Well-Organized Showcase of Northern Michigan (about: 2013)|
R. K. from East Lansing, MI (10/8/13)
1 previous marathon
| 1 Sleeping Bear Marathon
I ran this as my first marathon, and overall it was a great experience.
The course takes you from Empire to Glen Arbor via rural highways and country roads. It showcases the forests and dunes of the area. I was disappointed in the very minimal lake views, though there were some. My only complaints would be the cambered roads, which get very painful towards the end. There were some major (to me) hills in the beginning and end of the out-and-back.
The organization was great. The medals were the same for the full and half, but with different lanyards. However, they ran out of half lanyards and gave some of the halfers the full lanyards. (Not sure how this happened since far more people registered for the half.) I narrowly averted disaster in the final miles when the volunteers manning the mile 24 turn-off had abandoned their posts. If I hadn't been looking for the mile marker already, I would've missed the turn completely.
Very minimal spectators, but the course remained open, so racers with spectators were able to meet them along the course almost as much as they wanted. Local residents were supportive, and everyone followed police/volunteer instructions at intersections.
This race was a little early in the year for the leaves to have changed colors, but it was still very scenic. A nice, small, no-stress race with plenty of views.