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The 35th Annual Bayshore Marathon, the largest event of the Traverse City Track Club, will take place this Saturday, May 27, on the Old Mission Peninsula. That means Peninsula residents need to be aware of when the races start and which roads will be closed during the races.

There are three separate races on Saturday:

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Marathon: This race, capped at 2550 runners (they’re about 100 shy of that number this year), begins at 7:15 a.m. at Northwestern Michigan College, continuing along the shores of East Grand Traverse Bay to Birchwood Drive, East Shore Road, Center Road (M37) and Bluff Road. Runners will turn around just before they get to Boursaw Road (in front of Ann and Howard Fouch’s former house for longtime OMPers) and head back along the same course to Traverse City. Most runners make that turn-around at about 10 a.m., so by 11 a.m. to noon, the stretch of Bluff Road from Boursaw Road to Blue Water Road should be somewhat clear.

Half Marathon: This race, capped at 3200 runners (full), begins at 7:30 a.m. on Devil’s Dive Road and continues to Seven Hills Road, east to Center Road, south to Blue Water Road and east to Bluff Road, where it will join the Marathon course following Bluff Road, Center Road and East Shore Road back to Traverse City. By around 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Devil’s Dive Road, that portion of Center Road and Blue Water Road will have no runners; Blue Water, however, will still be closed to those coming in and out of Bluff Road.

10K: This race, capped at 1500 runners (full), starts at 7:30 a.m. at Northwestern Michigan College, following the above course for the Marathon. Runners will turn around at about the three-mile marker (the intersection of Henderson Road and East Shore Road) and head back to Traverse City.

What do these races mean for road closures on the Old Mission Peninsula? Roads impacted by the race include neighborhood roads around Northwestern Michigan College, Birchwood Drive, East Shore Road, Bluff Road, Blue Water Road and Devil’s Dive Road. Additionally, Center Road from McKinley Road to Island View Road will be closed. By noon to 1 p.m., most of these roads should be clear of runners. Devil’s Dive to Center Road and Blue Water Road should be clear by 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

If you need to get to town in the morning and have access to Peninsula Drive, that’s the way to go.

View a map of the 2017 Bayshore Marathon course here.

The Traverse City Track Club contracts with Peninsula Township Fire and Rescue for their services, notes Lisa Taylor, executive director of the club, adding that they have a very detailed plan to attend to any emergencies that occur on the course roads during the race.

At the April 11 meeting of the Peninsula Township Board, Daniel Siderman, representing the Traverse City Track Club, noted that the roads will be accessible by ambulances, and residents who know in advance they will need to get in and out of the roads should contact the Peninsula Township deputy, Jason Hamilton, at [email protected], (231) 223-4525 or (231) 313-4525.


Taylor notes that the club is doing good things in the community, having given more than $1 million in grants and scholarships to the community since their grants program launched in 2007.

Specific to the Old Mission Peninsula, the club has given nearly $10,000 to the Peter Dougherty Society and $1500 to the Old Mission Peninsula School PTO for their walking track. Additionally, each year, $1 per Bayshore runner (maximum of $5000), goes to Peninsula Township.

The Old Mission Women’s Club has baked cookies for the race for many years, and the money received for those cookies goes directly into the club’s charitable account. At the end of the club’s year, grants of $1000 are awarded to community groups who apply for them.

The Traverse City Track Club also has a roster of dedicated volunteers, with one volunteer for every 10 runners, says Taylor. Community groups with 501(c)(3) designations who man the aid stations along the course are paid, with that money going directly into their organization. Peninsula Community Library is one of those groups, notes Taylor. A total of $20,000 was paid to those groups, collectively, for last year’s race.

Taylor adds that the Track Club’s clean-up crew is on the job as soon as the race is over. “We try to make the Peninsula even cleaner than it was before our big event each Memorial Day Weekend,” she says. (Also, if you see someone on a bike painting mile markers on the roads in the days leading up to the race, don’t be alarmed. That will be Taylor.)

The club’s 2017 spring cycle grants include $45,750 to four non-profit organizations, supporting projects which align with its mission to encourage running, walking and race walking to promote health, enhanced fitness, family recreation and competition for all.

“As always, active people from our region will benefit from this cycle of grants, many of which help to complete projects that influence a large variety of people to get out and be active with running and walking,” notes Jim Graham, Board President of the Traverse City Track Club.

Spring 2017 grants will go to:

Kids Creek Buffalo Ridge Connector Trail: A $5,000 grant supporting a trail connector at Buffalo Ridge, a trail which connects Grand Traverse Commons, Traverse City West Middle School, and the Grand Traverse YMCA in Traverse City.

TART Boardman Lake Trail Loop: A $20,000 grant helping to complete the Boardman Lake Trail project of the Traverse Area Recreation Trail. Completion of the trail will result in a complete trail loop around Boardman Lake in Traverse City.

Hickory Hills Master Plan: A $12,750 grant supporting the construction of a universally accessible bathroom facility at the base of the trailhead of the Hickory Hills trail system located off Randolph Road in Traverse City.

Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools Track and Field Equipment: A $7,000 grant supporting the purchase and construction of permanent track and field facilities and equipment at the home track facility for Traverse City St. Francis and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, located on 3 Mile Road in Traverse City.

Additionally, the Traverse City Track Club has selected 17 recipients for its 2017-2018 College Scholarship Awards. Seventeen area high school seniors and four current college students were selected for their academic achievement. While demonstrating involvement with running as a high school or college student or through participation in organized running events, these recipients have shown leadership and engagement in their communities.

The scholarship is available to graduating high school seniors or current college students from Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties. These “TCTC Scholars” will each receive between $1,000 and $2,000 to pursue higher education at colleges and universities across the nation.

The Traverse City Track Club was founded in 1962. For more information, visit their website, tctrackclub.com.

For more information about the Bayshore Marathon, contact Lisa Taylor at [email protected] or (231) 631-2195, and visit their website.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan



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