Overall Rating
Overall Rating (7 Reviews)
4.7
(7 Ratings)  (7 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.1
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
3.7
Founded in 2004, the Grand Rapids Marathon delivers a fun, highly personal, authentic race experience, particularly for runners who value a well-organized, personal experience over the chaotic, crowded fields of “big city” races through ”concrete canyons.” We are a race that supports every runner – no one is a stranger … MORE
Local Weather (Oct 16):
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H (°F) 55 51 53 54 58
L (°F) 47 34 44 38 44
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Recent reviews

    Baroquen131 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I chose this as my Michigan race and am happy I did. The race director and his crew are passionate about what they do and it shows. All of the … MORE

    I chose this as my Michigan race and am happy I did. The race director and his crew are passionate about what they do and it shows. All of the little things that can make or break a race were done well. Plenty of porta-pots. Well stocked, plentiful aid stations. Well marked course. Efficient packet pick-up/expo. Great swag – a nice medal, traditional socks, a gaiter and a nice race shirt.
    It’s not a large race (numbers probably down being the first year back after the pandemic) but you can tell that the crew & volunteers care about your experience, and throw in a little bit of fun to boot. (The obvious example would be the “Celebrity” Pace Groups, based on the marathon results of the rich and famous… the 3:14 “Pi” group, the 4:13 “Kevin Hart” group, the Oprah and Dubya paces… etc. A nice touch).
    The course is largely flat, scenic in spots and not so scenic in others. There are some downtown segments and some park/lake/bike path stretches and it makes for a fine overall circuit.
    The weather this year was nearly perfect and all of these factors led to running my best race time since March 2017. Add in some great bar/restaurant spots I found near my hotel, and this was probably one of my favorite races in recent seasons. Your mileage may vary – but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    hmlewis FIRST-TIMER '21

    I loved this small city marathon. As a walker I felt welcomed, not just tolerated. Especially appreciated the early start for the velocity challenged. There were changes due to COVID … MORE

    I loved this small city marathon. As a walker I felt welcomed, not just tolerated. Especially appreciated the early start for the velocity challenged. There were changes due to COVID so I can’t really address what the expo would normally be. But the volunteers were great. The race director and his frequent emails were informative and humorous. The course is almost pancake flat with most of it being shaded. This was my 23rd marathon, 4th as a walker after knee replacements. I would recommend this race for runners and walkers alike.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Runnerdoug FIRST-TIMER '21

    Race combines the beautiful Grand Rapids downtown area with a run through rural road and a beautiful park and paved pathway. Perfect weather with 40's for the start and 50's … MORE

    Race combines the beautiful Grand Rapids downtown area with a run through rural road and a beautiful park and paved pathway. Perfect weather with 40’s for the start and 50’s to finish. Well run, great on-course volunteers, and many cheering spectators. Would consider doing it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    abbjmc FIRST-TIMER '19

    The race director, Don Kern, is what makes this race so great. He is extremely dedicated and makes sure this race is perfect. You'll get fun weekly emails from him … MORE

    The race director, Don Kern, is what makes this race so great. He is extremely dedicated and makes sure this race is perfect. You’ll get fun weekly emails from him leading up to race day and he makes sure to stand at the finish and shake each finisher’s hand.

    The logistics are smooth. Packet pickup was a breeze. You get to wait inside the YMCA before the race (and use its bathrooms, or the plentiful port-a-potties). All the aid stations were well-run, with volunteers clearly denoting the water vs. Gatorade. Miles are all clearly marked. The pacers seemed on point (although I didn’t use them). Easy spectator spots are clearly marked.

    There are some mentally tough parts of the course (the quiet of Millennium Park, a long out and back on Indian Mounds Road), but in all, the course is fun with a good go around the city followed by a scenic tour of fall colors.

    Overall, a very fun race race in a great city.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    nkrusic REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Race was a little hillier than I had anticipated, but I have NO hills in my home town where I train! Expo was simple but nice! Liked that was able … MORE

    Race was a little hillier than I had anticipated, but I have NO hills in my home town where I train! Expo was simple but nice! Liked that was able to exchange shirt at end of run. Water was flooding the course at places and volunteers were furiously working to remove. All the volunteers were so good!! Course was well stocked and communication leading up to event was exceptional. Appreciated being able to take a shower at the “Y” before heading home. And shaking the race directors hand at the end was a bonus. You can tell he takes the small details to heart and the event showed that. A little pricey overall, but a solid event.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    dchaplin1990 FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race was beyond amazing, and was very well run. the medal is super cool, and great on course support and thounsads of spectator support. All of the views were … MORE

    This race was beyond amazing, and was very well run. the medal is super cool, and great on course support and thounsads of spectator support. All of the views were stunningly beautiful, and i would strongly recommend this race to anyone

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    KatieD FIRST-TIMER '15

    This is a well organized event. The race director and volunteers are very friendly. This is a smaller event with a half marathon and marathon relay starting at the same … MORE

    This is a well organized event. The race director and volunteers are very friendly. This is a smaller event with a half marathon and marathon relay starting at the same time. The first 5 miles or so is in downtown Grand Rapids, then it heads out onto paved trails in Millennium Park for the majority of the race. You get very scenic views of the park with it’s lakes and the Fall colors are spectacular. The park is well shaded. There is a long out and back section in the park. The course is fairly flat and fast. The aid stations are plentiful and have a variety of food and drinks, including pickle juice. The finish line is the same as the start, ending at the Grand Rapids YMCA. You are allowed into the Y for showers after the race. Unlimited New Holland Brewery Beer at the Beer Garden afterwards, which is a bit crowded.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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