Kalamazoo Marathon is back

The Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon (formerly the Borgess Run for the Health of It) — in part — is set to return in person in April 2022. “I think we’re all really excited, you know,” said Carrie Drake, the marathon’s race director, “having to go virtual was really hard for the community and that was early spring 2020 so a lot of people were feeling uncertain about COVID.”

“The full marathon will be back in 2023, just given some of the organizing team transition,” said Drake. “We’ll have the half marathon, the 5k and the 10k back all this year.”

Even though only a few of the events will be held this year, organizers expect a huge turnout:  between 3.5 to 4 thousand runners. The 2020 cancelation

In 2020, the Kalamazoo Marathon was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and marathon organizers informed runners via social media and on the Kalamazoo Marathon website once they figured out what exactly was going on with the pandemic, said Blaine Lam, co-creator of the Kalamazoo Marathon who retired from organizing the race during the pandemic

“We saw the effects that it had on the Kalamazoo Marathon with its absence,” said Eric Blackwell, a past Kalamazoo Marathon participant, “Economically it’s huge for the city to not have that, but it was pretty difficult for the running community.”

“You know you train and you’re getting ready for these events and then it doesn’t happen. It’s such a huge emotional letdown,” said Blackwell, “To be forced out of an event like that is pretty difficult.”

Although the 2020 Kalamazoo Marathon was abruptly canceled, that didn’t stop the running community from encouraging one another to stay active.