HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — More than a thousand runners dotted the lakeshore Sunday morning for the eighth annual Holland Haven Marathon.
The number of runners was limited to 700 last year because of COVID-19 restrictions, but this year, event organizers say a total of 1,300 people from 30 different states took part in the race. The race is a Boston Marathon qualifier, which is part of the reason it draws in runners from all over the country.
Eddie Kline, who started the race eight years ago, says it’s also one of the more unique marathons in West Michigan.
“What we do with this race is we bus people out all the way to Grand Haven and they run all the way back to Holland. It’s just an awesome experience. We’re the only race around here that does that kind of thing, so it’s very unique. We run along Lake Michigan, we run along Lake Macatawa, so the lakeshore experience is really cool,” Kline said.
Holland Mayor Nathan Bocks, who has been the announcer at the event for the past several years, said it’s a perfect opportunity to showcase what the city has to offer.
“I love to have people have the opportunity to see what a great community Holland, Michigan is. We’ve got a fantastic downtown, we’ve got a fantastic waterfront. It gives the whole world the opportunity to see what a special place this is,” Bocks said.
The race starts at Camp Geneva along the coast of Lake Michigan, follows Lakeshore Drive past the beaches and finishes in the city of Holland. There are three different race options that are open to all ages, including an 8K, half marathon and the full marathon.
Holland Haven supports Camp Geneva by providing thousands of dollars to its camper scholarship fund each year.