- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
This is the second time that I have run the Kalamazoo Marathon. I last time I ran in Kalamazoo was in 2016 after running the Wisconsin Marathon, completing the Mitten Challenge. This time I would be running on mostly rested legs and hoping for a better result than to just finish.
The expo was held at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. The expo seemed smaller than it did in 2016 and a lot less that I was interested in. I did pick up a Run MI Boco hat from Gazelle Sports but that was it. You had to walk through the whole expo to get to your packet and shirt. That was kind of annoying, but I get it. We were out of the expo probably within 10 minutes of entering.
The shirts are disappointing to me. The shirt is more of a 50/50 blend which I am not a big fan of, as well as a really small logo on it. The women's shirt was pink also, which makes it even more difficult to see the logo. To me, I don't care about the logo and how visible it is, I want something comfortable that I can run in. This shirt just doesn't do it for me.
One thing that happened on the course, I believe on mile 11 was that a woman driver, who apparently decided to ignore the street closures, was driving on the course. When she saw that she could not get out one way because of the closures, she turned around and eventually ended up right on my heals. Now, I could have been a nice guy, and maybe I should have let her go by. But she was the one who ignored all the signs and was driving on the marathon course. She honked, I waved and kept running in the middle of the lane. Eventually she got on the shoulder and sped by. Oh the fun of running marathons.
Overall, I like this race, its a good test of your body. It is not a fast course and you shouldn't run it if you are looking for a PR or a BQ. However, if you are looking to test your body and see what it can go through, give the Kalamazoo marathon a try. The course support along the course is actually great and top notch. You run through so many neighborhoods, especially early in the race that are real supportive of the runners. There are just a lot of hills on this course and they just keep coming and coming. The temps can also be an issue. On this day, it got pretty warm and dehydration started to kick in.