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Additional race information can be found at http://www.mtbaldheadchallenge.com/.
The race organizers of the Mt. Baldhead Challenge (MBC) have decided to skip 2020—with all the risks and hassles associated with the pandemic— and focus instead on bringing off the biggest, baddest, boldest 21st MBC in 2021. We want our athletes to be part of that plan, so for a limited time, we are issuing exclusive premium packages that guarantee registration in next year’s race, complete with advanced training gear in our typical unique brand style. On top of that, every dollar of net proceeds from the sale of these packages will go directly to launch a new Boys & Girls Club, bringing much-needed after school and summer enrichment to local kids, especially to those who need it most.
Sign-up Online for exclusive packages for the 21st MBC in '21. No physical race will be hosted in September 2020. It's time to begin training for 2021.
About This Event:
The uncertainty around the Coronavirus outbreak has led the Mount Baldhead Challenge Race Directors to replace this year's 21st annual running of West Michigan’s Ultimate Multi-Terrain Race to 2021 with an alternative. The annual race, originally scheduled this year for September 12th, has attracted runners to Saugatuck-Douglas from across the Midwest for 20 years since its inauguration in 1999. In 2019, the race hosted a record 525 runners on a perfect morning that showed off this lovely area and allowed everyone to encounter it up close, as it should be experienced.
Preserving the unique experience that the Mount Baldhead Challenge provides to multi-terrain runners was a critical element of the decision to look ahead to 2021 for the 21st running of the event. Moreover, safety remains first priority, and we simply couldn’t ensure it with our crowded starts, narrow trails, and on those 300-plus stairs. We owe it to our wide geographic base of runners, our volunteers, and our community to err on the side of caution.
The Mt. Baldhead Challenge has become The Rotary Club of Saugatuck-Douglas' major annual fundraising event. Last year's net proceeds of $75,000 were earmarked to help launch new after school and summer programming for students attending the Saugatuck Public Schools in partnership with the Rotary Club and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland. The pandemic has caused a lot of disruption, including delaying the launch of the Boys & Girls Club until such time (hopefully in early 2021) until the safety of the kids, the staff and the volunteers can be more readily assured. We remain committed to that program despite the tough current fundraising environment for the Club and all non-profits.
Your Training Options:
Practice running the courses, work on it in segments, focus on the 302 stairs, get used to running the sand, enjoy the natural surroundings and prepare for September 2021. Stay well and Stay Safe. The Race Directors are evaluating further improvements to the course for 2021, but here are the configurations of the courses used in running the 2019 race.
Mt. Baldhead Challenge - The 12 Mile Run
COURSE: Starts in Wicks Park and follows the Kalamazoo River’s northeast shoreline. After crossing the Blue Star Bridge into Douglas, runners will head directly westward down Center Street to Lakeshore Drive. The course then takes a northward turn past old and new lakeshore homes and through a tunnel of trees to Lakeshore Chapel. Runners then head east on Campbell Road and north along the river on Park Street. They pass by the steps at Mt. Baldhead and then enter the wooded trail at Ox-Bow School of Art. Here the trail gradually ascends to the legendary Crow’s Nest where there are spectacular views of the Ox-Bow Lagoon and Lake Michigan beyond. From there the trail winds down to the base of Mt. Baldhead, where 302 steps separate the runner from the top of this historic landmark. Once at the top, the runners will be greeted by live band music and another incredible view that rivals the Crow’s Nest. The trail then descends down the western slope of the Mt. Baldhead dune and veers north for one final view of the lagoon before heading south along the beachfront. The route then follows the Woollam Nature Trail back to the river, hugging it going south and then traversing east through Tower Marina, crossing the Blue Star Bridge, and finishing at Wicks Park for a party!
Maps are also available on the website mtbaldheadchallenge.com.
