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Everything You Need to Know About the 2015 Fifth Third River Bank Run

Warren Goldswain/ThinkStock

The River Bank Run is upon us, and we want you to be prepared! Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s run.

More than 20,000 runners and 40,000 spectators will be taking part in the 38th annual Fifth Third Bank River Bank Run this Saturday.  

Runners will start lining up at 7 a.m. on the corner of Lyon and Monroe in downtown Grand Rapids.Finishers with the best times will be invited to participate in the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials for the first time this year.

Also of note is that there is a “race within the race” this year. Elite woman athletes will start 11 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of the elite men and the rest of the field. Why 11 minutes and 30 seconds? Because that’s the average difference between the men’s and women’s race finishing times for the Fifth Third River Bank Run over the past ten years.

Starting the women earlier will create a competition between the men and women. Whoever crosses the finish line first, male or female, will receive a $1,000 bonus.

Organizers are also adjusting start times to make room for the split field. The elite women will start at 8:18 a.m. and the rest of the 25K runners will start at 8:30 a.m. The Fifth Third 5K Community Walk will begin at 9 a.m.

Here’s the official 2015 parking and traffic guide:

Roads will begin closing starting at 3 p.m. Friday with Ottawa closing from Michigan to Lyon. For more, see below.

A map of race spectator hot spots, course maps, and frequently asked questions can be found on the official race website.

The weather may be a little dicey at racetime, with WZZM-13’s Aaron Ofseyer predicting showers and thunderstorms to move through the are early Saturday.

The official charity this year is Stand Up To Cancer, with $1 from every paid entry into the race going to the charity.

Late registration and packet pick-up are taking place today (Friday, May 8th) until 8 p.m. at DeVos Place. The pickup also features a River Bank Run Sports & Fitness Expo.

The Amway Pasta Dinner will be held at DeVos Place from 4:30 to 8 p.m., with a variety of fresh pastas, including gluten-free, as well as salad, rolls and beverage. The cost is $15 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under are free.

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