Last Chance BQ.2 - Grand Rapids

Sat September 12, 2020 Grand Rapids, MI US 49534 Directions


$125 7:00AM EDT
247 spots left. Price increases after August 15, 2020 at 11:59am EDT

Marathon, plus Millennium Meadows Marathon on August 30 as a training run

$165 7:00AM EDT Price increases after August 15, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT

As we all know, these are challenging times. As with every year, our highest priority is the health and safety of our runners, volunteers, medical team, and everyone else who helps make the Last Chance BQ.2 America’s #1 qualifier. That said, getting you to Boston is also at the top of our priorities. 
Based on our interpretation of the BAA statement about the expanded window for Boston 2021 qualifying races (BAA STATEMENT) we anticipate the times needed to get into Boston 2021 to be even lower, meaning the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon’s emphasis on getting runners their best times will be even higher for this year. 
We’re a smaller race and already planning additional health and safety measures for the event to hopefully allow it to proceed under the State of Michigan guidelines. Our message today is that we’re planning to hold the 2020 Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon as scheduled. We will continue to work with local public officials who are closely monitoring the developments related to COVID-19.
In the unfortunate event that we are unable to hold the race, registrants will be offered a deferral to the 2021 Last Chance BQ.2, the 2020 or 2021 Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon, or the 2021 Groundhog Day Marathon. However, a refund will not be an option. At this time, we plan to hold the event as scheduled, however, if it is necessary to make a different decision, our goal will be to finalize that decision by the end of July.
Thank you for your patience as we all navigate through these difficult times together. 



In 2019, 58% of finishers qualified for Boston!

You should only sign up for this race if you are going to be ready to qualify for Boston. To sign up before July 15 you'll need to run a "qualifying race" to sign up. Please check the table below.

A race we designed specifically to give you a shot at getting to Boston in 2021. Limited to 330 runners.
See our Qualifying times chart for qualifying times. THERE IS A 4:30 TIME LIMIT.

So beating your BQ time by 5 minutes means you’ll be able to register that Monday for Boston 2021! (NOTE: WE DON'T KNOW THE REGISTRATION WINDOW FOR THE 2021 BOSTON MARATHON YET!) Brought to you by the same team from the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon. As runners, we know how important Boston is to you. And we know what it takes to get there. We’ve been there ourselves, and we’ve helped THOUSANDS of runners get there in our 16 years with the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon. And for 2020, we’re here to help you get there with a race focused completely on getting you to Boston 2021. CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS, 616 293 3145 

There are qualifying standards to get into this race. The reason we have qualifying standards is because WE WANT EVERYONE IN THIS RACE PREPARED TO QUALIFY FOR BOSTON! The table is below. For more on Boston Qualifying standards and info on their registration dates, CLICK

Our sister BQ.2 race is being held in Geneva, Illinois. It's under different management and on a different registration platform. Don't get confused. They also do a Spring Chance BQ.2 in the spring. 

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at

1400 Maynard SW
Grand Rapids, MI US 49534

PLEASE NOTE--Qualifying standards may go back an extra year due to all of the cancellation of 2020 events due to COVID-19

To get into this event, you need to complete a qualifying race. Qualifying Race Information:


AID STATIONS At each aid station, we’ll have water and Gatorade available. There will also be FIVE ELITE WATER BOTTLE TABLES at each aid station. If you have your own water bottles (One bottle for each of the two aid stations) you can leave them at the start BEFORE 6:30am. They’ll be on the tables based on the last digit of your bib number. Numbers ending in 1 or 2 will be on the first table, 3 or 4 on the second table, etc. After the aid station is a “Drop zone” where you can toss your bottle. Our volunteers will then return it to the table before you get there the next time. You’ll pass through each aid station six times. (Aid station locations: near the 1 mile mark and the 3 mile mark.) HAVING YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLES IS TOTALLY OPTIONAL. WE WILL HAVE PLENTY OF WATER AND GATORADE.

AWARDS Finisher medals for all finishers. There are no age group awards--your age group award is you're going to Boston. First place award for first male and first female. 

BICYCLES Runners MAY NOT be accompanied or assisted by bicyclists and will be disqualified if this occurs. This is a full course, and bicycles represent a danger to other racers as well.

COURSE PREVIEW The course will be marked early Friday so it’s easy to follow. If you do the start leg, once around the loop, and the finish leg, it’s about 6 miles.  Come on out and check out the course.

DEFERRALS AND TRANSFERS There are no deferrals, transfers, refunds for this race. 

ELITE RUNNERS In case you don’t know what an elite runner looks like in this race, look in the mirror. Yeah. There’s one of them. You and everybody else in this race.

GEAR CHECK is available at the Start/Finish area. We will monitor the area, but gear is left at your own risk.

GU will be available at aid station 1 after the first loop.

HOTELS We don't have any hotel agreements in place, but there are plenty in the area. Search here. 

MILE MARKERS Every mile is marked! But you kinda thought that would happen anyway, right?

PACKET PICKUP at Fulton Street Pub & Grill, 801 W. Fulton St, Grand Rapids Friday night from 3pm-8pm. At Race site, Saturday morning starting at 5:30am. You will need your ID to pick up your race packet. You must pick up your own race packet.

PACING: We’ll have signs at the starting line. Talk to the people who are shooting for the same times, and plan to work together with them as you work your way into Boston! You may use GPS technology. The first three digits of your race bib correspond to your BQ time, so you can easily find the people you want to pace with. People without a bib should stay off the course. There are lots of people shooting for the same thing you are to pace with.The first three digits of your bib number are your qualifying time. Example: If your qualifying time is 3:30, your bib number will be 330-XX. You will line up with the people with the same qualifying time, where you can work together with others who have the same goal. The object of this race is to get EVERYBODY to Boston, so while there’s competition, there’s also cooperation.

PARKING There is plenty of parking on-site. Get there early and be nice to the parking guys. Don't park in the first row by the restrooms, and don't back into a spot so your trailer hitch is in the middle of the sidewalk.

PASSING Please stay to the right so people can pass you on the left.

START TIME The event starts at 7:00 am. 

TIME LIMIT Time limit is 4.5 hours. However, if you're in your last loop, or your BQ time is longer than that (being "chronologically gifted" and you're still making good progress, you can still finish--we'll be there for you.

TIMING Timing services by Classic Race Management. BIB TIMING CHIPS. DO NOT FOLD YOUR BIB! This is important. We don’t want you to have problems with your timing chip.

WATER BOTTLES To have your special water bottles transported to the aid stations they must be left in the designated boxes NO LATER THAN 6:30 a.m. You will be going by your bottles six times. If you have a “pit crew” person who you would like to refill your bottle for you, that’s OK. He or she will have to hang around the aid stations to watch you come through.


Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.

Course Map

Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.


The course start/finish is at Millennium Park, Meadows Pavilion. Course is USATF Certified MI18031MN. Millennium Meadows Marathon.
The loop is 4.05 miles long. Mostly flat. The section between 2.5 and 3.5 (on the first time around) rolls gradually uphill but there are no major hills. This picture is only the loop. You can download the whole map by clicking on the PDF link. 

Elevation map of the loop

Training Run

You can add on the Millennium Meadows Marathon on August 30 as a training run for only $40.00. Run 18 or 22 miles, or if you're having a good day do the whole 26.2 and collect a finisher medal and a BQ that day! Or run the half just to get the feel of the course. 

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