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Big House 5K 2021


Ann Arbor CIL: Beneficiary of the 2021 U-M Big House 5K Race

This year the Ann Arbor CIL is proud to be one of the beneficiary organizations of the University of Michigan’s annual Big House 5K race.

The Big House race takes place every April to raise funds for charities throughout Southeast Michigan. This year, the race is being conducted entirely virtually, enabling participants around the world to be part of this exciting event. Last year more than 7,000 people participated in the virtual race.

As a 2021 beneficiary organization, the CIL will get a small portion of the proceeds from ticket sales. In addition, registrants can designate additional support to the CIL when purchasing a race ticket.

Race date:  April 16-18
Location:  Anywhere!  Runners will complete a 5K run at their convenience, report their time to the race organizers, and take a finish line photo at the location of their choosing.
Registration deadline:  March 15
Registration website:  Click here!

Meet Mark Hymes, Featured Runner

Mark HymesMark Hymes, Program Coordinator for Livingston County, and his service dog, Bogey, are running in this year’s race as the CIL’s featured spokesperson (and spokesdog).

Mark, who has retinitis pigmentosa (RP), says he wants to show that people who are blind or have a visual impairment can still run and compete in a race. “I run in races, and I want to show people that it’s possible. I want to show everyone that even if you have a barrier, you can believe in yourself and go after your goals.” Mark says during the past few years exercise and staying fit have been harder for him to keep up with, and running is part of a personal fitness goal he has to lose weight and be more active again.

Being blind and running, he says, has its challenges. While he has a small amount of vision, he can’t discern uneven pavement or bumps that could cause a fall. In addition, navigating around other pedestrians and staying safe in traffic can be a challenge. “I’m used to this,” he says though, “I’ve been running my whole life.” In high school, Mark ran on the school track team, and in college he even conditioned with the football team. “Running has always been a great way for me to stay in shape,” he says.

Mark will be running with his service dog, Bogey. Ahead of the race, he’ll identify a preplanned route and practice on it to make sure he’s familiar with it. “I know it’ll be one of the parks in Livingston county,” he says.

“I’m so proud to run in honor of the CIL. I’ve been involved with the organization since I was in high school, and I believe strongly in the work we do to promote inclusion for people with disabilities. We need more representation from people with disabilities in our community, and the CIL is helping to make that happen.”

Please join us in cheering on Mark and Bogey!

Support the CIL through the Big House Race

There are many ways you can support the CIL through this year’s race.

To register for the race and make an optional additional donation, visit

To donate directly to the CIL, visit our giving page.

To cheer on Mark and others running affiliated with the CIL, stay tuned to our social media channels for more updates!


UM graphic of Mark Hymes