Sister Four - Join together to run the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Sister Four - Join together to run the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

Sister Four - Join together to run the Free Press Flagstar Marathon

It’s not often that a quartet of sisters run in the same event. The Milczarski sisters, Kathy, Lisa Coleman, Karen Farmer and Janet Wold, ages 50, 46, 45 and 40 respectively are set to step to the starting line of the Detroit Free Press Flagstar Marathon and Half Marathon in two weeks.


Janet, Karen, Lisa and Kathy

Janet plans to run the half while the other three are running the full. This will be the first time all of them have been in the same race. Janet has been running for four years and Kathy eight. Karen and Lisa both started running together thirty years ago. When they were growing up, all four played in tennis tournaments. It feels familiar to them to be in the same sport together, it’s just that they are older.

Offering different distances helped them choose the Free Press. Their dad will be their designated driver to the start. Both parents will be at the finish. Now they all hope to make it to the starting line healthy since everyone knows they are running.

Janet said she enjoys getting the family gossip on the sister runs. Sometimes they stop running because they are laughing so hard. “My husband caught us doing this once, and he thinks we're just out there talking and laughing.” At least two of us usually run together. Kathy will never run by herself and drives over to my house as early as 6 am.”

“Sometimes people will see us in the morning and ask for directions. Big mistake, we're not that good on directions, but we do the best we can. After they take off, we usually realize we've sent them the wrong way.”

Janet is afraid of heights and water, so the race will be a challenge. “I'm not the fastest runner, but running has made me feel good about myself, and gives me a lot of energy.”

Lisa is the most dedicated. She runs up to 60 miles a week. She has completed the Crim 18 times and Boston 7 times, one with Karen, her fastest 3:17 and once with Kathy, her slowest.

Karen surprised them this year by saying she was going to do half marathon. “It seems a coincidence that all of us are finally running a race together. In 1991, I ran the Boston Marathon with Lisa. I have run Race for the Cure with Kathy several times and usually do the 5K at the Free Press Flagstar Marathon.”

Kathy considers her sisters as her personal running club. Like sisters they sometimes argue. “It isn’t unusual we start to argue on our runs and this scares our mom. Janet changes the subject when they do. When friends join our runs they just laugh and let us carry on. Usually one of us acts as a buffer.”

According to Kathy, “Lisa tends to run faster. Once she reprimanded us for running slower and told us it hurt her legs to run so slow. We had stopped running because we were laughing so hard. On another occasion she had her hands on her hips asking me why I was running so slowly. I told her that no matter how much she yelled at me it wouldn’t make my legs go faster. But she is a tough runner and helped me qualify for Boston.”

According to Lisa, “Our family obligations make it hard for all of us to run together. The Marathon has motivated us to do our long runs as a family. ”