2015 Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon

Download the finisher certificate – JPG

Download the finisher certificate – PDF


Registration is closed – Seeya Saturday!

Download the log sheet

October 17, 2015

FINAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR RACE DAY (Saturday, October 17, 2015, 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 17, 2015
Time:                      1:30 p.m.
Packet Pick-Up:      12 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 a.m. 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:

U-Z  Greyhound (this group will line up first at the start line**)
A-E  Rabbit
F-J  Cheetah
K-O  Horse
P-T  Ostrich

**PLEASE NOTEEach year we alternate the starting order of the animals to give runners in every group the opportunity to start first. This year the “Greyhound” group (kids whose last names begin with the letters U-Z) will line up first.   As indicated above, the next group will be the the Rabbits, then the Cheetahs, Horses, and Ostriches. 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 Start – 1:30 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 here.)
  • 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, and we especially encourage you to run with 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.

AID STATION. There will be an aid station (water only) on Douglas Street, approximately half-way through the course. Children are encouraged to stop and rehydrate.

Street Closures/Course Marshals: Seward Street will be closed off to traffic for the safety of our runners. Additionally, the short portions of the course along Lake Michigan Drive and Bridge Street will be partially coned off to traffic, and there will be many volunteers and public safety officers directing traffic on the other side of the cones to make sure your children stay safe. Volunteer course marshals will be stationed all along the race course to monitor the event and to cheer on your children! Please take a moment to thank these volunteers for their time!

7.       Race Day Tips:

o    Dress in layers. Rain or shine, you will be outside for packet pick-up and the entire race.
o    Wear a hat if it’s cold. A lot of body heat can be lost from your head.
o    When it is cold, you should warm up and then do some light stretching before you run. GymCo will be at the race site to help with warm-up and stretching.
o    Make sure you are hydrated before the race and that you have had a snack or light lunch before running.
o    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 finisher’s 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 a.m. 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

OAM Metro Sports Medicine

Life EMS

YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids

MyWay Mobile Storage


Gordon Water

Titan Equipment

Klackle Orchards


Grand Rapids Public Library

Kent District Library



Kent Vocational Options

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

Jan and Francine
Francine Robinson – Co-Chair
Jan Host – Co-Chair
2014 Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
Grand Rapids Kids Marathon Committee
E-mail: frobinson58@aol.com -or- jhost@wnj.com

P.S. We will be leaving registration up until Sunday, October 12.