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The 36th Annual Bayshore Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K are right around the corner. The annual race, the largest event of the Traverse City Track Club, will take place on Saturday, May 26, 2018 on the Old Mission Peninsula.

At less than three weeks out, the club and over one thousand volunteers are ready to put on another great event!” notes Lisa Taylor, executive director of the Traverse City Track Club, which organizes the race each year.

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As always, a portion of the roads along the race will be closed. And by closed, we mean closed, although emergency personnel will be stationed along the race route should any OMP residents or racers need to be transported.

There are three separate races that day:

Marathon: This race, capped at 2250 runners (350 spots left), 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 3300 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 1700 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. Do not plan on traveling on these roads by vehicle during the times noted above for each race.

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 2018 Bayshore Marathon course here.

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

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, Brian Abbring, [email protected], (231) 995-5000.

Taylor notes that the club is doing good things in the community, having given more than $1.6 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.

Just recently, the club announced a $25,000 grant to help with the expansion of Bowers Harbor Park, with funds going to help build the one-mile walking/running trail.

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. The club then awards grants to local nonprofits who apply each year.

The Traverse City Track Club also has a roster of dedicated volunteers, with one volunteer for every five 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. More than $20,000 was paid to the 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 2018 spring cycle grants include $46,000 to four non-profit organizations, supporting projects which align with its mission to encourage running and 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.

These organizations are the recipients of this year’s Spring 2018 grants:

  • Peninsula Township: $25,000 for the Bowers Harbor Park expansion
  • TART: $15,000 for the Boardman River Trail Crossing
  • Grand Traverse Academy: $500 for running conditioning equipment
  • Traverse City Area Public Schools, Central High School: $5500 for running conditioning equipment

Additionally, the Traverse City Track Club has selected recipients for its 2018-2019 College Scholarship Awards. Twenty-one 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, [email protected], (231) 631-2195, or visit their website.

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