After hearing feedback from dozens of Canal Run participants, researching logistics, and discussing the idea openly and comprehensively as a group, the Canal Run committee has decided to focus on adding a marathon-distance run for the summer of 2017.
“Our focus has always been on offering a great experience for our racers,” Race Director Angela Luskin said. “This timetable will give us more than a year and a half to work out the countless challenges that we will incur by adding a marathon to the Canal Run.”
Several course options have been researched including a there-and-back race from the downtown Hancock start line, a race start in Keweenaw County and a race start along Torch Lake near Tamarack City. Currently, the committee sees a race start near Tamarack City to be the most likely.
“Each of these options presents unique opportunities and challenges,” Luskin said. “This will give us to time to begin a dialogue with people in these communities, and also discuss the idea with our amazing volunteers who come out and support this event each year.”
The committee estimates it will take a 25 percent increase in volunteers to add a marathon.
The Canal Run has grown into one of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s largest silent sports event, attracting nearly 1,000 participants during the 2015 event. The total amount of participants has grown each of the past six years, including a significant growth after the addition of the half marathon in 2012. Last year half marathon participants traveled from 16 states.
“Adding a half marathon introduced Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula and the Canal Run as a destination in the running community,” Luskin said. “We continue to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from runners of all skill and experience levels. We want to continue to offer an incredible product without negatively affecting our current offerings.”
That includes the signature 10-mile race, which will not be discontinued.
Registration for the 41st annual Canal Run will open in early 2016. As usual, the event will include a 5-mile walk, 5-mile run, 10-mile walk, 10-mile run and half marathon. The race date is July 16.
Below are the names of the current Canal Run committee members. We urge you to reach out to them to provide your feedback on the idea of adding a marathon. You can also e-mail your comments to email@example.com or call Race Director Angela Luskin at (906) 483-1153.
Canal Run Committee
- Angela Luskin, Race Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mary Myers
- Faye Carr
- Kendra Coppo
- Chris VanArsdale
- Tracy Lang
- Susan Rosemurgy
- Michael H. Babcock
- Mia Moilanen
- Katie Brewster
- Jim Tervo