The Kalamazoo Marathon brings back the 26.2 mile race

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – Organizers of the Ziegler Kalamazoo Marathon announced the return of the race for 2023, including the restoration of full marathon distance and the addition of a Kalamazoo landmark to the course.

For one day this spring, the Western Michigan University football team will share their home turf. Kalamazoo Marathon participants have Waldo Stadium as the first checkpoint for all races except the 5K.

WMU athletic director Dan Bartholomae said the idea of ​​running runners through Waldo was thrown around during early discussions with marathon organizers. He added that access is not limited to these participants and volunteers.

“The seating areas will be open,” Bartholomae said. “If you have someone (in the race) … and you want to come and bring a sign or take pictures of them running around Waldo Stadium … you can do that.”

Waldo joins the extensive list of scenic locations along the various circuits, including downtown Kalamazoo, the Air Zoo, Milham Park and Upjohn Park. Matt Thomas, chief of staff for race sponsor Ziegler Auto Group, said including the stadium was an easy choice.

“Think about it: being able to run through a stadium — an iconic stadium — in Kalamazoo and have people cheering,” Thomas said. “It’s just going to create a stage that we didn’t have before.”

The second major change is the return of a classic. After a three-year hiatus, the full 26.2-mile marathon is back and serving as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

“(The return of the marathon) is tremendous for our community to attract runners from across the country … Not just from the Midwest, but across the country, and that’s what we wanted to do,” Thomas said. “Because it’s not just about advancing health and community in Kalamazoo, but beyond.”

Registration is now open for all races. Walkers and runners will leave their mark on April 23, 2023. The Kalamazoo Marathon brings back the 26.2 mile race

Dais Johnston

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