Mt. Baldhead Challenge - The 7.5 Mile Run
COURSE: Starts on Bliss Street directly across the river from Wicks Park (shuttles from Wicks Park will be provided). This race begins simultaneously with the longer run, starting with a mid-river cannon blast. The run heads north along the river on Park Street, passes by the steps at Mt. Baldhead and then enters the wooded trail at Ox-Bow School of Art. Here the trail gradually ascends to the legendary Crow’s Nest where there are spectacular views of the Ox-Bow Lagoon and Lake Michigan beyond. From there the trail winds down to the base of Mt. Baldhead, where 302 steps separate the runner from the top of this historic landmark. Once at the top, the runners will be greeted by live band music and another incredible view that rivals the Crow’s Nest. The trail then descends down the western slope of the Mt. Baldhead dune and veers north for one final view of the lagoon before heading south along the beachfront. The route then follows the Woollam Nature Trail back to the river, hugging it going south and then traversing east through Tower Marina, crossing the Blue Star Bridge, and finishing at Wicks Park for a party!
Maps are also available on the website mtbaldheadchallenge.com.
Little Feet, Big Feat 1K – Free Kids' Fun Run
Reinventing this run in 2021 for kids in collaboration with the newly established Boys & Girls Club in Saugatuck. Stay tuned for more information.
This is a virtual event only for 2020!
Benefits to Signing-up
Timing and Scoring
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.Questions?
Here are answers to questions that are frequently asked:
Q1 - Do I need to sign-up my running "buddy" now, too?
A1- No, when signing-up for the Ultimate Multi-Partner Challenge, it is not necessary to identify who your partner will be when you run the course in September 2021. We'll ask you both to register for the physical race next year using the coupon code for complimentary registration. If you do sign-up multiple persons now, we greatly appreciate your enthusiasm for the race, but you are signing-up to purchase multiple packages. For example, signing-up three persons now will afford you six free entries to the race in 2021.
Q2 - When will I receive the coupon code for the package that I signed-up for?
A2 - Following the closing of the sign-up period for our exclusive packages in September 2020, the person who signed-up will be emailed the coupon code information. Please keep a copy of this email for use when registering for the physical race in 2021 and share the coupon code with your running "buddy."
Q3 - How do I select the jersey for my running "buddy?"
A3 - During the sign-up process for the Ultimate Multi-Partner Challenge, you will be prompted for a giveaway (your jersey) and an add-on (your buddy's jersey). You can differentiate sizes, for example by selecting a large for yourself and a extra-large for your buddy. If you'd like additional jerseys, these can be ordered in the Mt Baldhead Challenge Race Store and included in your cart for checkout. You can always come back later, too, and order additional clothing items from the Store.
Q4 - When will I need to use my coupon code?
A4 - In early 2021, a special early registration period will be opened for those persons who have signed-up for one of our Exclusive Packages. An email will be sent to you announcing this. During this registration period and by using the coupon code, no additional fee will be charged when registering for the physical race. If you are taking care of this for your running "buddy" you will use the code for both you and your "buddy." If your "buddy" registers by them self, you will need to provide them the coupon code. If you are not able to register during this special early period, that's okay. We've reserved a spot for you. Just register as soon as you are able.
Q5 - Why do I need to register again for the race in September 2021?
A5 - We determined that we needed a verification step for when the physical race resumes in 2021. We need to know how many participants will be running through Saugatuck and Douglas streets, over the dunes and trails and along the lake shore. This is important for setting transportation, course control, water and food stations and making sure we have sufficient volunteers to assist the runners. We also need to verify who is actually running, their age, their conditions, and which course (long or short) they intend to run. We further thought that in the course of a year your running buddy may change. They could have a conflict, have moved, or have an injury or health condition that prevents them from participating. So, when signing-up for the Ultimate Multi-Partner Challenge, we wanted to give you the flexibility of being able to specify your running "buddy" closer to the date of the 2021 race.
Q6 - When will I receive the clothing for the event that I signed-up for? What about Store purchases?
A6 - All clothing shipments to registrants or Store shoppers will be mailed the week of October 12th to the shipping address provided during sign-up. The US Postal Service will be delivering your shipment. Generally, you will receive one package that combines both event items and Store purchases if applicable. If the shipment is too large (Thank You!) it maynonetheless. be split into multiple packages for ease of shipment.
Q7 - I had specified an extra-small sized jersey, but received a small. Why?
A7 - Our clothing supplier was not able to provide extra-small sized jerseys and hoodies this year and replaced the extra-small with a small when printing our order. We apologize for the substitution, but hope that the small will fit reasonably well and that you'll enjoy training while wearing your MBC gear.
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