Last Chance BQ.2 - Grand Rapids

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

NOTICE: Our sister race in Geneva, IL had to cancel due to Illinois mandates. Our event in Grand Rapids is still on as of September 9, 2020. We anticipate being able to put on a safe event. If you register for this event, please know that if we have to cancel due to changes in Michigan's requirements, the only option you will have is to defer your registration to our event in 2021.

PLEASE NOTE: 2020 IS A SPECIAL YEAR. WE'RE DOING THIS WITH LIMITED STAFF AND LIMITED RUNNERS TO MAXIMIZE SOCIAL DISTANCE AND KEEP THE GATHERING BELOW 100 AT ALL TIMES. PLEASE HELP US IN THIS PURSUIT BY MINIMIZING YOUR TIME ONSITE TO LESS THAN 1/2 HOUR BEFORE AND AFTER YOUR RACE

WE WILL HAVE NO MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE ON SITE AT ANY TIME! SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS.

A MESSAGE FROM THE RACE DIRECTOR:
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.

COVID-19 Rule Changes for Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon
 

(UPDATED 9/9/2020)  Since the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon is a unique event with a smaller capacity, we have more flexibility to accommodate runners . As of today, 9/9/2020, the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon meets the criteria to proceed under the Michigan Safe Start Plan Phase 4 Guidelines (maximum of 100 people at an outdoor gathering). However, please note that given the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 restrictions, this can change at any time. Stay tuned to our website for updates.

The Last Chance BQ.2 will be redesigned to minimize runner, volunteer, and spectator risks in the current COVID-19 environment. Part of our redesign is dependent upon runners adhering to public health guidelines out of respect for their fellow runners and humans. Some of these changes are mandated by the State of Michigan Department of Health.  Other changes are the result of medical team, Kent County Parks, volunteer, runner, and event input. We ask for everyone’s understanding and cooperation as we prioritize safety, your personal race goals, and race experience over some of our typical amenities and the spectator’s experience.
Here are some highlights of the redesign:
 – 2020 LCBQ.2 will have a limited field capacity this year in order to comply with Michigan Safe Start Phase 4.
 – 2020 LCBQ.2 will be in separate waves. Runners are seeded by qualifying times needed on Boston 2021. Waves will line up according to the pace signs near the starting area and will be kept apart by at least 50 feet. We will split waves up into smaller numbers so that a maximum of 30 runners per wave may be maintained. ALL RUNNERS MUST WEAR MASKS PRIOR TO RACE START WHILE IN THE CORRAL AREA OR BE SUBJECT TO DISQUALIFICATION. We will provide a receptacle to dispose of masks shortly past the start line. We will also provide masks for those who need them.

WAVE 1, 2, AND 3 STAGING BEGINS AT 6:45 AM. SUBSEQUENT WAVES MAY STAGE AS THE LEADING WAVE CLEARS THE STARTING LINE (WAVE 4 MAY STAGE WHEN WAVE 1 CLEARS THE START. WAVE 5 WHEN WAVE 2 CLEARS THE START, ETC.)

Wave 1   – Goal time of 3:10 or less (Wave 1 starts at 7:00 am. Other waves will be called forward as the starting line is cleared via our Facebook Live broadcast. Waves are subject to change)
Wave 2  – Goal time of 3:20 or less
Wave 3  – Goal time of 3:30 or less
Wave 4 –  Goal time of 3:40 or less
Wave 5  – Goal time of 3:50 or less
Wave 6  – Goal time of 4:00 or less
Wave 7  – All other runners 

STARTING PROCEDURES FOR ALL RACES
Runners will stage in the large grassy area located behind Millennium Meadows pavilion. Signs will be posted by your projected pace. Hang out within a few feet of the sign that most closely matches your pace. Runners will be released from the staging area one at a time approximately every 5 seconds. Face covering (mask) must be worn until you have crossed the starting line. The race is providing a bandana for every runner which may be used as your face covering.
 – No Pacers. We must minimize runner bunching at all times during the event. With Boston cancelling the 2020 race we have no idea what target paces will be needed. Note that at BQ.2 Races, runners are bibbed by their goal BQ time. This makes it simple to locate other runners with your goal time and keep each other in site. Personal pacers are strictly prohibited.
 – No spectators in the race village/start finish area until 8am. Runners will finish from 9:30 a.m. -12 p.m., so there will be plenty of time to see your runner on the loop course after the race has begun. Spectators are welcome to cross the bridge, turn left and walk down to the loop. It's about 1000 feet from the start. There is a lot of space there for them to space out and see you after every 4 miles. PLEASE ASK YOUR SPECTATORS TO STAY AWAY FROM THE STARTING AREA UNTIL AFTER THE RACE HAS STARTED.
 – Disposable Elite Water Bottles. Race Staff will not be handling elite runner bottles this year. If you wish to have your own water bottles handed to you, you may have one of your personal crew members hand it to you on the course. Personal crew must stay at least 50 yards away from the aid station.
We will also have two tables before Aid Station #1 available for you to put your own bottles if you like. After you take your bottle from the table please do not drop it more than 50 yards away from one of the aid stations.
(The round trip walk from the starting line to the first aid station is approx. 2000 feet if you choose to drop your own bottles. Please allow yourself enough time to deliver your bottles and be back to the start 15 minutes before race time. That’s 6:45 a.m.) Bottles left on race course will be considered trash and will be discarded or recycled.
 – Other Aid Station Notes. Both aid stations will also have water and Gatorade available, pre-poured and spaced on the tables for runners to pick up—Volunteers will not personally hand cups to runners. Additional nutritional supplements (gels, etc.) will be the responsibility of runners and will not be handed out by volunteers.
 
