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Race Dates

2017: Saturday, September 9, 2017
2016: Saturday, September 10, 2016

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Multiple Loops
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 64°F (17°C)
Average High: 74°F (23°C)
Average Low: 54° F (12°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 97.30
Course Score: 99.14

Race Size

2016: 162 Finishers
2015: 112 Finishers
2014: 60 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 32.1%
2015: 59.8%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

Marathon Pace Bands & Elevation Wrist Bands

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Course Description

The Grand Rapids Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon is a 4.08 mile loop course that offers runners plenty of shade, scenic views of Millennium park with its lakes and natural wildlife in a pollution-free setting.

The paved trail provides about a half mile of gentle climb before heading back down the hill. The rest of the loop is almost completely flat.

Marathon Rankings

The Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon (Grand Rapids) was the 311th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 378th largest in 2015.

Last year 32.1% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 59.8% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon (Grand Rapids) the 8th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 1st highest percentage in 2015.

Its Course Score of 99.14 ranks it as the 169th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 8th fastest course in Michigan.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are above the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon (Grand Rapids) a PR Score of 97.30. This PR Score ranks it as the 316th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 12th fastest in Michigan.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 639 feet (194m)
Min Elevation: 594 feet (181m)


Recent Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon (Grand Rapids) Reviews

4 Stars from 1 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2016 Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon (Grand Rapids).   

4 / 5 Stars


The event was well organized, thanks to Don Kern and volunteers.All runners are BQ-minded, I felt the atmosphere and was inspired by it before the race.

Race Tips

Plenty of parking if you arrive 30mins before the race.

In this course, you run a 4-mile loop six times. It might sound boring, but the park is beautiful and has different views for you to distract yourself during the race, if you choose to. 1st mile of the loop is slightly hilly, the rest is almost flat.

Aid station is every 2 miles. Although there are elite tables for your own bottles, I found that not helpful because toss basket for the bottles is too short from the table. Not enough time for enough liquid. The race day was very humid, my body constantly asked for fluid during the 2nd half. And the aid station that is 2 miles apart became very very long for me. I would recommend drink from cups during the 1st half, and carry your own water bottle and gels (take advantage of the elite table) in the 2nd half of the race.

Gel supply is every 4 miles, but gel was given at the end of aid station. So I was forced to use both hand. Unless you stop, it is very difficult to take gel without a lot of water spilled. Not an ideal setting when you get tired during the 2nd half.

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

Most hotels are 10-25 mins away from the course. I stayed at 3 CHEAP hotels during my preparation. Knights Inn on Plainfield Ave (not recommended); Best Western on 28th St (GOOD); and Grandvillage Inn for the race (OK). For some reason, hotel price hiked before the race day.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon (Grand Rapids) in 3:16:00, 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.