Oh the course! It's what makes the Charlevoix Marathon one of the Best Small Town Marathons in the United States! You will get the best that a small town race has to offer, with all the excitement of a big city marathon.
All courses start and end at the Draw Bridge in downtown Charlevoix. The course is primarily fast and flat, unless you're from Florida, then you will feel like you're climbing Everest around the 11 mile mark. We have an incredibly high rate of Boston Marathon qualifying times (18% of the entire field) on this course because it is very fast.
The courses venture through the historic neighborhoods of Charlevoix which provides great shade especially early in the morning, and then out onto our paved trail system which follows the shoreline of Lake Michigan. There is approximately four miles of running on our wooden bridge which is a great relief for the knees! All courses are an out-and-back style course which keeps the course feeling energetic but not over crowded.
The Charlevoix Marathon is known as one of the best spectating marathons in the country as well. Friends and family can find you on the course multiple times at one of our multiple road side parks along Lake Michigan and HWY 31. It's a perfect place to take your kids, grandkids or dogs to play in the water and wait for your loved one to come running by!
All courses are USATF Certified.
Aid Stations- Awe! We love our volunteers. We've had primarily the same groups of volunteers raising money at the marathon for over a decade. You'll feel the love every 1.5 miles at our Aide Stations. They want to see you get to the finish line as much as you do! We provide the blocking and tackling of Aide Stations and our Volunteers take it upon themselves to give you so much more! You can expect Orange Gatorade, a variety of GU flavors, purified water, and first aide kits at each station. But our awesome volunteers stock the stations with fun stuff like licorice, pickle juice, and lots of other great surprises. Our great Fire Department creates a "misting" station every year right after Mile 3 and right before Mile 23. Feel free to cool off with our Firefighters!
Dear Johns - We like to say "We're #1 in the #2 Business"...meaning we have lots of port-a-johns on the the course for you. There are 11 along the course, approximately one or two every three miles, and a bunch at start and finish of course.
Port A John Locations:
1. At the 5K Turn
2. Just beyond the 10K Turn
3. At the end of the wooden bridge on the bike path
4. At the Half Marathon Turn
5. At the 2nd Roadside Park
6. At the Marathon Turn
The Finish Line: We get lots of questions about our Draw Bridge, and no, it will not go up during your race. All runners finish just in front of the bridge, so the only thing it could affect is your ability to make it to the post-race food area in Bridge Park just on the south side of the bridge (only for a few minutes).
Cut Off Times: We have to open the roads to auto traffic at 1:00 pm EST so everyone planning to finish after 1:00 pm will finish on the sidewalk next to the finish line. Your time will still count and you will still receive an awesome finisher medal.
Sorry but Howie, Brady, Lady, Rocky and all of their other four legged friends are not allowed on the course. Please leave them with their sitter.
Course Elevation Map