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Groundhog Day Marathon

Fri February 1 - Sat February 2, 2019
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Location: Walker, MI US 49534 Directions
Type: Run or Run/Walk, Run Only
Race Website

Additional race information can be found at http://www.groundhogmarathon.com/.

Event Date Time Price Details
8:00AM EST
Price increases after January 19, 2019 at 11:59pm EST
Half Marathon
8:00AM EST
Price increases after January 19, 2019 at 11:59pm EST
1/6 Marathon
6:30PM EST
Price increases after January 19, 2019 at 11:59pm EST
Whole Hog (1/6 plus Full)
6:30PM EST
Price increases after January 19, 2019 at 11:59pm EST
Half Hog (1/6 plus Half)
6:30PM EST
Price increases after January 19, 2019 at 11:59pm EST
1400 Maynard Ave SW
Walker, MI US 49534

We’ve all heard of Punxsutawney Phil, the little furry guy in Pennsylvania who comes out, sees his shadow, and declares six more weeks of winter. Then there’s Augustus T. Groundhog, better known as Grand Rapids Gus. He’s Phil’s much more interesting cousin. Unlike Phil, who it seems can only see shadows, Gus has much better eyesight and can look at a calendar on February 2 and know that spring doesn’t start for six weeks. Gus suggested that instead of lamenting over six more weeks of winter, we should EMBRACE the cold and snow and do something fun. And so, the Groundhog Day Marathon was born.

The Basics
It’s a winter running event, outside Grand Rapids Michigan.  YES! THERE WILL PROBABLY BE LOTS OF SNOW ON THE COURSE.

The first Friday and Saturday in February. In 2019 it's February 1-2

It’s more fun than a person should have while wearing clothing.

Our Events
Like the movie, you’ll feel like you’re repeating the same day over and over. A beautiful, snowy (we hope), approximately 4.4 mile course. Splits every 1/6th of a marathon. 8:00 a.m. February 2.  500 Runner limit combined for full and half marathons
Half Marathon:
For those of you who couldn’t stay awake through the whole movie. Only three times around.
Moonlight 1/6 Marathon on Groundhog Eve:
Hey, we’re going to be set up anyway, no sense in just long-distance people having all the fun.  6:30 p.m. Friday. 200 Runner limit.

Ever see the movie?  The course will give you the opportunity to relive the same day several times.  A total of 6 loops of approximately 4.4 miles on a CERTIFIED course (Yes!  You can qualify for Boston!) will have you feeling just a little case of deja vu.  Two aid stations plus the finish line area.  Don’t plan on the course being free of snow.  It’s paved, which means no underlying rocks and roots, but that’s about all we’re promising.

Hotels & Travel. 
Our airport is GRR. Look for hotels HERE

This is a middle of the freakin' winter thing.  Weather could suck.  You do know we're in Michigan, right?  So register at your own risk.  There are no refunds, no deferrals, no transfers.  If there's a snowstorm of Biblical proportions, we'll have a snow date the next Saturday.  If it's still not possible to hold the event, we'll give people registered for this year a 50% credit on next year's event.


Race Director: Don Kern  donkern1@gmail.com  616 293 3145
Associate Race Director: TJ Suchocki  admin@fastbooth.com  616 318 5411
Volunteer Dude: Ethan Ray  rayethan@gmail.com
Mailing Address:  1170 Oakburn Ave SE  Grand Rapids, MI 49546




Race Contact Info

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weather going to be like?
There are professionals who do weather predictions. We’re not them. (And Phil, out in Pennsylvania supposedly does weather predictions too. Grand Rapids Gus, however, doesn’t give a s…) THERE COULD BE A LOT OF SNOW ON THE COURSE.
I thought you were going to keep it on Groundhog Day. What’s the deal?
We took a poll. People thought it would be better to keep it on the weekend. So we’re keeping it on the weekend. Don’t say we never listened to you. Christmas has to stay on the 25th, but we’re trying to make this more convenient for our runners, so we’re moving it slightly off the 2nd some years.
Is this a Boston Qualifier?
It’s winter. It’s paved trails but there may be two feet of snow on them. But the course is certified. So, yes, if you can finish in a BQ time it’s a Boston Qualifier.
Will there be finishers’ medals and shirts?
This marathon is managed by professionals. We’ll have Gatorade and water too.
Will there mile markers and aid stations on the course?
There are 4 mile markers on the course. It’s 4.4 miles long, so putting more than that would just be silly. There are two aid stations.
Can we wear costumes?
We’re not going to discourage it. You can run naked for all we care.
Will there be a live groundhog?
Maybe. Maybe some dead ones too. Then there’s the groundhog puppet that Don uses to flirt with girls.
Is this a walker friendly race?
Walker friendly, yes. But there’s no early start available. So walk fast please before we all freeze while waiting for you.
Where’s the course map?
There's a link below for that. THERE COULD BE A LOT OF SNOW ON THE COURSE.
Where will the parking be?
There’s a bunch of parking on site. Carpooling is advised just to keep the congestion down. We’re at The Meadows now, not where we used to be.



