Race Day // June 19th, 2021
Welcome to the Charlevoix Marathon! Let us tell you about our 'bucket list' marathon that runners from around the world come to experience every summer.
Charlevoix is just a cool town and we love hosting you at our marathon. Running Magazine named us one of the "Best Small Town Marathons" and maybe here are some reasons why:
The Weather: In late June, we're just hitting our stride of summer so you can count on perfect weather conditions early morning and throughout the day. The average high is 71*F during this time of year. The mornings are historically a little chilly ~55*F and warming up through the 60's.
Boston Marathon: The Charlevoix Marathon is a Boston Marathon Qualifying Event.
The Experience: We recommend booking your lodging early so you can experience everything Charlevoix and the marathon have to offer. Stay right downtown, roll out of bed to the start line or stay at one of our partner hotels just a mile north of the start line. The packet pick-up/expo is in the famous "Bridge Park" overlooking the beautiful Charlevoix City Marina. Take a walk around the marina and say 'Hi' to our Harbor Master Hal who will surely greet you down on the docks! Beyond the stunning beauty of our town, the boats and the lake, there is so much more to take in while you're here. Hit the beaches looking for the illusive "Petoskey Stone" or take in some craft beer at our very own Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company conveniently 20 steps away from our packet pick up location. Book a sunset cruise with the "Sunshine" crew around Lake Michigan or dine on the deck to watch all the beautiful boats steam by on the porch of the Weathervane Restaurant. There's so much to do before and after your run, so make sure you stay a while!
The Race: First off, the start and finish are right on the famous 'Bridge Street'. Every half hour, our bridge goes up and stops auto traffic to let the boats head out to the big lake, or seek shelter in our marina. Don't worry, the bridge won't interfere with your race times at all. Your finish line is conveniently located just before you reach the bridge. The course holds approximately 2,000 runners on the out and back course. It's just enough to feel the excitement of a big time event, but small enough you'll never feel crowded. Your family members can even drive up Highway 31 and pull off at one of our favorite lakeside parks to see you multiple times along your marathon journey. The actual course is made up of concrete, asphalt and wooden bridge. Runners will enjoy the historic homes along the quiet streets of Charlevoix, run around our local ski hill "Mt. McSauba" and then out onto our lakeside paved trail along four miles of wooden bridges. The course is USATF Certified and a Boston Marathon Qualifier. It is relatively flat (if you're from Colorado, you'll smile at our hills...if you're from Florida, Mile 12 may burn a little). Everyone loves the wooden bridge section and running along the lake is always a crowd pleaser. It is one cool marathon course!
Volunteers: One of the best things about our race is the people. We have had the same aide station volunteers for almost a decade! They love supporting you and helping you reach your goal. They are stocked with the standard Gatorade, water, Gu packets and diffused Coke, but our volunteers get a little creative too. Want bacon? Maybe doesn't sound like a winner right now, but JUST maybe at mile 18, you're ready for something different than a Gu Shot. Among other surprises, you can always count on the pretzel station, the candy station and our water fall station brought to you by our awesome Fire Department!
The Goods: The Charlevoix Marathon is known for having one of the best finisher medals of all time EVERY YEAR! If you like collecting bling, this is your event. You will also get a great event shirt with tons of other goodies. Post race goods include a great food buffet and plenty to rehydrate with. Speaking of rehydrating, our AMAZING local Elks Lodge is giving every racer ONE FREE beer at their lodge after the race.
Lodging: You really can't go wrong if you book a place within Charlevoix City Limits or even at our neighboring towns of Bay Harbor, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, East Jordan or Boyne City. Each have incredible qualities and you should check them out even if you don't stay there. There are lots of hotels in Charlevoix including our host hotel The AMERICINN. Check VRBO and stay at some of the historic homes around town or catch an AirBNB with some of our fun neighbors. If you need help, give us a call and we can help you find a great place to stay.
Download our 2018 Athlete's Guide below!