What do I do?

Event day is so exciting and filled with an energy like no other event around. If you’re new to an event like this, you may be wondering: what do I do first? Here’s your guide:

Your event day guide:


Click here for parking information and suggestions on using Grand Rapids’ free DASH bus system. We suggest parking by 7 am so you have plenty of time to get ready for your event.  

There is a note about construction on our parking page regarding travel on 196. If you are traveling east on 196 to Grand Rapids take the 131 southbound exit and immediately exit the highway onto Pearl Street.  

Event Check-In + Registration

If you did not check in and get your bib at the Expotique, you’ll find the Event Check-In tent at Calder plaza. Find your bib number online, and then find the appropriate line. You’ll be given your bib and safety pins, your event shirt and a clear plastic bag you can use for Gear Check.

If event caps have not been reached, event day registration will be available. You’ll be assigned a bib number and can then go to Event Check-In.


Gear Check - Provided by Edwards Jones of Byron Center

Open 6:30 am – 12:30 pm

Gear Check allows you to stow your belongings while you’re out on the course. It will be organized sequentially bib number.

You will receive a clear bag at gear check. This is the only bag allowed to be checked with your belongings. Please use the gear check tag affixed to your bib number to identify your bag. Attach your tag to your gear bag with provided zip tie. After the race, reclaim your checked bag at the location where you dropped it off.

Please note: DO NOT leave valuables, cash or jewelry in your gear bag. The event is not responsible for any lost items. Gear bags must be claimed before close of the Finish Line on race day

Thank you Edward Jones!


We will have LOTS of these on Calder Plaza to use before you get in line for you event. 

Getting in line

Half Marathon participants should line up according to pace, with the fastest runners in the front and the walkers at the back. Please look for the pace signs to help you figure out where you should line up. If you are walking the half marathon, please line up at the end of the line of runners.

10k participants should line up AFTER the half marathon participants have all crossed the starting line. 10k participants should not line up with the half marathon participants. The 10k will start at 8:00 am.

5k participants should line up AFTER the 10k participants have all crossed the starting line. 5k participants should not line up with the 10k participants The 5k will start at 8:20 am.

There are no pace groups for the 5k and 10k, but volunteers will be holding pace per mile signs at the start to assist with your line up. Walkers should line up at the very back.

After your event

After you cross the finish line, please enjoy post-event nutrition/hydration before heading to the Finisher Awards tent on Calder Plaza to claim your bling! Note: participants MUST show their bib to receive the finisher prize. If the correct bib is not displayed, the finisher gift will not be available.

Then, stick around and enjoy the finish-line festival! 
The awards ceremony will happen at approximately 10:30 am. Those who placed for an age group award can claim their prize at the Awards Tent. 

Finish Line Festival

We are excited to continue building upon the finish line tradition and are planning a finish line festival that is bigger and better than ever! As you cross the finish line enjoy live music, food trucks, interactive sponsor booths, beer and wine. 

Bring a valid ID if you would like an alcoholic beverage. Your race bib does not count as ID. 
The bar is cash only. 

Weather Policy - Will the race be cancelled?

If it’s just rain or snow, the race goes on! You’ll see colored flags at our aid stations to alert you about weather conditions. Flags change color if weather heightens risk to the race (high winds, lightening/storms). If you see black flags, the race is cancelled.

Deals for Gazelle Girls - Continue the celebration

Show your bib for $1 off your beer/cider at Brewery Vivant (good thru April 21) to celebrate your accomplishment! Limit 4. Must be 21+. Good for Gazelle Girl runners only (non transferable).

Barfly Ventures wants to celebrate Gazelle Girl finishers with the following offer: Bring your race bib in all day April 14 to HOPCAT to receive a $2 Beer Me lager or Grand Rapids Brewing Co. for a $2 Silverfoam lager!

Founders Brewing Co. wants to celebrate Gazelle Girl finishers with the following offer:

“Bring your race bib in to the Founders Grand Rapids Taproom from 4/14 – 4/28 to receive $1 off your first pint. This offer may only be used once.

What's the protocol in hazardous weather?

Hazardous Weather and Evacuation Protocol

The Gazelle Girl Half Marathon (GGHM) may be delayed up to one hour from the 7:30 a.m. (EST) start time due to hazardous weather or environmental conditions. After one hour, if conditions are still deemed too hazardous, the event will be canceled and no refunds will be provided. Cancellation of the event will be determined by GGHM officials in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Police Department and the City of Grand Rapids Office of Special Events.

FOG. If a heavy fog is present 15 minutes prior to the start time that substantially reduces visibility on the course and surrounding streets, event officials should determine if a delay until visibility has improved or a cancellation to ensure the safety of event participants and volunteers is required.

ICE. An ice storm within four hours of start time should be considered potentially dangerous to participants. Streets used for the race course will be treated appropriately with anti-ice agents coordinated by the City of Grand Rapids Office of Special Events. With a mid-April event, ice on the course is unlikely but should be considered as weather patterns during the past several years have been unpredictable. Extremely icy conditions and/or freezing rain near or at the 7:30 a.m. start will make the event subject to delay and/or cancellation if conditions are too dangerous at the start time.

