Groundhog Day Marathon, Half Marathon, 1/6 Marathon
JOIN US AGAIN IN 2018. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2 AND SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2018 FOR THE 6TH ANNUAL GROUNDHOG DAY MARATHON.
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We’ve all heard of Punxsutawney Phil, the little furry guy in Pennsylvania who comes out, sees his shadow, and declares six more weeks of winter. Then there’s Augustus T. Groundhog, better known as Grand Rapids Gus. He’s Phil’s much more interesting cousin. Unlike Phil, who it seems can only see shadows, Gus has much better eyesight and can look at a calendar on February 2 and know that spring doesn’t start for six weeks. Gus suggested that instead of lamenting over six more weeks of winter, we should EMBRACE the cold and snow and do something fun.
And so, the Groundhog Day Marathon was born.
It’s a winter running event, in Grand Rapids Michigan. YES! THERE WILL PROBABLY BE LOTS OF SNOW ON THE COURSE.
SATURDAY February 3, 2018
It’s more fun than a person should have while wearing clothing.
- Like the movie, you’ll feel like you’re repeating the same day over and over. A beautiful, snowy (we hope), approximately 4.4 mile course. Splits every 1/6th of a marathon. 8:00 a.m. February 3. 500 Runner limit combined for full and half marathons
- For those of you who couldn’t stay awake through the whole movie. Only three times around.
Moonlight 1/6 Marathon on Groundhog Eve:
- Hey, we’re going to be set up anyway, no sense in just long-distance people having all the fun. 6:30 p.m. Friday February 2, 2018. 200 Runner limit.
- (ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR 2018 STARTS SUMMER 2016)
Ever see the movie? The course will give you the opportunity to relive the same day several times. A total of 6 loops of approximately 4.4 miles on a CERTIFIED course (Yes! You can qualify for Boston!) will have you feeling just a little case of deja vu. Plans are to have two aid stations plus the finish line area. Map is here. Don’t plan on the course being free of snow. It’s paved, which means no underlying rocks and roots, but that’s about all we’re promising.
Race Day Information
1700 Butterworth St SW, Grand Rapids. (It’s the Park HQ just west of the Coke Plant–your GPS might take you to the yard waste dropoff place. If it does, go back toward town and turn right just before you get back to the freeway underpass.)
AID STATIONS Aid stations are at 1, 3, and 4.4 miles. Water and Gatorade at all 3, then a little bit of food (pretzels, cookies) at the third one. We aren’t supplying any energy gel, so bring your supply or pick some up from Striders at the race site. And throw the packets in the trash–it’s winter and we’ll never find them to pick up in the snow.
AWARDS Overall winners (Male & Female) in the full and half get an amazing piece of Groundhog art by local chainsaw artist Jack Eppinga. Other than that, coffee mugs for age group awards (3 deep) and of course, finisher medals for the full or half marathon. FIVE YEAR AGE GROUPS.
COOLEST GROUNDHOG CONTEST We’ll be picking the best dressed Groundhog at 7:30 a.m. on race morning. Check out the details below and see if you are the Groundhog of the Year.
COURSE Yes, we already talked about that. NO, the course won’t be free of snow unless Mother Nature (or some other mother…) deems it so. If it’s really bad we’ll actually groom it so that it’s not as bad as it was in 2014 just to keep people from jumping all over Marathon Don’s back.
HEADLAMPS The Moonlight event on Friday night, (the 1/6 marathon) HEADLAMPS ARE REQUIRED. Striders will be on site with headlamps for sale prior to the event, but please come prepared. (Dude! In 2017 we actually saw the moon!!)
HOODIES To guarantee a hoodie size will be available on race day, please get registered ASAP. Everyone will get the swag, but we don’t wish to have tons of them left over. If you sign up on race day, you’ll have to wait until after the full and half start to make sure we have the right size for you. If we run out, we’ll get you one afterwards. (Oh–there are no XS hoodies)
PACKET PICKUP is at Striders on Chicago Drive in Grandville, Thursday night before the race from 5-8PM, and at the race site (1700 Butterworth) from 4PM – 8PM on Friday night and then beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday.
PARKING The race venue will be limited with parking, (somewhere less than 200 cars). Alternate parking at John Ball Park Zoo, and we’re running a shuttle from 6:00 – 8:00 (two shuttles from 7-8!) Saturday morning so you won’t have to walk from your car to the race site. Shuttles back to John Ball Park afterward too. Ethan got a clicker so we can count cars and only put as many on the site as we can fit. Then you’ll be sent back to the zoo to park.
START TIMES 6:30PM Friday for the 1/6 marathon. 8:00AM Saturday for the full and half marathon.
SWAG Hoodie for each runner in the 1/6, Full, and Half. For those running the 1/6 on Friday, then the full or half on Saturday, you’ll get a hoodie and an embroidered stocking cap. Finisher medals for all 1/6 marathon, marathon and half marathon finishers.
SWITCHING RACES It is allowable to switch from the full to the half (or vice versa if you’re feeling really frisky) but you need to make sure the timers from Classic Race Management know that BEFORE the race. Switching mid-race isn’t cool, but if you happen to do that, you better go up to Jeff or Joe from Classic and talk REAL NICE to him, and maybe he’ll include you in the results anyway. (We have a lot of people get on the course and decide to switch to the half marathon. We can work with that!)
WAVE START Yeah, we tried to do a wave start, but you people seemed content to start at your leisure so to heck with that idea. Competitive runners, be at the starting line on time, and we’ll send you off. After that, the “less focused” runners can cross the starting line–heck, we have chip timing anyway, so you’ll get an accurate time regardless. NOTE: PLEASE START IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF MINUTES. DON’T SIT IN THE TENT HANGING OUT! IT’S NOT GOING TO GET ANY WARMER IN THE NEXT 5 MINUTES.
Interested in being a part of the Sixth Annual Groundhog Day Marathon? Of course you are! Grab an event summary CLICK HERE, then jump over to our contact page, start your message with “SPONSOR,” and we’ll be in touch shortly!
Travel & Hotels
Fly to Gerald R. Ford International Airport GRR