2018 Stafford’s Top of Michigan Marathon/Half/10K/5K

Frequently Asked Questions

Memorial Weekend 2018

(Charlevoix to Harbor Springs)

Half Marathon
(Bay Harbor to Harbor Springs)

10K Run / Walk
(Petoskey to Harbor Springs)

5K Run / Walk
(two races beginning in Charlevoix and Harbor Springs)

Video from 2016 Race

Community Marathon Trails Council Petoskey Michigan

What is the date of the race?

Saturday, May 26, 2018

When does registration open?

You can register by going to www.trailscouncil.org or Active.com. Online registration opens on November 1 at 12:01 am and will end at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (no exceptions).

Late registrations are possible at packet pickup at Petoskey High School on Friday afternoon, May 25 from 4 – 8 pm. Registration for the Charlevoix 5K will be happening in Bridge Park in Charlevoix from 4 – 8 pm on Friday, May 25.

Race day registration is available for the 5K and 10K races only, for one hour up until 30 minutes before the race begins. NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION for Full or Half Marathon.

How old is this race?

This is the third year.

Is the course certified?

The marathon course is USATF certified.

Do I get a T-Shirt?

Yes, we have upgraded our t-shirts to quality 100% poly shirts this year for the Marathon and Half Marathon. Participants in the 10K and 5K races will receive a quality cotton shirt with the same logo.

Where is the start?

  • Marathon: Michigan Ave at West Dixon Ave in downtown Charlevoix: 7:30 am
  • Half Marathon: Downtown Bay Harbor 8:00 am
  • 10K : Packy Offield Trail Center, 1687 M-119, Petoskey 8:30 am
  • 5K races: The 5K race in Charlevoix will be administered in cooperation with the Charlevoix Fitness Center, and that race starts at the intersection of Michigan Ave and West Dixon Ave at 8:00 am.  The Harbor Springs 5K will begin in Zorn Park, West Bay Street, at 8:30 am. Girls on the Run will run the same course in Harbor, starting at 8:35 am.

Where is the finish?

The two 5K races will be run out and back on the marathon course from the start (Charlevoix) and from the finish (Harbor Springs).

Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K races all end at Zorn Park Beach on West Bay Street in Harbor Springs. This beautiful finish area provides runners with a chance to cool off after their run by taking a dip in the Bay.
Map: http://www.eyeonmichigan.com/guides/harborsprings/maps.php?map=0


What is the weather like in late May?

The average temperature for May 26 is 63 degrees for the high and 46.5 degrees for the low. However, be prepared for colder, wet conditions as well as warmer than expected conditions. Be prepared for anything!

Is there a course map?

Yes. The USATF map can be found here: http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=569118

A map of the half marathon start can be found here: http://www.trailscouncil.org/half-marathon-start/

An interactive map can be found here: http://www.trailscouncil.org/community-marathon-route/

What is the course like?

The Wheelway is a re-establishment of a turn-of-the-century bicycle trailway that goes from Waller Road in Charlevoix to Hoyt Street in Harbor Springs. The trail itself is 23.4 miles and is surfaced with 8’ to 10’ wide asphalt or a 6’ wide concrete sidewalk and is open to non-motorized uses only. For this race, road connections extend into downtowns, for a total of 26.2 miles. A small portion of the marathon and half marathon will be on a grass surface through Bay View. The route veers off the Wheelway north of Petoskey at Beach Road, and follows local roads through a scenic resort area along the bay. The Trail is relatively flat and prime for running a fast time. The Half Marathon and 10K are run on the same course. The Half begins in beautiful downtown Bay Harbor, and the route connects with the Wheelway at East Park.

Is the course closed for traffic?

No, it is open. There are many road crossings, many minor and a few major, along the course. Runners must be aware that traffic will not stop and they must be extremely cautious, as they will have to stop and yield to oncoming traffic. We will have crossing guards at major intersections, but runners must be aware and cautious approaching all intersections.

Is there a cut-off time for the Race?

Yes, cut-off time is 1:30 pm, so marathon runners will have six hours to complete the race; half participants will have 5 hours and 30 minutes. Runners on the course after that time must provide their own support.

What should I bring with me to the race to help finish and have a good time?

Suggestions of items runners have included in their packing lists:

  • Change of clothes
  • Towels
  • Your own water for fluid between aid stations
  • Gloves
  • Jacket
  • Extra socks
  • Extra shoes including a pair of non-running shoes
  • Sun block
  • Small personal first aid kit
  • Snacks, candy and other items to eat after the race
  • Bug spray
  • Vaseline, sport wax or Body Glide
  • GU or your special energy supplement
  • Plastic bag for your smelly clothes afterwards
  • Camera
  • Rain gear and/or umbrella
  • Sunglasses
  • Tums or Pepto-Bismol
  • Medical tape
  • Sports watch and/or GPS
  • Water bottles
  • Icy hot or ice packs
  • Ankle wrap
  • Moleskin, duct tape or Second Skin

Will there be a bag drop?

Yes, if you are participating in the Full or Half Marathon, bag drop will be available. Bags will be tagged when dropped off at the start and will be available at the finish line.

Can I have stroller, jogger or dog on the course?


Can I wear headphones?

Yes, but you MUST be aware of your surroundings at all times and this includes being able to hear any verbal warnings/instructions from course officials, the sound of any other participants on the course approaching you to pass, and traffic at the road crossings.

Will this race be professionally timed?

