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Gazelle Girl races into 2014

The Gazelle Girl half marathon and 5k will return in 2014 with some changes to the route and runner caps.

/Amway West Michigan Community Relations

Registration Opens December 1

Registration for the Gazelle Girl half marathon or 5k can be found here:

Cost for the half marathon is $75 until February 28, 2014. The cost is $85 until the day before the race, if space remains, the cost is $95 at the expotique. The 5k fee starts at $25.

The race is sponsored by Nike and Gazelle Sports.

The Rapidian is proud to be a media sponsor for the race this year! Citizen reporters Roberta F. King and Lisa Rose Starner will be writing about running and the event. If you're a veteran or novice runner and have a story to share, let us know.



Runner on the Sixth Street Bridge

Runner on the Sixth Street Bridge /Gazelle Girl

Gazelle Girl Runner

Gazelle Girl Runner /Gazelle Girl

Set for April 13, 2014 the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and 5k is on its way to becoming a Grand Rapids running tradition. The second year event promises to be a bit bigger and a bit better than the inaugural event.

Among the changes for 2014 is the day of the women-only race. It will be held on a Sunday, not a Saturday. "It is just easier and less expensive to work with the City of Grand Rapids with a Sunday event," said Tiler Webster, co-race director - Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and community outreach manager Gazelle Sports. For some runners, this might cause a conflict, as it is Palm Sunday. "We're planning an optional worship service before the race," said Webster.

The course is also changing. The 2013 race was plagued by minor race course changes in the days before the start. The rising Grand River, which caused widespread flooding in Kent County was reaching and sometimes overreaching its banks on race day. The route, which is still being designed, will take in more of Grand Rapids' Westside and less of the east side of the river.

Registration for the race opens at midnight on December 1. The number of half marathon runners will be expanded from 2,000 in last year's race to 4,000 this year. "We know that there were many women that were not able to participate due to the race cap. Increasing the half marathon number to 4,000 will allow us to reach more women while keeping the race experience positive for everyone participating," Webster said.

Over 25 percent of the participants of the event completed either the half marathon or 5k for the first time.

Another new feature will be the Priority Health Run Camp. Held in both in Grand Rapids and Holland, the camps will help women train for both the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and 5k along with the Fifth Third River Bank Run 5k, 10k, and 25k. "The collaborative training effort between the two races is especially good for beginners or runners who are looking for a social training atmosphere. We'll have team leaders for all pace groups so there will always be someone near by to run with," Webster said. Women that complete the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and Fifth Third River Bank Run 25k will receive a $25 Gazelle Sports gift card when they bring in both of their bibs to the store after the Fifth Third River Bank Run through the end of May.


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