After a two-year hiatus, the Brookhaven Run is back. The 36th annual 5K returns with a new route after COVID-19 forced the event to be canceled in 2020 and 2021.

Gus Thompson, Brookhaven Run race director, said he feels like the time is right to bring the event back.

“For the last two years, i didn’t feel comfortable having the event like this with COVID-19,” Thompson said. “So I waited to see what Omicron was going to do, and then I decided if I keep waiting for COVID to go away to resume the Brookhaven Run, I am going to be waiting for another 10 years.”

The race, which usually benefits the cross country programs at Norman and Norman North High schools, will only benefit Norman High this year. Due to the late scheduling of the event, Norman North had to opt out.

“For the last 15 to 20 years, the money has gone to the two high schools, but by the time we decided to bring the event back, Norman North had already scheduled an event out of state,” Thompson said. “So this year only, the money will go to Norman High, and then next year we will go back to splitting it between the two high schools.”

Norman High cross country coach Scott Monnard said the community’s support helps his team tremendously.

“When you have as many kids as we do on the team, it gets pretty expensive,” Monnard said. “So this is something that is critical for us to enhance our program. It’s a sport where we have to recruit and we have to pay for a lot of other things.”

He asks his team puts in the work to make sure they understand how huge the event is for them.

“The kids understand this is what funds their season,” Monnard said. “So it’s really good for them to volunteer a couple of days during the season for as much money as they get.”

The new starting and finishing lines will be at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 3939 W. Tecumseh St., with the route making its way through the Castlerock and Carrington Place neighborhoods.

The race starts at 8 a.m. Sept. 17, with a water stop at the halfway point. The cost is $25 before the race and $30 the day of. Shirts cost an extra $5.

Registration is available at bit.ly/3B7ZbN8. For more, visit bit.ly/3x9xWRm.

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