- 5 miles/8K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
Last weekend, Tina and I made the trip up to Holland, MI for the 5th annual Holland Haven Marathon. This was our first time running this race, and first time ever visiting Holland. As many times as I have been in the Holland area, I always just seem to drive on by. We sent 2 nights in Holland, arriving on Friday and leaving after the marathon on Sunday. For it being only 2 hours from home, we have been missing quiet a bit. Its a small town but has a lot to offer. There are many shops in down town along with restaurants and bars. Starting in early spring and ending in the fall, every Saturday there is a farmers market with many vendors. Not far outside of town is the Lake Michigan shore and Holland State Park. If you like in the Midwest and looking for a great place to visit along Lake Michigan, Holland is a great option. If you come, bring your bike. There are bike paths all over the place. The race was held on Sunday, September 9th, just a day before the start of Boston Marathon registration. So really, this is one of your last chances to run a BQ before registration opens up. You could gamble and try to find a marathon the following weekend, but it is a possibility that Boston could be filled by then. From what I heard, registrations were the largest of any year the race has been held. Packet pickup was located at the down town Marriot Hotel. It was quick and easy. No expo. Just go in, give them your bib number, get your bib and shirt, and you are done. less than 5 minutes and were back to your hotel room. The course starts outside of Grand Haven at a local Elementary School and runs along the shores of Lake Michigan to Holland. While I say that it runs along the shore, it does get pretty close, but you really do not get very many views of the lake from the course. There are houses and tress on both sides of the course which blocks your view of the lake. While you don't get a view of the lake from the course, consider it a blessing because there is some blockage from the wind if it were to be strong. The whole course, except for the last half mile, was run on a bike path. Rolling hills are a common theme for the first half of the course with a mostly flat course the second half. Some miles early on were tougher than others. Miles 7-9 were probably the toughest on the course but really still no where near as bad as in other courses that I have ran on.