TRAVERSE CITY — The day before the Bayshore Marathon is the calm before the storm.
Aside from the race packet pick-up, scheduled to take place today from 5 until 9 p.m. at Traverse City Central High School, no one would even know that in fewer than 24 hours more than 7,000 runners will have descended on Traverse City for the 31st running of the Bayshore event, which includes a marathon, half-marathon and 10K.
“The last few days really aren’t (hectic),” said Daniel Siderman, race director. “Everything is really done by that point. Everything is ready to go. Obviously, packet pick-up is definitely a chaotic time. Everthing at this time is organized and ready to go.”
The Bayshore certainly comes with plenty of anticipation as the entire event was filled earlier than in any previous year. Registration opened on December 1 and the 2,400 competitors for the half-marathon were all registered within 80 minutes. It took the marathon, which will feature 2,750 runners, about a month to be filled and by the time February rolled around entrance into the 10K, which will have 2,000 runners, also closed.
Though there is such high demand for the event, race organizers cap the number at 7,150 for a couple of reasons.
“One, it’s how many people you can stage at where the finish line is, because they’ve got friends and family that come there as well,” said Siderman. “You really can’t fit more people there. The other reason is just safety out on the roads; how many people you can fit when the runners cross paths — the half-marathon and the marathon will collide on Center, Bluff Road, out there. You need to be able to make sure you can get a safety vehicle through there.”
The marathon will be the first race to get underway, starting at 7:15 a.m. The others begin at 7:30 a.m.
Jesse Davis from Indiana is the reigning men’s marathon champion in a time of 2:20:11.8. Traverse City’s Caitlin Smith won last year’s women’s marathon in 2:48:33.