**Correction: A previous version of this article listed an incorrect location for the Expotique and an incorrect race day schedule. We regret the errors, which have been fixed.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Girls and women will be taking over downtown Grand Rapids Sunday for the return of the Gazelle Girl race.
Thousands of female athletes are expected to take part in this year’s event, which includes 5K, 10K and half-marathon races. About 30 people from WOOD TV8 and WOTV 4 will be among them, including Teresa Weakley, Emily Linnert, Terri De Boer, Eva Aguirre Cooper, Katherine Ducharme, Rachel Ruiz and Ellen Bacca.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also plans to participate in the 5K race.
Unfortunately, West Michigan’s forecast isn’t shaping up to be a favorite for runners.
Meteorologist Matt Kirkwood says persistent wind and precipitation are a good bet as yet another spring storm heads into the southern Great Lakes.
The race will kick off as the moisture is moving in. It appears a mix of rain and snow will begin right around the beginning of the event. As the system draws closer, an easterly wind will intensify to between 10 mph and 20 mph.
Participants should plan on plenty of layers. Temperatures during the race will be in the low to mid-30s with wind chills only in the 20s.
NAVIGATING THE COURSE
While this is the race’s seventh year, participants can expect a course change-up. This year’s route will still start on Ottawa Avenue alongside Calder Plaza, but runners will head farther south into the city. The 5K, 10k and half-marathon will all take Oakes Street SW to Grandville Avenue SW to and Cherry Street SW before heading back north on Market Avenue SW. The finish line will be located on Ottawa Avenue between Michigan and Lyon streets.
Drivers should avoid the area during that time. Race organizers expect streets to reopen to traffic around 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The finish online area will reopen around 3:30 p.m.
Participants can pick up their race packets Saturday during the Expotique at Clearwater Place, 1430 Monroe Ave. NW, in Grand Rapids. The Expotique runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes a 2-mile warmup run through Grand Rapids, yoga and other exercise classes.
The Gazelle Girl Sunday race schedule is as follows:
- 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.: Event check-in and late registration
- 7:30 a.m.: myTeam Triumph Gazelle Girl half marathon start
- 7:40 a.m.: Gazelle Girl half marathon start (staggered)
- 8 a.m.: Gazelle Girl 10K start
- 8:15 a.m.: myTeam Triumph 5K start
- 8:20 a.m.: Gazelle Girl 5K start
- 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Finish line celebration
- 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Results look-up
- 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Finisher awards available in tent north of the finish line
- 10:30 a.m.: Awards ceremony
WOTV 4 is the media sponsor of the Gazelle Girl race. Proceeds from the event will support four West Michigan charities: Girls on the Run of Kent and Muskegon counties, the YWCA, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women and the Gazelle Sports Foundation.