2018-07-12 / Local News

‘Bolt’ could become community fundraiser

By Jen Murphy
of the Enterprise staff

SAWYER SCOTT SAWYER SCOTT Sawyer Scott is working hard to put together what may be Northport’s shortest-ever race, which he’s scheduled for Sept. 1.

But his drive behind the effort is not a love of running.

Scott is big on community, and he hopes the one-mile “Braman Bolt” builds a stronger sense of place at the top of the peninsula.

“I’m a seventh generation resident of Northport, and I feel a really strong attachment to Northport,” said Scott, whose father is Northport graduate and Glen Lake Community Schools superintendent Sander Scott. “I wanted to give back. It’s a way to galvanize the community - something to bring them together… I hope it’s something that will be different and fun and something people look forward to every year.”

The course as designed by Scott creates a “beeline” from Northport Bay to Braman Hill.

And it’s something even he would want to run. Scott prefers to do his running while playing a sport, such as football or basketball.

“I run when there’s something else going on,” Scott said. “That’s why the race had to be a bolt.”

Immediately following the uphill race, participants will be rewarded with lunch on top of Braman Hill. Scott is working to partner with local businesses to create an “after party” featuring grilled hot dogs and other food.

He’s had help in his planning effort. Scott’s partner Jane Lee, who is training for the Chicago Marathon, is helping to organize the race. And community members are mentoring the couple as well.

“We are getting counseling from a number of different sources. It’s been great,” Scott said.

To build his skills, Scott is seeking certification as a race director. He said he anticipates completing the certification by the end of the week.

Northport Village Council member and local business owner Will Harper has offered to sponsor the race.

“I’m very enthusiastic and excited about it, both as a council member and a business owner.

I see no down side, I see a win-win for Northport,” Harper said. “It may be small the first couple of years, but I think it has astronomical potential and it could be huge for Northport.”

The Braman Bolt may be short, but it should also be interesting. A short trail running through Nagonaba Woods is included in the course.

“Some people are concerned about the Nagonaba Woods part,” Harper said. “There are dangerous races everywhere - that’s why you have waivers and whatnot. Having the course go through the woods is something that makes it unique.”

Entrance fees are preliminarily set at $25 for adults and $20 for youth, with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting a local charity or non-profit, said Scott. By local, he means “hyperlocal” — as in a fund or cause in the village or Leelanau Township.

“I think he has a great idea,” Harper said. “These things are not easy to do. It’s going to take a lot of perseverance. I hope he has what it takes to pull it off.”

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