Yes, with the exception of the Charlevoix 5K.  The timing equipment will be provided by Superior Timing. There will be a timing mat at the halfway point of the Marathon.  Results will be posted immediately at the finish line.

If I am injured, pregnant or unexpectedly out of town, can I get a refund?

Entry fees are non-refundable and entries are non-transferable. This means once you have registered, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate. You may not defer your entry to the following year.

What about weather cancellations?

The race will go on rain or shine.

Why haven’t I received an email confirmation?

Usually the problem is that your computer’s spam filter has erased or blocked the email confirmation that was sent to you. Please make sure that you check your spam filter.

Where does my registration fee go?

The race will benefit the Petoskey High School cross country, track and soccer teams; as well as Top of Michigan Trails Council, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization whose mission is to advocate for and facilitate the establishment of a multi-use non-motorized trail system in northern Michigan. TOMTC was instrumental in getting the Little Traverse Wheelway built.

Where are Packet Pickup locations?

Marathon, Half, 10K and Harbor Springs 5K packet pickup will be from 4 pm – 8 pm on Friday 5/25 at the Petoskey High School gym, 1500 Hill Street, Petoskey. Be sure to head on over to Bridge Park in Charlevoix after you pick up your packet and enjoy the Jelly Roll Blues Band and our pre-race pasta dinner.

Marathon participants ONLY that prefer to pick up in Charlevoix on Friday (4-8) must email us (admin@trailscouncil.org) before Thursday noon to let us know.

Charlevoix 5K packet pickup will be at Bridge Park in Charlevoix from 4pm – 8pm on Friday, 5/25.

Packet pickup for all races will be available on race day for one hour, up until 30 minutes before the race begins, BUT you are encouraged to pick up your materials on Friday if at all possible to relieve your (and our) stress on the morning of the race! Thanks for your cooperation!

Where should I park on Race Day?

  • Marathon Runners: There is ample parking in downtown Charlevoix. Shuttles will be available before the race if you wish to park in Harbor Springs or Petoskey. Shuttles will also return runners to Charlevoix after the race. Check at registration for details, but do indicate when you register that you will need a ride (am or pm).
  • Half Marathon Runners: Park in the lot immediately to the north of the main entrance to Bay Harbor. It is a short walk to the start line.
  • 10K Runners: Parking is NOT available at the Packy Offield Trail Center. Please park at b. may bags, 1922 M 119, Petoskey (just north of the Trail Center, on the East side of the road—watch for signs and park on the SOUTH side of the building, leaving room in front for their customers).
  • 5K Runners: Parking is available throughout Charlevoix and Harbor Springs. Runners planning to park in Harbor Springs are encouraged to arrive early, as there will also be 200 – 300 runners from Girls on the Run involved in the 5K there.

Is there a shuttle?

AM shuttle schedule

  • 6:00 am sharp!! Depart Stafford’s Pier parking lot in Harbor Springs. Be there on time!
  • 6:15 am..…. Shuttle stop at Petoskey’s Bayfront Park (first parking lot to the right after you enter the park off Lake St, behind the History Museum)
  • 6:30 am ……Shuttle stop at Bay Harbor parking area (first parking lot to the right, north of the main entrance).
  • 7:00 am ……Arrive Charlevoix – Bridge Park
  • 7:10 am ……Depart Charlevoix Bridge Park for Bay Harbor-Petoskey-Harbor Springs
  • 7:30 am ……Arrive Bay Harbor (Half start)
  • 7:45 am…… Arrive Packy Offield Trail Center (10K start)
  • 8:10 am…… Arrive Harbor Springs Stafford’s Pier Restaurant

Afternoon shuttle – new schedule:

  • Noon..…… First shuttle departs from Stafford’s Pier parking lot area for b may bags, Petoskey Bayfront Park, Bay Harbor and Charlevoix.
  • 1:30 pm….. Second shuttle departs from Stafford’s Pier parking lot area for b may bags, Petoskey Bayfront Park, Bay Harbor and Charlevoix.

What about awards?

Overall awards will be given in each race for men and women. Age group winners will go three deep in the following age brackets for men and women:

  • 16-19
  • 20- 24
  • 25 -29
  • 30-34
  • 35-39
  • 40-44
  • 45-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69
  • 70-74
  • 75+

What is not allowed on the course?

Our ability to obtain a permit next year will depend on leaving the course as we found it. No trash on the trail, please. Cups and papers at aid stations should be dropped within 50 yards of the station or carried to the next station.

What airports are nearby?

The nearest regional airport is Traverse City (TVC) (90-minute drive) and the closest major airport is in Grand Rapids (GRR) (three-hour drive). There is also a regional airport in Emmet County in Pellston (PLN) (25 minutes from Petoskey).

Do you recommend any places to stay?

Please visit Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau: http://www.petoskeyarea.com/stay/
Our title sponsor also offers lodging:  Stafford’s Hospitality

Are there any facilities anywhere along the course?

Restrooms/porta-johns are available in the start areas, at some of the aid stations and at roadside parks along the course. Please see the interactive course map for restroom locations.

Will medical personnel be on hand?

Physicians and nurses will be on hand for the entire event for your safety, in case of an emergency.

Who do I contact if I’d like to volunteer?

Please contact Sue at 231.348.8280, or email info@trailscouncil.org.   Lots of quality volunteers are needed to make this race come together!

The Community Marathon Benefits:

  • Top of Michigan Trails Council
  • Petoskey High School sports teams

Race and Volunteer Contacts

Top of Michigan Trails Council

Jeff Winegard, Race Director
231.348.8280 | info@trailscouncil.org