Course Map

Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.


Here's the course map

Race Weekend Info

AID STATIONS Aid stations are at about .2 miles and 2.4 miles on the loop. A little extra at the Start/Finish just in case. Water and Gatorade, then a little bit of food (pretzels, cookies). We aren’t supplying any energy gel, so bring your supply or pick some up from Striders at the race site. And DON’T THROW STUFF ON THE TRAIL! (gel packets, cups, etc.) it’s winter and we’ll never find them to pick up in the snow.

AWARDS Overall winners (Male & Female) in the full and half get an amazing piece of Groundhog art by local chainsaw artist Jack Eppinga. Other than that, coffee mugs for age group awards (3 deep) and of course, finisher medals for all three events. FIVE YEAR AGE GROUPS.

COOLEST GROUNDHOG CONTEST We’ll be picking the best dressed Groundhog at 7:30 a.m. on race morning and reward that person with a little bit of extra swag.

COURSE  Yes, we already talked about that. NO, the course won’t be free of snow unless Mother Nature (or some other mother…) deems it so. If it’s really bad we’ll actually groom it so that it’s not as bad as it was in 2014 just to keep people from jumping all over Marathon Don’s back.

HEADLAMPS The Moonlight event on Friday night, (the 1/6 marathon) HEADLAMPS ARE REQUIRED. Striders will be on site with headlamps for sale prior to the event, but please come prepared. (Dude! In 2017 we actually saw the moon!!)

HOODIES To guarantee a hoodie size will be available on race day, please get registered ASAP. Everyone will get the swag, but we don’t wish to have tons of them left over. If you sign up on race day, you’ll have to wait until after the full and half start to make sure we have the right size for you. If we run out, we’ll get you one afterwards. (Oh–there are no XS hoodies)

PACKET PICKUP is at Striders on Chicago Drive in Grandville, Thursday night before the race from 5-8PM, and at the race site (1400 Maynard) from 4PM – 8PM on Friday night and then beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday.

PARKING The race venue may be limited with parking, but we have LOTS more than in previous years. Carpooling is recommended if you can.

START TIMES 6:30PM Friday for the 1/6 marathon.  8:00AM Saturday for the full and half marathon.

SWAG Hoodie for each runner in the 1/6, Full, and Half. For those running the 1/6 on Friday, then the full or half on Saturday, you’ll get a hoodie and an embroidered stocking cap. Finisher medals for all 1/6 marathon, marathon and half marathon finishers.

SWAG SHOP We'll have old sweatshirts, and various merchandise on sale CASH ONLY. Bring a few bucks.

SWITCHING RACES It is allowable to switch from the full to the half (or vice versa if you’re feeling really frisky) but you need to make sure the timers from Classic Race Management know that BEFORE the race. Switching mid-race isn’t cool, but if you happen to do that, you better go up to Jeff or Joe from Classic and talk REAL NICE to him, and maybe he’ll include you in the results anyway. (We have a lot of people get on the course and decide to switch to the half marathon. We can work with that!)

WAVE START Yeah, we tried to do a wave start, but you people seemed content to start at your leisure so to heck with that idea. Competitive runners, be at the starting line on time, and we’ll send you off. After that, the “less focused” runners can cross the starting line–heck, we have chip timing anyway, so you’ll get an accurate time regardless. NOTE: PLEASE START IN THE FIRST COUPLE OF MINUTES. DON’T SIT IN THE TENT HANGING OUT! IT’S NOT GOING TO GET ANY WARMER IN THE NEXT 5 MINUTES.


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