s cross-country at Schoolcraft College in Livonia from 2008-2015.

He and his wife, Susan, have three children.

Send tips to stevestein502004@yahoo.com.

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