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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Tom Jones cools down with his son Bradley, 12, after the annual Father’s Day Run for Trails 5K race.

Dads deem family time favorite gift

Steamy weather no deterrent to celebrating Father’s Day

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Megan Brelage, 14, runs with her father, Dave Brelage, in the annual Father’s Day Run for Trails 5K race at Metea County Park on Sunday.

When it comes to traditional Father’s Day activities, there’s not much Dave Brelage, 58, finds appealing.

He’s not a big golfer, he says, and wouldn’t want to spend the day shooting with his daughters or lounging at the lake.

So when his 14-year-old daughter, Megan, suggested that he do an early morning 5K with both of his daughters on Sunday, he took her up on the offer.

By a little after 9 a.m., he had run about 3.5 miles on the winding trails in Metea County Park, trailing his 13-year-old daughter, Abby, by 6 minutes and Megan by 2.

Brelage, who started running with his daughters when they were in middle school, said he was just happy to finish the race, called Father’s Day Run 4 Trails.

“It was a little warm. And it was a little longer than it was supposed to be,” he said. “But they didn’t have to bring the defibrillator paddles out and that’s always a good thing for me.”

The Brelages were one of the hundreds of families who spent part of their Father’s Day outside in the humid weather Sunday.

Some went to baseball games or the park or spent the day playing golf or grilling out.

Mitch Steffen, 46, spent part of Sunday hanging out with his two sons, Nick and Alex, at Putt-Putt Fun Center on Speedway Drive. After a quick round of miniature golf, the three spent some time playing video games in the cool and dark arcade.

In between shooting vampires while playing “House of the Dead,” Nick, 16, talked about the importance of the holiday.

“Dads don’t get much recognition other times, but they go to work and do everything for you,” he said.

Mitch Steffen said his favorite part of Father’s Day was spending time with his family.

“Family is the most important thing,” he said. “Any time I can spend with them always has the best benefit.”

As far as holidays go, Father’s Day came about fairly recently.

It was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.

Credit for starting the holiday typically goes a to Spokane, Wash., woman, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, according to the History Channel’s website.

Dodd made her case for establishing a Mother’s Day equivalent for fathers to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials and eventually convinced Washington’s governor to mark the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910.

Megan Brelage, the cross country runner who took her dad to the Metea race, said she thinks it’s valuable for the country to honor dads.

“I think it’s important because they do so much for us the whole year, and they deserve one day for themselves,” she said.

After the race, Megan and Abby looked up their dad’s time. He ended up with a solid performance, they found, placing third in his age division.