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Please note: Because of the nature of this course, we do not allow wheel chairs (Handcycle or push rim) in this race.
Last Chance BQ.2-Grand Rapids has become one of the premier and most nationally known, BQ events. The timing is perfect and we provide a venue that has proven to be one of the highest percentage qualifiers in the country, hovering around 60%.
This is a race we designed specifically to give you a shot at getting to Boston in 2024. Limited to 330 runners.
See our Qualifying times chart for qualifying times. THERE IS A 4:30 TIME LIMIT.
The qualifying window for the 2024 Boston Marathon is September 1, 2022 through the conclusion of the registration period in September 2023.
Registration for the 128th Boston Marathon opened on Monday, September 12 in 2022. Dates for the 2024 event will be announced by BAA whenever they do it.
This event is brought to you by the same team that puts on the UM Health-West 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 19 years with the UM Health-West Grand Rapids Marathon. In 2023 we’re here to help you get there with a race focused completely on getting you to Boston 2024.
Course: Last Chance BQ.2 - Grand Rapids occurs at Secchia Meadows in Millennium Park, one of the many Kent County Parks and what we think is the most scenic and beautiful. You will run on a wide and paved path that crosses a footbridge, winds along the Grand River, and cuts through meadows. Most of the course is heavily shaded.
Race Weekend: Packet pickup is at Fulton Street Pub & Grill from 4-7 Saturday. 801 West Fulton Street. Sunday at the race site starting at 6am.
The race site is at 1400 Maynard SW. Starting time is at 7am Sunday morning.
Bring your shoes. Recommended. But optional.
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
Contact us with question: firstname.lastname@example.org, 616 293 3145
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.
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!)
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 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 the day before the race 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.
CREW You are allowed to have your crew person refill your bottle and move it back to the personal water bottle table. Also to hand you other food/nutrition. Personal pacers are NOT ALLOWED
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. 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 The day before the race afternoon from 4pm to 7pm at Fulton Street Pub & Grill, 801 W. Fulton Street. At race site, race morning starting at 6:00am. 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 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 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! LIVE RESULTS: There are mats on the loop at 1 and 3 miles. You'll pass over them on all six loops. Splits are on our results page shortly after you cross a mat.
WATER BOTTLES To have your own water bottles at the aid station near mile 1, 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.
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.
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.
You can add on the Millennium Meadows Marathon on August 27 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.