LIGHTNING. An electrical storm within the race course area within one hour of the 7:30 a.m. start time should be considered potentially life threatening to participants, volunteers and spectators. In addition, timing mats will have to be turned off if lightning occurs as they can transport an electrical shock to those crossing the mats. A determination should be made by 7:10 a.m. as to whether the race should be continued as scheduled, delayed until the storm has passed or canceled altogether. While the determination is being made, participants, volunteers and spectators will be directed by the event emcees, staff and key volunteers, and the Grand Rapids Police Department, to take shelter in the Fifth Third Bank and Government Center underground parking levels.

TEMPERATURE. Extremely cold temperatures, although not likely, can happen in April and shouldn’t be taken lightly as frostbite can occur when parts of the body are exposed to temperatures below freezing for even a limited duration of time. Low temperatures, combined with wind producing wind chill, can be brought down further. Conditions can then become problematic for participants, especially if dressed inadequately for the conditions. If problematic temperatures are present when check-in opens on race day (6:30 a.m.), participants should be encouraged to stay in the Celebration tent on Calder Plaza (if heated) or return to their vehicles, remaining there until just before their start, then returning to the tent or seeking alternative options following their event as quickly as possible for shelter. The same should be said of volunteers, moving to and from assignments as quickly. If temperatures remain drastically below average, the event will be subject to delay and/or cancellation.

SEVERE WEATHER WATCHES AND WARNINGS. If there is a severe weather watch (thunderstorm, tornado, etc.) within two hours of start time and/or during the event, Gazelle Girl staff will work with the National Weather Service and the City of Grand Rapids Office of Special Events to monitor the situation while continuing to move forward with the event. If there is a severe weather warning, the National Weather Service will sound their siren for a tornado warning but not for a thunderstorm warning. As soon as weather is labeled “severe” by the National Weather Service, event emcees, staff and key volunteers will direct those at the start/finish line and/or Calder Plaza to evacuate to the Fifth Third Bank and Government Center underground parking ramp levels. If time allows, key staff will also unplug any electrical equipment in the area. Once the warning has passed, the Office of Special Events and the Grand Rapids Police Department will assist Gazelle Girl staff in determining whether or not the event can continue or be canceled with no refunds provided.

NON-WEATHER RELATED HAZARD. Occasionally, a situation may arise that could negatively impact the race course and/or surrounding area. If this happens in the two hours prior to the 7:30 a.m. start (i.e. residential/commercial fire, multi-vehicle accident, etc.) and the event can be re-routed around the situation, the continuation of the event and/or a one hour delay should be considered. If, however, a situation develops near start time that cannot be negated with minimal rerouting and/or a delay, the race could be canceled and no refunds provided. If an emergency situation arises which may impact the start/finish line and/or Calder Plaza, event emcees, staff and key volunteers will direct participants to the Fifth Third and Government Center underground parking levels.

Some tips for a great event!

Prepare the night before! Lay out what you want to wear, pack your bag and be ready to go.

Make sure you have everything, especially your bib, before you leave your vehicle after parking.

If the forecast looks chilly or like rain, a dry change of warm clothes or a towel can be nice to have. Think comfort! Dry shoes or comfy slips on can feel great on sore feet. Store these items at gear check so you can grab them after you are done!

Clothes discarded during the event will be picked up and donated to charity. Please plan to drop them within the first mile or at an aid station.

Remember, nothing new on race day! Wear clothes/shoes/socks you’ve worn before. Eat similarly to your training runs.

HAVE FUN! Today is a celebration!

Get social! Use #GazelleGirl on Twitter and Instagram to share photos and inspiration!

Event Day Schedule

6:30-8:30 am Event check-in and late registration (if event caps have not been reached)

7:25 am myTeam Triumph Gazelle Girl Half Marathon start

7:30 am Gazelle Girl Half Marathon start (staggered)

7:50 am Gazelle Girl 5k start

8:00 am Gazelle Girl 10k start

7:30 am-1:30 pm Finish Line Celebration (Calder Plaza)

9 am-1:30p Results look-up (Volunteer Check-in/Information Tent)

8:30 am-12:30 pm Finisher Awards available in tent north of the finish line

10:30 am Awards Ceremony (Finish Line Festival tent)

Streets will reopen to traffic at 11:30 am with those still participating asked to move to the sidewalks.  Those who do not finish by 12:30 pm when the finish line truss is removed will have.their finish time recorded with a hand-held scanner for inclusion in the results.


Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support of Gazelle Girl 2019!

Presenting Sponsors
Gazelle Sports
New Balance

Gold Level
Corelife Eatery
Foster Swift


Silver Level
Mercy Health
Gordon Food Service
Metro Health
Terryberry – Charm & Medal sponsor
Boxed Water

Volunteer Support Sponsor
Gun Lake Casino

Bronze Level
Gluten Free Bar
Brewery Vivant
Farmhaus Cider Co.
CKO Kickboxing
Fenn Valley
Milk Means More
Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy
Mary Free Bed Sports Rehabilitation
Club Pilates Breton Village
Kent District Library
Advantage Benefits Group
Fox Subaru
Priority Health
Cookie Chicks

Community Supporter
Beer City Barre
The Hibe
myway mobile storage
Universal Forest Products
Clif Bar & Co.

Media Partners
JOY 99.3