Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Grand Rapids Kids Marathon

FINAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR RACE DAY (Saturday, October 19, 2013, 1:30 p.m.)

Dear Runners,

Race day is almost here!  Congratulations for all the hard work you have put in during your months of training!  By now you should be noticing how much stronger your body feels from regular exercise and from eating the kind of foods your body needs to stay healthy and strong.

You are now ready to become “real” marathoners this weekend.  We can’t wait to see you!

Here is some important information for Race Day for you and your parents.  There is a lot of information to read, but please be sure to read it all the way through.

1.     Race Information:

Date                  Saturday, October 19, 2013
:                   1:30 p.m.
Packet Pick-Up12 pm – 1 pm
Location:            David D. Hunting YMCA
                            475 Lake Michigan Dr
                            Grand Rapids, MI 49504

2.     Parking:

Kids Marathon participants, spectators, and volunteers park for FREE in the GVSU Student Parking Garage on the corner of Lake Michigan Drive and Winter.  Parking will be open from 10 am to 4 p.m.  Enter from Lake Michigan Drive.

3.     Packet Pick-Up / Runner Check-in:

For Packet Pick-Up, go immediately to the north end of the YMCA parking lot and look for the Kids Marathon Packet Pick-Up Tent. You DO NOT need to go into the YMCA.

Packet Pick-Up/ Runner Check-In is from 12 pm – 1 pm

Note: Over 800 runners will be checking in during packet pick-up. Therefore, please allow yourself enough time to check in and enter the runner chute.  If you check in early (but please, no earlier than 12 noon), there will be some activities to do while waiting to enter the runner chute, including dancing and warm-up with GymCo, and music provided by TJ the DJ. 

Packet pick-up will be broken up into groups alphabetically by LAST NAME.  Look for the animal that corresponds to your last name at the Packet Pick-Up Tent:

A-E Rabbit
F-J Cheetah
K-O Horse
P-T Ostrich
U-Z Greyhound

4.     Race Line-Up – 1:20 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.:

Children will line up in the start chutes in groups, alphabetically by LAST NAME. (We group the children alphabetically, instead of by age, so that families can run together.)  Look for the animal that corresponds to your last name and line up by the signs:

P-T Ostrich
U-Z Greyhound
A-E Rabbit
F-J Cheetah
K-O Horse

PLEASE NOTE:  In past years we lined up runners in alphabetical order starting with “A” (the “Rabbit” group).  We now alternate the starting order each year to give runners in every group the opportunity to start first.  This year the “Ostrich” group (kids whose last names begin with the letters P-T) will line up first.  As indicated above, the next group will be the Greyhounds, the Rabbits, the Cheetahs, and then the Horses.  For safety purposes, runners will start in waves based on the groups above.

Finally, we understand that there are some very fast runners, especially the older children, who would prefer to start in the front of the group instead of lining up alphabetically (since lining up alphabetically may mean that they end up at the back of the pack).  This is permissible, if you and your family have agreed to this arrangement.

5.     Race Start1:30 p.m.:

National Anthem: 1:25 p.m.
Race Start: 1:30 pm

6.     Race Course:

The course is an out-and-back (1.2 miles), starting and finishing at the actual Start/Finish Line of the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon.  Runners will start on Winter Avenue by the YMCA parking lot. The course then runs as follows:

  • From the Start Line, run south on Winter Ave. to Lake Michigan Drive.
  • Right (west) on Lake Michigan Drive, one block to Seward.
  • Right (north) on Seward to Bridge Street.
  • Left (west) on Bridge Street to Lexington.
  • Left (south) on Lexington to Douglas.  (Aid station on Douglas)
  • Left (east) on Douglas to Seward.
  • Right (south) on Seward to Lake Michigan Drive.
  • Left (east) on Lake Michigan Drive to Winter.
  • Left (north) on Winter to the Finish Line!

Parents are welcome to run with their children on the course.  Parents are welcome and encouraged to run with their children, especially the very young children.  If you want to take photos of your children during the race, please be cautious of the runners around you, and step off the race course if necessary.

Strollers:  If you are running with a stroller, please stay on the side of the road.

NEW THIS YEAR!  We listened to your suggestions last year and will be adding an aid station (water only) on the Kids Marathon course!

7.     Race Day Tips:

Dress in layers. Rain or shine, you will be outside for packet pick-up and the entire race.

Wear a hat if it’s cold.  A lot of body heat can be lost from your head.

Make sure you are hydrated before the race and that you have had a snack or light lunch before running.

Port-A-Johns will be available at the race site.

Packet Pick-Up begins at 12 noon.  Please respect the volunteers who are setting up and refrain from asking for your race packets earlier than noon, as the volunteers may not be ready to assist you.

If you have any questions, look for any of the Grand Rapids Marathon staff.

8.     Post-Race Refreshments:

Water and snacks will be served following the race in the post-race food area, which is located just past the area where the children will receive their finisher’s medals and certificates. Snacks will include bagels, apples, bananas, string cheese, yogurt, and Culver’s ice cream.

9.     Inclement Weather Procedure:

It is our goal to allow the kids to complete their marathons regardless of weather. However, safety will not be compromised when making a determination.  We will cancel the race if there is lightning or other severe weather.

If the race is canceled, we will post a notice on the website at www.grandrapidsmarathon.com by 11 am on Race Day. Runners can still pick up their race packets and t-shirts on Saturday at the David D. Hunting YMCA.

10.   Sponsors & Community Partners:

We could not put this event together without the support of our Sponsors, Community Partners, and Media Partners. A great BIG thank you goes out to:

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
Gazelle Sports
Metro Health Sports Medicine
Karl Orthodontics
Life EMS
Robinsons Fruit Shoot
YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids
MyWay Mobile Storage
Gordon Water
Titan Equipment
Klackle Orchards
Grand Rapids Public Library
Kent District Library
WGVU Engage Health Committee

We’re looking forward to seeing your smiling faces on race day!

Jan and Francine

Francine Robinson – Committee Chair
Jan Host – Co-Chair
2013 Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon Committee
E-mail: jhost@wnj.com -or- frobinson58@aol.com

Download the 2013 Kids Marathon Log Sheet to track miles: CLICK HERE FOR LOG SHEET.