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Grand Rapids Marathon Reviews
5.0 Stars from
By Tami Jo Harmon about 2016
Great state/ending area at (I think) the nation's largest YMCA. The course is absolutely beautiful and the Y gives lockers for your race gear and allows towels and showering when it's over. There's even an early start for the many runners who like the extra time!
What can a runner expect: Great weather, aid stations, and beautiful views.
Arrive early and there's ample parking adjacent to the YMCA
By RBOY about 2016
Flat, well organized, cool fall weather
By CMF about 2016
The best thing about this race is the RD, Don Kern. He is very communicative and understands a runner's mind. This race is definitely built to make everything as convenient for the runners as possible...everything from the expo, to tons of close parking, to the beer tent. The course is beautiful and mostly flat. A great overall experience!
The pacers for this race are excellent, so you can rely on them. After 8.5 miles the half breaks off and the course is much less crowded. In the out and back section the out is a very slight uphill, and the back is perfect timing for a slight downhill. That entire section is shaded. The last 5.5 miles or so have no shade. If you've dressed for cooler starting temps you will want to be able to shed layers in those last few miles.
Read Don's emails! He sends a ton of them and they cover this information extensively. I arrived 45 min before race time and was able to park right across the street from the start line. Don had done his due diligence to make logistics as easy as humanly possible.
By Anonymous about 2016
Very well organized race and a beautiful course! I would have loved a bit more of a bigger beer tent at the finish, given it's Beer City :) Beautiful course, just the right amount of crowd support. I was expecting a few minor hills but the course felt very flat, to me, which was great. Pickle juice on the course was nice. The volunteers were AMAZING!!!
There's a small stretch around mile 24 that isn't very scenic and there is no crowd support (due to location) - just remember you're almost done - the pacers got vocal here (in a good way) - shouting encouragement and counting down to the finish. The pacers were phenomenal.