RUNNERS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BRING THEIR OWN BOTTLES. There will be plenty of water and Gatorade at the aid stations.
 
 – Limited Post Race Village amenities. Including pre-packaged post race food and beverages handed to runners by volunteers.
 – No post race massage/stretching.
 – Time allowed in the Post Race Village will be limited so runners do not bunch.  We’d love to hang around and have a party, but we’re just not going to.
 

Because of the year, some runners have decided they just aren't comfortable with running any live race. So we are offering free deferral to 2021 if that's you. Look up your registration on the registration site, click on the "More Details" button and then Defer Registration. You'll get a code for next year's entry as soon as we go live with the 2021 registration.

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 we will give everyone as much notice as possible.

Thank you for your patience as we all navigate through these difficult times together. 

THE BQ.2 RACES ARE THE BEST QUALIFYING RACES IN THE COUNTRY. THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF QUALIFIERS ANYWHERE!

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.

(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 donkern1@gmail.com, 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 http://lastchancebqgr.com/.

Place
1400 Maynard SW
Grand Rapids, MI US 49534
QUALIFYING STANDARDS

As of 8/1/2020, we are waiving qualifying standards. HOWEVER--YOU SHOULD NOT REGISTER FOR THIS RACE UNLESS YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN SHAPE TO RUN A BOSTON QUALIFIER. WE HAVE 4:30 TIME LIMIT (UNLESS YOU'RE MORE CHRONOLOGICALLY GIFTED AND YOUR BQ TIME IS LONGER THAN THAT!)

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:

Image

PLEASE NOTE: 2020 IS A SPECIAL YEAR. WE'RE DOING THIS WITH LIMITED STAFF AND LIMITED RUNNERS TO MAXIMIZE SOCIAL DISTANCE AND KEEP THE GATHERING BELOW 100 AT ALL TIMES. PLEASE HELP US IN THIS PURSUIT BY MINIMIZING YOUR TIME ONSITE TO LESS THAN 1/2 HOUR BEFORE AND AFTER YOUR RACE 

AID STATIONS At each aid station, we’ll have water and Gatorade available. There will also be TWO PERSONAL WATER BOTTLE TABLES near aid station #1. If you have your own water bottles you may take them to the tables before the race start. It's about a 2000 feet round trip. Please be back to the staging area before 6:45 am. Bottles will not be returned to the finish are by staff. Anything left on the course will be considered trash and will be recycled. HAVING YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLES IS TOTALLY OPTIONAL. WE WILL HAVE PLENTY OF WATER AND GATORADE. Additional supplements (gels, food, etc.) must be provided by runners for their own use.

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. (Exception for 2020--you may defer to 2021 before September 5)

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. The gear check area is unattended.

GU Aid stations will be having only water and Gatorade this year. Any additional nutrition will need to be carried by runners.

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 the race site Friday night from 4pm-7pm. At race site, Saturday morning starting at 6:00am. You will need your ID to pick up your race packet. You must pick up your own race packet.

Before picking up packets, runners must answer the following questions:

  1. Have you been exposed to anyone with COVID19 in the past week?
  2. Have you recently been tested positive for covid?
  3. Do you currently feel sick or have a temperature?
  4. Do you agree to wear a mask in the pre-race staging area

Your temperature will be taken (Limit at 100.3F) and your name/bib number will be verified as cleared.

PACING: We’ll have signs at the staging area. 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 stage near the people with the same goal time. 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. Exercise as much social distancing as possible.

START TIME The first wave of this 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. ALL TIMING IS CHIP TIME!

WATER BOTTLES To have your own water bottles at the first aid station, you will need to arrive early enough to get your bottles to the table and be back to the staging area by 6:45. It's about 2000 feet round trip from the start to the first aid station. You may also have your own crew person deliver the bottles if you like. No bottles will be returned to the tables after they are used. Any bottles left on the course will be considered trash and will be recycled.

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.

Questions?
Course Map

Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.

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. 

Directions

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