Fred Meijer Running Relays announced today that its annual running event called “The Fred” will transfer ownership to local nonprofit, West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition (WMTGC). Now in its ninth year, the 2019 relay takes place Aug. 9 and 10. The event consists of 200-, 100-, and 50-mile relays stretching from Grand Rapids to Cadillac and back – all on the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park.

Howard Atsma and Doug Bostian, founders and former race directors of the relay, believe the transfer of ownership will be a great next chapter for the future of the event.

“I love the regional trails in West Michigan,” Bostian said. “Transferring ownership of this great event to West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition is a natural, as the proceeds will directly benefit our extensive trail network.”

John Morrison, executive director of West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition, said The Fred should be a signature event for the coalition allowing the organization to promote the regional trails while raising much needed funds to further develop them.

“We’re excited to take ownership of The Fred as it’s an established quality event in West Michigan that takes place along the whole 93-mile length of what many consider our region’s anchor trail,” Morrison said. “I’ve been involved in the race numerous times. It’s a fun and challenging race and I’m thrilled that West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition can build on what Doug Bostian and Howard Atsma have built.”

Registration for the 2019 Fred relays opens on April 1. Last year’s relay had more than 350 participants on teams of 6 to 12 people challenging themselves on segments ranging from 2 to 9 miles each. Register for the relay here.