fun and fast (about: 2012)|
A. J. from Ann Arbor, Michigan (5/26/12)
6-10 previous marathons
| 1 Great Lakes Bay Marathon (formerly The Qualifer)
I have run 7 full marathons but only ran the half at this event. It was a wonderful run, extremely flat, and would have been crazy fast if it hadn't been a very hot day (mid-80's by the finish). To the organizers credit, they moved the start time of the half from the scheduled 10am to 8:45 with a rolling start until 10, to let people run ahead of the heat. The organization seemed very good and the volunteers couldn't have been more helpful. More than enough water, Powerade and Gu. The course is a point-to-point. For the full it starts in Midland, Michigan and ends due west in Bay City. For the half it starts at a community college campus midway between. Shuttles provided to both starts from the finish area. It is very rural, going mostly along country roads through farm fields with several houses lining the way. The people who lived along the course made my day! They were out in force and super-enthusiastic, providing ice and extra water, and spraying runners with hoses and sprinklers. I didn't expect much spectator support on this course, but it turned out to be the best part of the race. The finish is in downtown Bay City and had a great atmosphere.
The medals were very nice, and the short-sleeve tech shirt is attractive (has a nice cut to it). Though they were out of size small by the time I got to the expo. The expo was quite small (maybe it had been larger earlier on; I was there toward the end). Standard finish line food and amenities (massage, beer, music). I had a great time and would run this race again, especially for a Boston qualifier (though I've been there, done that, and want to let someone else have a turn).