The 26th Annual Traverse City State Bank Bayshore Marathon should prove to be another big event for the club. Both the marathon and half marathon races have been filled, with 1,700 runners in the marathon and 1,500 in the half marathon. The club also expects close to 1,000 runners in the 10k.
Set for Memorial weekend this Saturday, May 24, the race is an out and back course that stretches along the west side of East Bay. Runners start and finish at the Traverse City Central High School track. The marathon and half-marathon start at 7 a.m., with the 10K kicking off at 7:15 a.m.
In order for such an event to run smoothly, the Track Club relies on careful planning and plenty of volunteers. Most of the event involves volunteers, with only two paid positions for the director and person in charge of registration, said club president, Dave Taylor. Currently, there are 17 local non-profits organizations involved with the race, many of which will be in aid stations along the course.
It seems like running an aid station would be a simple task, but it has to be done the right way, Taylor said. We have a clinic for the volunteers on how to run a good aid station.
Besides the team-building aspect of volunteering, non-profit groups will walk away with around $500 to go towards their individual needs, Taylor said. The aspect of giving back to the community runs consistently throughout the rest of the race.
Property owners (along the race course) give out water and blast music in their yards, Taylor said. We really want to keep encouraging spectators to continue with that.
Taylor also points out the positive economic impact the race has on the Traverse City area.
From personal experience as a marathon runner, people will bring two to three people for support. That means a lot of people will be staying in the area during the Memorial weekend, he said.
Traverse City has long had a history in the sport of running. Established in 1961, the TCTC is the longest-standing running club in the U.S., Taylor said. When the club started, running was not as popular as it is today, hence its traditional name as a track club. For 47 years members have gathered at Traverse City Central High School every Wednesday evening as part of the clubs summer running program. For $10, runners can race each other for points or use the time for conditioning purposes.
For more on the Bayshore Marathon & 10K and the TC Track Club see www.bayshoremarathon.org.