A swarm of runners from throughout the Midwest will converge on Door County this weekend for the 11th Door County Half Marathon and Nicolet Bay 5k.
More than 2,600 runners are signed up for the race in Peninsula State Park that is considered one of the most picturesque in the region. More than 90 percent of runners call someplace other than Door County home, which means local restaurants, shops and hotels will be brimming with runners all weekend.
The run is staged at Nicolet Bay and takes runners along the shoreline, up Skyline Road to Sven’s Bluff, and through the wooded interior of the park before finishing back at Nicolet Bay.
Much of the course was covered in two feet of snow and inches of ice just a couple weeks ago, making organizers nervous. Race Director Brian Fitzgerald called in plows to clear snow from the course after Blizzard Evelyn blanketed it in snow. A thick layer of ice under the snow finally melted earlier this week.
“We’ll be hard at work this week getting the park ready,” Fitzgerald said. “It might be a little sloppy for our crew, but it will be great for runners.”
More than 200 volunteers help bring the race together, handing out water, medals, food, and making the race a runner’s favorite. But it’s also a business favorite.
The race has turned the first Saturday of May into a busy weekend for hotels, restaurants and gas stations on a day when most were nearly empty a decade ago.
The Door County Half Marathon starts at 10 am, Saturday, May 5. The Nicolet Bay 5k gets underway at 10:15 am. Packet Pickup takes place Friday, May 4, at the Ephraim Village Hall from 1 – 9 pm.
Nicolet Boat Launch Closed for Race
Access to the Nicolet Boat Launch in Peninsula State Park will be limited on race day. There will be no access to the boat launch from 8 am to 2 pm as sections of the park will be closed to traffic during the race.
Door County Half Marathon and Nicolet Bay 5k
Where: Shore Road, Peninsula State Park
Time: Half Marathon starts at 10 am; 5k starts at 10:15 am
Participants: 2,600 runners
Parking: Limited parking available at Nicolet Bay overflow lot. Free shuttles will take spectators and runners to and from the finish line from Stella Maris Catholic Church in SISTER BAY and Gibraltar School in Fish Creek. Shuttle details>>