B2B Trail User Spotlight: Dr. Melissa Sundermann, DO

Meet Dr. Melissa Sundermann, a physician and avid trail enthusiast deeply rooted in the Ann Arbor community.

Since her freshman year at the University of Michigan in 1988, she has called this area home (except for a brief stint recently in the Berkshire Mountains) alongside her spouse of 28 years, a fellow Wolverine, and their two grown children, who now reside in Denver. Their household is lively, with two large furry companions – Ziggy, a Bernese Mountain dog, and Dempsey, a Lab/Great Pyrenees mix.

With over 25 years of medical practice, Dr. Melissa is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. Her passion for staying active is evident in her routine, which includes running, biking, hiking, skiing, and daily walks with her dogs.

Dr. Melissa’s involvement with the Border to Border Trail stems from her close friendship with her mentors Lew Kidder and the late Karen McKeachie (Karen’s Trail). Karen and Lew created an amazing group called the Ann Arbor Running Goddesses, meeting weekly at the University of Michigan track to run and socialize (a lot of socializing went on!). Karen was Melissa’s training partner as she ventured into the world of triathlons and Lew helped coach her to finish three full Ironmans and countless other races.

Following Karen’s passing, Lew honored her legacy by supporting the B2B Trail and the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative (HWPI), drawing Melissa into the fold in 2017. She currently serves on HWPI’s Advisory Board.

Living near Hudson Mills Park, Melissa frequents the trail for her runs and bike rides several times per week…sometimes most days of the week! She loves seeing other runners/bikers/walkers on the trail and feels more safe not having to worry about motor vehicle traffic. She cannot wait for the entire B2B trail system to be built!

On Saturdays, she joins friends for a run from Bandamer Park to the Matthei Botanical Gardens, relishing the camaraderie and scenic beauty along the way.

As a Lifestyle Medicine physician, Melissa is passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles. Dubbed “Doctor Outdoors,” she advocates for spending time in nature as a form of therapy, believing there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

This spring, Dr. Melissa is gearing up for her 11th Boston Marathon alongside two fellow HWPI Board members, a testament to her enduring dedication to fitness and community.

Through her active involvement with HWPI and unwavering commitment to health, Dr. Sundermann embodies the spirit of wellness on and off the B2B Trail.