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Grand Rapids Marathon

Grand Rapids, MI

Race Dates

2017: Sunday, October 15, 2017
2016: Sunday, October 23, 2016

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Mostly Out and Back
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 49°F (9°C)
Average High: 59°F (15°C)
Average Low: 40° F (4°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 99.21
Course Score: 99.21

Race Size

2016: 1,198 Finishers
2015: 1,331 Finishers
2014: 1,397 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 14.9%
2015: 14.7%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

Marathon Pace Bands

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Course Description

The mostly flat Grand Rapids Marathon course, coupled with typically cool race day weather, can lead to very good PR and Boston Qualifying times.

The course only has a elevation difference of 70 feet between the high and low points. This elevation change is primarily in the small hills between miles seven and twelve.

Marathon Rankings

The Grand Rapids Marathon was the 76th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 71st largest in 2015.

Last year 14.9% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 14.7% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the Grand Rapids Marathon the 95th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 87th highest percentage in 2015.

Its Course Score of 99.21 ranks it as the 147th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 7th fastest course in Michigan.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are within the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Grand Rapids Marathon a PR Score of 99.21. This PR Score ranks it as the 104th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 5th fastest in Michigan.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 656 feet (200m)
Min Elevation: 587 feet (178m)


Ratings & Reviews for the Grand Rapids Marathon

5 Stars from 5 Reviews

review of 2016 Grand Rapids Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Race Tips

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2016 Grand Rapids Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


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!!!

Race Tips

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.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Great hotel options in walking distance to the Y!

review of 2016 Grand Rapids Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


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!

Race Tips

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.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

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.

review of 2015 Grand Rapids Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Great race! Loved the pace teams and support from volunteers along the way.

Race Tips

32 degrees at race time. Beautiful course thru the streets and park trails around Grand Rapids.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2013 Grand Rapids Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Great course both small hills, flat, and great scenery. Very pretty around lake combination of out and back, trails, and asphalt. Perfect weather and great food.

Race Tips

Well organized able to stay in YMCA before race. Great expo and medals pretty cool....

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Great hotel within walking distance.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Grand Rapids Marathon in 3:20:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.