Michigan > Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon, Half Marathon & Relay
Grand Rapids, MI • Sunday, October 20, 2013 • Course Map
Thanks to its gentle, forgiving fast and flat course, the Grand Rapids Marathon, Half Marathon & Relay is considered an excellent road race for first-time marathoners or half marathoners, with a route that begins at about 610 feet above sea level and never rises higher than about 660 feet or lower than its lowest point of about 580 feet above sea level.
The attractiveness of the course combined with its relative ease has quickly made it a popular race, as the fall 2012 running of the event saw more than 3,500 runners cross the finish line in both races combined -- including 1,978 finishers in the half marathon.
When they set out to design the course for both the 26.2-mile event and the 13.1-mile event, race organizers say they wanted to avoid the "big city races through concrete canyons" kind of experience so common at other marathon and half-marathon events. So they created a course that features the bulk of its mileage inside Grand Rapids' Millenium Park, an urban park which is still under development but will be twice the size of New York City's Central Park when complete.
From the starting line at the corner of the city's Winter Street and Blumrich, the race's out-and-back course follows a mostly southwestern direction toward the park, which also connects the area's four major cities together -- Wyoming, Grandville and Walker with Grand Rapids. While the race's first half takes runners along the park's northern edge along Butterworth Street, the second half features ample views for several miles of the Grand River, which flows through the center of town.
Because of both the time of year and the location of the course, through lots of tree-lined parks and green space areas, there's plenty of fall color on display, with all the reds, oranges and yellow leaves of the season turning and nearing or hitting their peak.
The race is also walker-friendly, and features a 7:00 AM starting time for walkers -- which race organizers call the "velocity challenged." The race starting time for runners is 8:00 AM.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled in the central-southern part of the state, about 30 miles from the shores of Lake Michigan to the west, the city of Grand Rapids typically sees early fall weather that ranges from mild and breezy with occasional rain to outright cold conditions.
In October, monthly temperatures average between 40°F and 60°F, while precipitation amounts average around 2.8 inches for the month. On the day of the race (Oct. 20), the average low is 39°F and the average high is 58°F.
View the race route map for the Great Turtle Half Marathon
8:00 AM - runners
7:00 AM - walkers
$84 for the half marathon, if registered by May 15, 2013
$94 between May 16 - August 15
$104 between Aug. 16 - September 30
$114 between October 1 - 18
$120 at the race expo, if not sold out
To reserve your spot in the fall 2013 running of the Grand Rapids Marathon, Half Marathon or Relay, register online at MarathonGuide.com.
Official Race Website
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