New race runner

Nich Wolak • Oct 26, 2015 at 8:59 PM

There’s a new man running this Saturday’s Oktoberfest races, but he’s a familiar face to runners in the area — and he’s familiar with the event. 

Ron Knoll has taken over coordinator duties for the Spring Lake event from friends Todd and Diane Losee, allowing the couple to concentrate more on their family.

Knoll, who coordinates the Grand Haven triathlon and several other West Michigan events, said there isn’t much to change for the day, which is based at Old Boys’ Brewhouse in Spring Lake.

“I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel,” Knoll said. “They’ve established a very nice event for the community and for their cause.”

Proceeds will continue to benefit the Faith Marie Losee Fund — named for the couple’s daughter who was stillborn in 2006 due to an issue with her umbilical cord. The fund, which is part of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, raises money to provide infant medical equipment to neonatal departments at local hospitals.

The event will also continue to provide options for racers.

Saturday will bring a 5K, half and full marathon, while a 1- and 2-mile fun run will take place on Friday.

The marathon and half marathon begin at 8:15 a.m., with the 5K following shortly after at 8:30.

Race packet pickup and late registration is from 4 to 8 p.m. at Old Boys' on Friday, with the kids races taking place at 6:30 p.m.   

Prospective runners can sign up through midnight tonight online at www.oktoberfestmarathon.com/registration.html.

The cost is $95 for the marathon, $55 for the half marathon and $35 for the 5K, with costs rising $5 for the marathon and half marathon during Friday’s late registration, and $2 for the 5K.

The kids race will remain at $10.

Knoll said the runs’ views are hard to top.

“It's a very scenic course,” he said. “The 5K and the half marathon both run along Spring Lake for a while, then the 5K comes around on the bike path, making its way to the parking lot.

“The half and full marathon run right around Spring Lake. You have many nice views, it's one of the most scenic course out there for a half and a full marathon.”

The race coordinator added that the price is also hard to beat.

“The entry fees are probably one of the, if not the, lowest for a half and full marathon in the state,” Knoll added.

All participants will get a T-shirt, with half and full marathoners earning a medal for their efforts.

The marathon is a qualifier for the Boston and New York City marathons, with the half marathon (with a quicker pace) also acting as a qualifier for the Big Apple’s race.

Weather.com projected a high of 78 degrees for the event at the time of print.

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