Grand Rapids will always have a special place in my heart because it’s where I ran my first-ever race, the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K back in 2007. Most recently I ran in GR when three of my best running friends and I participated in the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon this past April. I love this city, its vibrancy (the craft beer scene alone is amazing; it is Beer City, U.S.A. after all), and with great friends and family living in that area, I hope to get to know Grand Rapids even better in coming years (attending ArtPrize, as part of our 15th wedding anniversary, is on our list for this fall.)
But one race I’ve yet to experience, and really want to check out, is the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay. I recently connected with race organizers, including GR race committee member Lisa Rose, to learn more about this year’s event, slated for Sunday, Oct. 19. Best of all, I’ve got a special MRG reader discount code that’ll save you $10 when registering for any of the races.
First, a few fun facts about the event, which is now in its 11th year and expects to attract more than 6,000 participants (in addition, nearly 1,000 kids, along with their parents, plan to take part in the event’s Kids Marathon, held the Saturday of the same weekend):
- The first Grand Rapids Marathon was held on Halloween 2004. Some 930 runners participated.
- In 2013, numbers for the marathon, half-marathon, and marathon relay grew to nearly 4,700. Add to this the “events surrounding the event”—Kids Marathon, with nearly 1,000 kids involved, a volunteer corps of over 1,000, the Run Thru The Rapids 5K & 10K, and a Health and Fitness Expo at the David D Hunting YMCA the day before the race—and participation grew to many thousands.
- In 10 years, thousands of runners from age three to age 80+ have participated in the event. Over two-thirds are from Michigan. Nearly half are from the West Michigan area.
- The GR race committee is hosting the BQ Last Chance Marathon also, as well as the winter Groundhog Day Marathon.
Ready to sign on? Here’s the discount code to use when registering for one of these Grand Rapids races: michiganrunnergirl
Are you running the Grand Rapids Marathon, Half Marathon or Marathon Relay? Have you participated in the past?