Community Marathon FAQs

2017 Stafford’s Little Traverse Wheelway Marathon/Half/10K FAQ

Memorial Weekend 2017

(Charlevoix to Harbor Springs)

Half Marathon
(Bay Harbor to Harbor Springs)

10K Run / Walk
(Petoskey to Harbor Springs)

Video from 2016 Race

Community Marathon Trails Council Petoskey Michigan

Can I print the latest last-minute race information?

An information sheet to take with you before the race is HERE.

What is the date of the race?

Saturday May 27, 2017

When does registration open?

Online registration is open now and will end at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 (no exceptions) meaning there will be no race day registrations! You can register by going to or Registrations will be limited to 500 total runners in the four events, so it’s important that you register now!

How old is this race?

This is the second 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 tech shirts this year.

Where is the start?

  • Marathon: 209 Bridge Street 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

Where is the finish?

All races end at Zorn Park Beach on West Bay Street in Harbor Springs. Map:

Is there a shuttle?

There will be a shuttle from Harbor Springs and Petoskey in the morning to the start for the marathon, the half and the 10K, and again in the afternoon back to Petoskey, Bay Harbor and Charlevoix.

What is the weather like in late May?

The average temperature for May 27 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:

A map of the half marathon start can be found here:

An interactive map can be found here:

What is the course like?

The Wheelway is a re-establishment of a turn-of-the-century 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 Trail is relatively flat and prime for running a fast time. The Half marathon and 10K are run on the same course.

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 some 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. 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 few road crossings.

What are the age groups for awards?

Awards will go to the top three finishers in each age bracket, male and female. Age brackets are as follows for the marathon and half marathon:

  • 19 – 29
  • 30 – 39
  • 40 – 49
  • 50 – 59
  • 60 – 69
  • 70+

For the 10K run, the following age brackets apply:

  • 15 – 16
  • 17 – 18


Will this race be professionally timed?

NEW THIS YEAR! Yes. The timing equipment will be provided by Superior Timing. Results will be posted immediately at the finish line.

How does the relay team race work?

The relay team part of the race is a fun activity for corporations and other organizations to enter.  Relay teams will start with the marathon field in Charlevoix, and will finish in Harbor Springs. The first and last team members running will need to wear their assigned team race number for timing purposes. Exchanges are only permitted at aid stations. Team cars are to park on the right side of the road in a safe position to drop off their runners. Runners must tag each other at the aid station. Runners can run more than one leg. Teams may consist of as few as two members or up to as many members as the number of aid stations (13) plus one. Teams can enter one of two divisions 1) Open (all male or mixed)  or 2) Female only.

Cost to enter is $300. Shirts will be provided to each registered team based on the number of runners (up to ten shirts). The first place team in each division will win an award.  Teams should print this form to register. Questions? Contact race director Jim Harrington at or call 989-619-4204.

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. Relay teams may substitute runners on their teams if reported prior to the start of the race. 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.

Will I receive an award if I place in my age group?

Awards are given to individual runners three deep, men and women, in these categories:
20 -29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60- 69, 70+. For the 10K run, two categories are added: 12-15 and 16-19.

When and where is packet pick-up?

Marathon: Packet pickup will happen in the park near Bridge Street Tap Room in Charlevoix from 3-9 pm on May 26. Marathon runners may pick up packets from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m. before the marathon begins at this same location.

Half Marathon: Packet pickup for the Half Marathon will be at Top of Michigan Trails Council, 1687 M 119, Petoskey, from 9 am – 2 pm on May 26, and from 3 – 9 pm on May 26 in the park near Bridge Street Tap Room in Charlevoix. Race-day pickup for the Half Marathon will be in Bay Harbor by the starting line from 6:30 – 7:30 am.

10K: Packet pickup will be at Top of Michigan Trails Council, 1687 M 119, Petoskey, from 9 am – 9 pm on May 26. Race-day pickup for the 10K will be at the Trails Council from 7:00 – 8:00 am on May 27.

Pasta Dinner

There will be a pasta dinner on Friday, May 26 from 5 – 8 pm  brought to you by Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company. Cost of the meal is $10 per person for registered runners. Cost is $15 for those accompanying runners.

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. 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 parking attendant).

How does the shuttle work on race day?

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

7:10 am ……Depart Charlevoix for Bay Harbor-Petoskey-Harbor Springs

7:30 am ……Arrive Bay Harbor

7:45 am…… Arrive Packy Offield Trail Center

8:10 am…… Arrive Harbor Springs Stafford’s Pier

Starting at 11:00 am ….Rides leave every half hour for Trail Center, Bay Harbor and Charlevoix from the parking lot near the Harbormaster Building (just east of Stafford’s Pier). LAST RIDE departs at 2:00 pm


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) and the closest major airport is in Grand Rapids (GRR). There is also a regional airport in Emmet County in Pellston (PLN).

Do you recommend any places to stay?

Please visit Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau: Other lodging sponsors are: Weathervane Terrace Inn , Charlevoix Inn & Suites, and Stafford’s Hospitality

Are there any facilities anywhere along the course?

Restrooms/porta-johns are available at the start area, 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 through the entire event for your safety, in case of an emergency.

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

Please contact Jim Harrington at 989-619-4204 or Lots of 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

Jim Harrington, Race Director
989.619.4204 |