Groundhog Marathon & Half Marathon

Saturday, February 2, 2019 • Grand Rapids, MI • Course Map

Frigid temperatures, possibly snowy ground and — like the 1993 Bill Murray movie — the feeling of repeating yourself over and over await at western Michigan’s Groundhog Marathon and Half Marathon, which makes its seventh annual run on the weekend of Groundhog Day 2019.


The race takes runners through Millennium Park, which lies a short drive from downtown Grand Rapids and, when completed, will feature 20 miles of trails and reclaim some 1,500 once heavily used land for public recreation, which will one day make it about twice the size of New York City’s Central Park.

Runners — and walkers, the race is open to both — start the course in the Meadows just inside the eastern edge of the park, east of Maynard Avenue. From there, the course heads east along the Kent Trail to the Fred Meijer Millennium Trail, a newer paved trail that circles the park.

The course parallels Butterworth in the middle couple of miles and then turns left at the loop, starting a stretch that will head south into the park. There will be a stretch of crushed limestone trail in this section, which will later turn left again, bringing runners all the way back to the starting line area.

Once they’ve made the first loop, runners in the half marathon make two more loops along exactly the route they’ve just run — the loop is about 4.4 miles, or 1/6 of a full marathon — while those running the full marathon make five more loops.

For full marathoners, the race is a certified Boston Marathon qualifying course, organizers note, but they also caution you to be aware that you’ll likely be running in wintry weather. “Don’t plan on the course being free of snow,” they say on the race websiite. “It’s paved, which means no underlying rocks and roots, but that’s about all we’re promising.”

The race is limited to 500 entrants, 250 in each race, and there will also be a warmup single-loop run around the course at 6:30 PM on Friday evening before Saturday morning’s race.

What the Kent Trails look like in wintertime. (Photo by Rachel Kramer/flickr)

What the Kent Trails look like in wintertime. (Photo by Rachel Kramer/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Located in western Michigan, about 160 miles northwest of Detroit and roughly 30 miles west of the shoreline of Lake Michigan, Grand Rapids typically sees February temperatures between 18ºF and 33ºF, while rainfall here hits its lowest point this time of year, though the city sees an average of just over 12 inches of snow during the month.

On the day of the race (Feb. 2), the average low is 15ºF and the average high is 30ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Groundhog Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

8:00 AM

Fees

  • $73 – $93 for the half marathon
  • $83 – $103 for the full marathon
  • $47 – $57 for the 1/6 marathon

Registration

To reserve your spot in the late winter 2019 running of Grand Rapids’s Groundhog Marathon or Half Marathon, register online at RunSignUp.com here.

Official Race Website

www.groundhogmarathon.com

Facebook Conversations

Ever run in the Groundhog Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments box below.

See more races in: February, Michigan

5 comments… add one
  • Joel December 4, 2018, 8:56 am

    Hello, we would love to invite you to be a vendor at the 2019 Healthy and Fit Expo. You can be part of this years highlighted “Racers Row” and advertise your race to the exact demographic of people interested in races. You would only need 3-5 people to sign up to make this a successful marketing tool for your race
    For more information please contact us via phone or e-mail, visit our site https://www.eventbrite.com/e/healthy-and-fit-expo-2019-tickets-43780327137?aff=es2

    Reply
  • Russ martin October 25, 2018, 4:53 am

    Does Friday nite race and doing grand rapids marathon get you special medal?

    Reply
  • Russ martin October 25, 2018, 4:52 am

    Does 1/16 run get hoodie? If you do grand rapids marathon this year and the Friday nite race do you get special medal?

    Reply
  • Kerry Simonton December 21, 2017, 5:17 pm

    Is the race Sat. Feb 3rd? Your web site states that there is a warm up lap Sat. night. Indicating that the race is Sunday. Thanks Kerry Simonton

    Reply
    • Terrell Johnson December 22, 2017, 5:51 pm

      Hi Kerry! Thanks for pointing that out. The warm-up race is on Friday evening, not Saturday, in advance of the marathon and half marathon on Saturday morning.

      Reply

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