This is part of a series of posts from my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Michigan was my 15th state.
I signed up for the Traverse City Bayshore Marathon and Half Marathon because I knew other runners who had ran the half marathon or marathon and raved about the course. My family and I were also going to a christening for my husband’s twin nephews fairly nearby the area in April, so the timing would be perfect.
When I ran the half marathon in April of 2009, the marathon and half marathon both were filled to capacity (1700 for the marathon and 1500 for the half) in January. Both races were filled less than seven weeks after registration opened in December so they’re obviously very popular races, or at least they were in 2009. I imagine it’s still a popular race since it’s still going strong. One thing to note is that the races have been moved to Memorial Day weekend.
The course was definitely one of the most scenic ones I’ve ran and unlike race directors who mean hilly when they say that, I don’t. The half marathon was a pretty flat out-and- back course with several views of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. In fact, 90% of the course was along Grand Traverse Bay. We also ran past huge stately homes along the water.
Spectators were sparse, which didn’t surprise me since runners had to be bussed to the start. I found the weather to be a bit colder than I prefer, but I also prefer warmer racing temperatures than most people. The finish was on an outdoor track for the last quarter mile, which I liked and it made it easy to find my family after the race.
My finish time for the Bayshore Half Marathon was 2:00:37.
I highly recommend this race and spending some time in Traverse City before and after the race. Traverse City is a popular vacation area during the summer but in late spring when this race is, the weather is nice but it’s not so crowded. There are many wineries and places to try all things made with cherries of all sorts. One place you can’t miss is Sleeping Bear Dunes. Who knew there was an enormous sand dune you can climb up (or roll down as I saw many kids doing) in Michigan? We loved this place! It was only about a 35 minute drive from Traverse City, which makes it an easy day trip but you can camp at the park if you prefer to stay there overnight.