GRA 10K/5K event to start, finish at Hanson Hills
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling Recreation Authority 10K/5K – foot races held annually during the AuSable River Festival – will be conducted on Saturday, July 28, with courses that start and end at Hanson Hills Recreation Area. Event organizers are hoping for 200 participants this year; people can still register for the race.
“We’re hoping to get around 200,” said Justin Andre, Director of Operations for Grayling Recreation Authority (GRA).
Last year’s overall numbers were down from the previous couple of races. The 2017 GRA 10K/5K had 140 finishers, according to official results.
Organizers have made a few changes to the 10K event over the last several years, including different venues and addition of the 5K option for runners.
The race course in 2002 through 2009 started and ended at Grayling High School’s track and utilized part of the Grayling Bicycle Turnpike, a paved path for nonmotorized traffic. In 2010, organizers moved the GRA 10K back into town to be closer to AuSable River Festival events. The race started and ended near Grayling Middle School in Grayling for 2010 through 2015. The 2014 race featured the 5K option for the first time.
In 2016, due to road construction projects in Grayling, GRA had to move the 10K/5K. Event organizers opted for Hanson Hills Recreation Area, GRA’s base of operation, for the venue change.
It was intended as a temporary switch, but people liked the new course, and event organizers decided to keep the 10K/5K at Hanson Hills.
The addition of the 5K option was an attempt to attract more participants, according to GRA, and it succeeded. In 2005 through 2013, the 10K event featured an average of 107 runners with a high of 131 in 2009 and a low of 91 in 2008. The 2013 GRA 10K had 96 runners and participation jumped to 173 in 2014 with the addition of the 5K division.
In 2015, the final number was 169, and in 2016 the race had 186 finishers.
The 5K course will be the same as last year. Event organizers call it “The Wimpy’s Loop” and it utilizes Old Lake Road and M-93, starting and ending at Hanson Hills.
Event organizers changed the course of the 10K option last year, and this year’s course may feature a couple of adjustments as well.
People can sign up for the 2018 10K/5K online at runsignup.com/Race/MI/Grayling/ GRA10K and runsignup.com/Race/MI/Grayling/GRA5K.
Cost to register for the event is $25 (10K) or $20 (5K) for those who sign up early. Race day registration will run from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on July 28 at Hanson Hills.
This year’s 10K/5K will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, at Hanson Hills. There will be awards for the top finishers in both the 10K and 5K.
Age group awards for the 5K is a new addition to this year’s event. In the previous 5K events, awards went only to the top male and top female.
“With (the 5K) growing in popularity, we’re going to recognize more of the runners,” Andre said.