Originally I was signed up to run the Michigan Wine Trail Half Marathon but ended up dropping down to the associated Galloping Grape 5K. I don't regret my decision to run the shorter distance at all.
*Only 78 participants and only 8 in my age group meant I came in first in AG and 5th woman overall.
*Finishing almost an hour before the half marathon winner meant no lines for massages or post-race wine.
*First pick of the FREE all-you-can-drink wine and beer at the finish line
*Cotton t-shirt only
*No medal (unless you get top three in your AG)
*No wine glass (which the half marathoners got)
So, basically, if you like swag, do the half marathon. The 5K kind of gets shafted. BUT! They still let us into the beer garden and we got to take advantage of the massages. And we didn't have to deal with all the hills on the half marathon course.
We did have to deal with the weird parking situation. They sent us a parking map but it wasn't very clear in the pre-dawn light where we were in relation to the map. We found a field with signs that said "Parking" but after that there were no directions to the start line. A group of us wandered around the small town for at least 25 minutes looking for the start line.
There were a total of just over 440 finishers in both the half and the 5K and they had 12 portapotties. Even this didn't seem like enough when you have to go really bad before the race!
I appreciated that they didn't make us wait for the half marathoners to finish before doing the 5K awards, though. That was a plus.
The course itself is an out-and-back on a rural road that is NOT fully closed to traffic. Just something to keep in mind. They have police officers making sure no one is totally oblivious to runners but it is a bit disconcerting to see a car driving towards you. However, the rural scenery is a nice change for someone who typically runs in the city of Chicago.
Overall, this is a no-frills, non-competitive 5K that I wouldn't specifically travel to. But, if you're on vacation in southwestern Michigan and want to run an easy race, this one would fit the bill perfectly.