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Fitness, family and fun planned for Saturday

Duncan MacLean • Jul 27, 2017 at 11:51 PM

A fortnight of festivities begins this weekend as the 2017 Coast Guard Festival continues Saturday with the Tri-Cities YMCA Coast Guard Festival Runs, sponsored by the North Ottawa Community Health System.

The customary kickoff features fitness-themed fun for all ages and athletic aptitudes.

The runs begin at 7:30 a.m. with the 5K run/walk, followed at 8:30 a.m. by the 10K run. For fans of sleep and familial bonding, the 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk departs at 8:45, followed by the Tot Trot Obstacle Course at 9:15 for the most daring of children ages 3-6.

Awards for the full slate of competition will be given at a ceremony at 10 a.m. All runs, walks, trots, obstacle courses and ceremonies begin and end at the hilltop Tri-Cities Family YMCA, 1 Y Drive, Grand Haven.

Athletes of all ages and fitness levels are encouraged to participate in the runs. The aim of the competition is to promote healthy lifestyles in the Tri-Cities area and build community centered on the beauty and vibrancy of the community.

Running strollers are permitted for all race distances and wagons are welcome in the Family Fun Run; runners with strollers are encouraged to line up at the rear of the starting group. Dogs are not permitted in any race.

Registration is open for the 5/10K and the family run through Saturday at 11:59 p.m. and for the Tot Trot through Saturday at 9:15 a.m. All registration can be done online at tcfymca.org.

Packet pickup will run at the YMCA today from 4:30-7 p.m. and Saturday beginning at 6:30 a.m. All packets must be collected by 9 a.m. on race day; packets and T-shirts will not be held for those who do not show up.

The 5K and 10K races cost $35 per runner, with a $3 signup fee. If an athlete wishes to compete in both races only one registration and payment is required. The timing systems in place will register both times.

The 1 Mile Family Fun Run will cost $15 plus a $2.50 signup fee. The Tot Trot is free, with no added signup fee.

All proceeds from the race events benefit youth and family programs at the Tri-Cities Family YMCA. NOCHS has assumed their typical position of lead sponsor for the event, championing healthy living in the community.

“We are a long-time and proud supporter of the Coast Guard Run. Like the YMCA, North Ottawa Community Health System is totally committed to supporting the kinds of activities that keep our community healthy and active,” Chief Communications Officer Jen Vanskiver said. “Every year, our physicians and employees look forward to volunteering and participating in this special event that not only demonstrates our sincere appreciation for the U.S. Coast Guard, but also celebrates the exceptional quality of life here in our hometown.”

The race is expected to be the biggest run to date, with 1,200 runners registered early this week and 1,700 expected on Saturday.

Due to continued construction on Grand Avenue, the traditional route for the race has been altered, sending runners through Duncan’s Woods and treating participants to a fantastic view of Lake Michigan as they travel down Lake Avenue, along Harbor Drive and up to the YMCA.

“The race planning has been a huge team effort this year,” said YMCA Fitness and Wellness Director Erica Phelps. “We are grateful to Grand Haven public safety for assisting us in selecting a course that continue to highlight the beautiful community we live in.”

Volunteers are imperative to the success of the race and still needed for Saturday. If you would like to volunteer for responsibilities including setting up race-route signage, setting up refreshment tables, helping with registration, passing out shirts and water and cheering on the course, send an email to Erica.phelps@tcfymca.org.

Participants are encouraged to leave extra time to find parking; the YMCA lot will close by 6:45 a.m. and those parked in the lot will not be permitted to leave until 10:30 a.m.

In the event of inclement weather, events will be delayed in 15-minute increments. If the 5K race has not been started by 8:30 a.m., all events will be canceled.

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