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Michigan > Guardian Gals Half Marathon, 10K, 5K & 1-Mile
Gaylord, MI  •  Saturday, October 5, 2013  •  Course Map


The final race in a series of (mostly) Michigan-based triathlon races known as the "Tri To Finish" series, the Guardian Gals Half Marathon -- also called the Making Change Half Marathon -- features a 10K, 5K and one-mile race in addition to the 13.1-miler, all of which start and finish in Gaylord's Otsego County Park along the banks of Otsego Lake.

As the race's organizers note, the event is run as a benefit for Guardian Gals, Inc., a Gaylord-based organization that works to actively engage, educate and offer opportunities for young girls and women in the 6th through 12th grades to learn skills, behaviors and knowledge that enhance their opportunities in life for positive change, to benefit both themselves and the society at large, through a wide range of community service projects, philanthropy, self-care lessons and mentoring by area leaders.

For runners, the race takes place in early October, which should mean brilliant leaf colors on the trees all around Otsego Lake. From the starting line on County Park Road in Otsego County Park, the course takes runners north along Otsego Lake Road, along Old 27 and Old State Road before heading back onto Otsego Lake Road for the last few miles, north along the western side of the lake and back to the finish inside the park.

The race starts on the western side, where the course is largely flat except for some gently rolling hills, especially in the first couple of miles. By the time runners reach the eastern side of the lake, the course switches off the road and onto the earthen railroad grade, to provide the safest route for runners, organizers note.

There's even what race organizers say is this event's "Heartbreak Hill" around mile 10, as the elevation sharply climbs nearly 100 feet between the 10th and 11th mile markers. Just before mile 11, the hill drops equally sharply and brings runners quickly back downhill, and remains largely flat for the rest of the route back toward the park and the race finish line.

Race Weather & Climate

Located near the northern end of Otsego Lake in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, about 170 miles north of Lansing and roughly 230 miles northwest of Detroit, Gaylord typically sees October temperatures that average between 37°F and 56°F, while precipitation amounts just over 3.4 inches for the month, including an average of 2.8 inches of snow.

On the day of the race (Oct. 5), the average low is 40°F and the average high is 61°F.

Course Map

See the race route map for the Guardian Gals Half Marathon

Starting Time

9:30 AM


$20 for the half marathon, if registered by July 4, 2013
$25 between July 5 - September 4
$30 between Sept. 5 - October 5

Fees are the same for the 10K & 5K races


To reserve your spot in the mid-fall 2013 running of Gaylord's Guardian Gals Half Marathon, 10K, 5K or one-mile race, register online at Active.com.

Official Race Website


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SEE ALSO: 12-, 16- and 20-Week Half Marathon Training Plans
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