Bayshore Marathon Race Review and Perks

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This year’s Bayshore Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K features an elite field, befitting its long history of sell-outs. Participants include college champions as well as those striving to qualify for Olympic Trials qualifying times.

Race profits enable TCTC to give back to the Grand Traverse community by supporting TART Trails where runners train, local schools’ running/walking programs, and providing scholarships to students.

The Course

Each year thousands of runners from across the United States gather in Traverse City for the Bayshore Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K which sells out months in advance. Participants travel alongside Grand Traverse Bay along most of their course from its start at Northern Michigan College all the way to its finish at Traverse City Central High School’s track and field complex.

Flat, fast out-and-back courses designed for fast runners are 100% paved and mostly shaded along their route, and lined with gorgeous cherry trees in picturesque neighborhoods lining most of it. Plus, the course itself is relatively gentle on your body with only some gentle hills nearing its endpoint!

Top five finishers in each race receive substantial cash prizes (men: $1,000; women: $500), with an additional $500 awarded to those with BQ times in both gender categories. Bayshore boasts an elite field that features professional athletes, top-25 finishers from Boston Marathon 2023, college champions and many individuals who have competed in Olympic Trials competition.

At registration, participants can take home a complimentary Bayshore Marathon T-shirt featuring their chosen gender size t-shirt featuring our logo for both running and casual wear! It makes an excellent addition to the Bayshore Marathon experience!

NMC has several road closures set up on race morning, which means you should expect significant amounts of traffic around the school and Old Mission Peninsula roads as early as 5 a.m.

The Bib

As soon as the sun rises over Old Mission Peninsula this morning, thousands of runners will lace up their sneakers and set out on an extraordinary journey that measures each step they take. Their journey will lead them all the way to Traverse City for what has become an annual Memorial Day weekend tradition: Bayshore Marathon Half Marathon & 10K will unfold along its scenic waterfront.

This course features stunning Grand Traverse Bay waters on one side and Traverse City’s iconic cherry trees and orchards on the other, starting and finishing on Northwestern Michigan College campus – this marathon course is sanctioned by USATF making it eligible to qualify as a Boston qualifying standard marathon race.

Coach Jared Ward has created an 18-week online training program specifically tailored for this year’s Bayshore competitions, available to all registered participants. His coaching business specializes in helping participants meet their goals while managing busy lifestyles effectively.

All runners who complete a full marathon will receive a short-sleeve technical race shirt and custom commemorative medal at the finish line, and those running in Boston qualifier times will also receive an additional medal. Both races sell out quickly so register soon for either event via our race website; registration transfers may also be purchased if needed for a small fee; please click here for more information.

The Shirt

This weekend in Traverse City will see thousands of runners gather together for the Bayshore Marathon. Each will run for different reasons but all are united in their passion for running which Evie Kellogg inspired during her 43 years on earth.

Bayshore Marathon offers an out-and-back course along the shores of East Grand Traverse Bay that serves as a USATF-certified Boston qualifier with some of the most stunning scenery found anywhere. All participants receive a short sleeve gender-specific tech shirt featuring Bayshore Marathon’s logo as part of their registration.

Playmakers is offering additional Bayshore Marathon merchandise for purchase online through its Playmakers site, though items may not be accessible during race week as they’re being prepared to bring to the expo and finish line area on race day.

The Medal

runners who complete a full marathon will receive a medal honoring them as soon as they cross the finish line, featuring an artistic design inspired by Old Mission Peninsula’s bayside location.

This year’s marathon is sanctioned by USA Track and Field (USATF), making it an essential qualifier for Olympic Trials competition in 2024 in both men’s and women’s marathon races. Event organizers said obtaining this endorsement from USATF was of utmost importance; Dave Taylor and Lisa Taylor qualified and ran in Boston together. Obtaining such approval signifies that an event complies with technical and financial specifications set by USATF that oversees running events nationwide.

This marathon course begins on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College and meanders through one mile of residential neighborhoods before proceeding along East Grand Traverse Bay for most of its course. Here, runners will witness some of Northern Michigan’s most breathtaking scenery, from crystal blue waters on one side of Old Mission Peninsula’s coastline to cherry orchards and vineyards of Old Mission Peninsula’s eastern side. Furthermore, all routes are 100% paved and shaded making for a fast yet comfortable marathon experience!

runners can look forward to an aid station with water and sports drink as well as an incredible post-race celebration at Sirata Beach Resort Pavilion tent, complete with beer garden, food truck vendors, live music and an awards presentation for top male and female finishers in each race. All proceeds from Bayshore Marathon go directly to Traverse City Track Club activities such as running programs for youth within Grand Traverse region as well as post race celebration.

The Experience

Traverse City Track Club hosts its signature Memorial Day race weekend fundraiser – Bayshore Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K. Each race serves as the biggest fundraiser for Traverse City Track Club while proceeds from race entry fees go toward supporting running and walking activities throughout northwest Michigan.

This year, all three races feature elite fields featuring professional athletes, collegiate champions, and potential Olympic Trials qualifiers – meaning local runners have an opportunity to race alongside top professionals while competing with their collegiate counterparts for podium spots in each event.

Heather MacEachern-Tarasick, a fortysomething mother of two from London, Ontario is no stranger to competition; but for Heather she views Bayshore Race Week as much more than just another competitive opportunity; rather it represents her personal quest and has taken years of preparation.

“The course is absolutely fantastic,” she raves, “with its flat out-and-back course running along Grand Traverse Bay’s shores and offering breathtaking views of Lake Michigan as well as Traverse City’s iconic cherry trees and orchards on either side. I hope this review of the bayshore marathon has been helpful.

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