The Canal Run finish line will be at McLain State Park for the 2018 event due to road conditions on M-203 between McLain State Park and downtown Hancock resulting from the heavy flooding that hit the area on June 17.
“This was not an easy decision for us as we love our downtown Hancock finish,” Race Director Angela Luskin said. “However, with the condition of the Swedetown Bridge on M-203, and other minor areas of damage on M-203, it’s too risky for us to put racers in those areas.”
The race starts will remain the same for the five-mile, 10-mile and half marathon events, while the two-mile fun run/walk will start at the Quincy-Franklin-Hancock Township Fire Department Building south of McLain park. Each race will finish at McLain State Park, where the annual Kid’s Dash will also take place.
One key difference for the race will be that all racers and participants are asked to park at the First Apostolic Lutheran Church on M-203 a couple miles west of Calumet. The Canal Run will be renting eight buses that will be rolling on a continuous basis dropping off runners at their respective starts, volunteers where they need to be along the course and spectators at the finish line. The buses will also bring people back to their car. M-203 will be closed to non-local traffic from 6 a.m. until the race’s completion.
“We’re proud that we’ll be able to continue this event for the 43rd year,” Luskin said. “We couldn’t be doing this without the unwavering support we continue to receive from racers, volunteers and many local agencies and organizations, and also without the tremendous work of the volunteers who continue to bring our community closer to normal after that devastating storm.”
Friday night’s activities, including the fourth annual Key Ingredients, will continue to be in downtown Hancock with the racer packet pickup and expo at the Finnish American Heritage Center and live music and food filling the streets of downtown Hancock from 6 to 9 p.m.
Registration remains open and volunteers are still needed. Visit www.canal.run for full details.
FAQs about 2018 Canal Run’s new finish
Where will my race start?
The race starts will remain the same for the five-mile, 10-mile and half marathon events. The new start for the two-mile fun run/walk will be the Quincy-Franklin-Hancock Township Fire Department Building. The Kid’s Dash will start roughly a ¼ mile from the finish line in McLain State Park.
How will I get to my start line?
All participants and spectators are asked to part at the First Apostolic Lutheran Church on M-203 just west of Calumet. The Canal Run will provide free busing on a constantly rotating basis from 6 a.m. until around noon, or until the last racer has left McLain State Park.
What is my new start time?
The start time will be the exact same as it previously was. Please plan to arrive at your designated start area at least a half hour before your race starts. The buses will be leaving constantly, but please plan to arrive early to make sure you don’t cut it close. The races will start at their scheduled time.
- 7:15 a.m. – 10-mile walk
- 7:30 – Half Marathon
- 8 a.m. – 10-mile run
- 8:50 a.m. – 5-mile run
- 8:55 a.m. – 5-mile walk
- 9:20 a.m. – 2 mile fun run/walk
How do I get to the First Apostolic Lutheran Church?
The address for the church is 23550 State Hwy M203 , Calumet, MI. To get there, drive north from Hancock on US-41, and take a left on M-203. It is 2.5 miles after that turn. It is located about 13.5 miles from the Finnish American Heritage Center in downtown Hancock.
Will the bus rides be a lot longer now?
The bus ride to the half marathon and 10-mile start locations will be shorter as the church is only 6.3 miles from McLain State Park. The ride to the five-mile start location will be a little longer, and participants are asked to plan accordingly.
Is this going to be an out-and-back race?
The five-mile will not be, but the 10-mile and half marathons will be this year. There will be a timing mat at the turnaround point, which will be near the bottom of High Point Road. If you don’t go over the mat, your time will not be counted.
As a spectator, can I still drive on the course to watch racers?
No. For the safety of racers and volunteers, we ask that M-203 be closed to anyone but people who live or work on M-203, volunteers heading to their respective spot, or buses who will be bringing racers, volunteers and spectators to their spots. This is especially important this year as there will be racers on both sides of the road.
As a spectator, can I ride a bus to the finish line?
Yes – we’d love to have you join us at the finish line for all the festivities. Buses will be free to all, and will be running constantly between McLain State Park and First Apostolic Lutheran Church.
Will you still need volunteers?
The move should also lessen the total needs for volunteers and course logistics, however we will still need many volunteers to make this race happen. Learn how you can get involved at canal.run/volunteer.
Will race-packet pickup still take place in downtown Hancock Friday night?
Yes – rack-packet pickup, last-minute registration and the racer expo will continue to be held at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock from 3 to 8 p.m.. Events associated with the Key Ingredients will also be taking place.
Will there still be a morning pickup for race packets?
Yes – Race-packet pickup will be available in the morning in the parking lot of the First Apostolic Lutheran Church from 6 to 8 a.m. As usual, it’s recommended people pick these up Friday night at the Finnish American Heritage Center.
Do I need a state recreational pass to get into McLain State Park?
If you are coming in on one of buses or walking in, you do not need a pass.
Will the awards and other post-race activities still take place?
Yes, all of the amenities you’ve grown to love from the Canal Run will be available at McLain State Park for after the race.