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Michigan > The Qualifier Marathon & Half Marathon
Bay City, MI  •  Sunday, May 20, 2012  •  Course Map

With some races, the name says it all. If you've ever wanted to run in any of the country's elite marathon events like the Boston or the New York marathons, but didn't have a good enough qualifying time or even have a recorded race time at all, then the Qualifier Marathon & Half Marathon in Michigan's Great Lakes Bay region may be exactly what you're looking for.

The race is designed with as fast and flat a course as can be had here just off the shoreline of the Saginaw Bay, between Midland and Bay City. While runners in the full marathon will follow a race route that starts at Loons Stadium in nearby Midland, runners in the half marathon will start closer to Bay City, along Delta Road near the campus of Delta College.

From there, the half marathon route takes runners first onto the campus and around the road that circles the college, and then back out onto Delta Road, starting off a zig-zag-shaped route that gradually makes its way northeast toward the finish in Bay City. Along the way, runners will make their way along wide-open rural roads that are nearly all flat and fast, with farm fields on either side of the roadway as far as they eye can see in the early miles.

Once runners have passed the half-way point of the race along East Hotchkiss Road and are heading east and then later north toward Bay City, the course slowly starts becoming less rural and more suburban, as runners slowly make their way toward the city. They'll pass by golf courses and residential developments along Hotchkiss and 3 Mile Road, and then the home stretch becomes denser with buildings, homes and parks as runners make their way east along Midland Road.

Runners cross the finish line on Midland right after passing by Pershing Park, in the historic district of Bay City's Westside neighborhood. The scheduled starting time for the half marathon is 10:00 AM (the full marathon starts at 7:30 AM), and the race will be open to both runners and competitive walkers, organizers note. Proceeds from the race go to benefit a pair of locally based charitable organizations -- the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, which is raising money to build the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail system, and the Crim Fitness Foundation.

To get an idea of the time you'll need to make in order to qualify for upcoming Boston or New York Marathon races, be sure to check the race website.

Race Weather & Climate

Located near the southern end of Saginaw Bay in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, about 115 miles north of Detroit, Bay City typically sees May temperatures that average between 68°F and 48°F, while rainfall totals average just under 3.5 inches for the month, making May the city's second-wettest month of the year. On the day of the race (May 20), the average high is 69°F and the average low is 49°F.

Course Map

View the race route map for the Qualifier Half Marathon


$65 for the half marathon, if registered by November 30, 2011
$70 between December 1 - 31
$75 between January 1 - March 31, 2012
$95 between April 1 - May 19
No registration on the day of the race


To reserve your spot in the late spring 2012 running of Bay City's Qualifier Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at the event website.

Official Race Website


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