The Rapidian

Running the RIver Bank

34th Annual River Bank Run to be held Saturday, May 14th. This article gives specific details for the event as well as reasons why Rapidians should attend, whether running or cheering from the side.
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Schedule of Events

 Friday, May 13

11a.m.-8p.m.: Sports & Fitness Expo at DeVos Place.


Saturday, May 14 

7a.m.-- 5K Men's

7:30a.m.-- 5K Women's

8a.m.-- 10K

8:10a.m.-- 25K Handcycle

8:12a.m.-- 25K Wheelchair Race

8:20a.m.-- 25K

8:45a.m.-- 5K Community Walk

7:30a.m.-1:30p.m.-- Michelob  Ultra Post-Race Party

Staging Area Map

Staging Area Map /Fifth Third River Bank Run.

You stand in a pack numbering somewhere in the thousands as the sweat of anticipation beads along your forehead. Everyone around you is in reserved motion: jumping from one foot to the next, jogging in place, grabbing their ankles and stretching their hamstrings. A hum of expectation lingers in the air, and then you hear it: On your marks! Thousands of seasoned runners hold their positions, left hands posed over their stopwatches ready to hit start, and everyone seems to hold their breath. The gun explodes and as a mass you move forward—the energy of Grand Rapids carrying you.

Ahh.. the Fifth Third River Bank Run. This annual Grand Rapids road race will mark its 34th event on Saturday, May 14, starting on Monroe Ave. and finishing on Ottawa Ave. in downtown Grand Rapids. Boasting the largest 25K road race in the nation, the River Bank Run also hosts a 10K Run, 5K Run, 5K Walk and Junior events for those not quite up for the 15.6 mile jaunt.

So why should you be there? Perhaps because you enjoy the thrills of competition. Perhaps because over 22,000 participants and 38,000 spectators will attend and you don’t want to miss the action. Or perhaps just because you view Grand Rapids to be the sort of community that supports and encourages each other. There are numerous reasons to join the event on May 14th, whether you plan to run an ambitious 25K or cheer those runners to the finish line.

For some runners, getting to that finish line is far more important than the time it takes to get there. Anna Ball, a first time 25K runner in the 2010 River Bank Run described the feeling of finishing the race, saying: “It felt absolutely amazing. Crossing the finish line was probably one of my favorite moments in my life so far. My hard work paid off. I really almost cried.”

As thousands of runners finish their final month of training for this event, many will consider marking the day off on their calendars to be part of the encouragement that carries the runners there. The Fifth Third River Bank Run isn’t only an event for runners, but an event for the entire Grand Rapids community. Ball summed it up well saying, “I think the race is great for Grand Rapids because we really come together as a community. Everyone running and everyone who lines the street cheers for people they don't even know.” 

For more information on race location, time and registration, see the side panel or visit the Fifth Third River Bank Run Web site


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