ROCHESTER, MI - Runners and walkers aiming to take part in the eighth annual HealthPlus Brooksie Way races had better kick it in gear because time is running short.\r\n\r\nThe HealthPlus Brooksie Way Half Marathon begins Sunday, Sept. 27, morning at 8 a.m. at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University. Online registration ends Thursday at noon. Final registration is available in person on Friday from 3-8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the HealthPlus Brooksie Way Health Fitness Expo in the OU Student Rec Center. Running legend Bill Rodgers is appearing at the Expo to sign copies of his books and posters. Detroit Tigers mascot PAWS will also be in attendance.\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cAs participation in road races around the country are beginning to decline, our numbers are up by 12 percent over last year and there is still a week left to enter the race,\u201d Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. \u201cThis is one of the premier road races in the Midwest. I hope to see at the start line.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe races include a half marathon, 10k and 5k. A Lil\u2019 Brooksie kids race \u2013 sponsored by Fifth Third bank \u2013 features a Diaper Dash, Toddler Trot and Big Kids Race \u2013 is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Meadow Brook Music Festival Complete details for all races including registration are available at www.TheBrooksieWay.com. Kroger, the official half marathon sponsor, offers race applications in all Michigan stores. ASA Builders Supply is the 10k race sponsor. The 5k race is sponsored by First Merit Bank.\r\n\r\nOn Thursday, a pre-race Sponsor\u2019s Reception is being held at The Royal Park Hotel during which winners of the Brooksie Way Minigrant program will be announced. The minigrants, which are supported by HealthPlus and others sponsors, has awarded more than $140,000 for more than 100 programs that support healthy and active lifestyles for county residents.\r\n\r\nThe HealthPlus Brooksie Way is named in memory of Brooks Stuart Patterson, a young father and the son of the county executive, who died in 2007. It has become one of the most popular regional fall half marathons. The 2014 race attracted 6,000 participants. The course begins and ends at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University and includes parts of the Clinton River and Paint Creek trails, Rochester Hills and downtown Rochester.\r\n\r\nA post-race celebration will begin immediately after the races and continue until 1 p.m. on the Meadow Brook Music Festival grounds.\r\n\r\nRunners and walkers who have participated in past HealthPlus Brooksie Way races will note a course modification, which now takes them on Dutton Road. The change was made necessary because Tienken Road is not available due to ongoing construction. New for 2014, timing mats will be placed at the bottom and top of Dutton Road \u2013 between miles nine and 10 on the half mile course. The male and female runners with the fastest times will get a special award for being the \u201cking\u201d and \u201cqueen\u201d of Dutton Road.\r\n\r\nAll half marathon participants receive a long sleeve Brooks technical shirt. All race participants receive finisher medals created especially for the race and also a race photo of themselves at no charge.\r\n\r\nVolunteers are still being sought to help on the Friday and Saturday preceding the race and on race day. Those interested can see what volunteer opportunities are available by checking www.TheBrooksieWay.com.