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Maybe it's just that spring releases huge amounts of pent-up competitiveness -- or maybe because this is just such a beautiful place to have a race -- whatever the reason, springtime is the occasion for lots of sporting competitions in the Traverse City area.
Spring running season here begins in March with the Leapin' Leprechaun 5K an annual St. Patrick's event featuring a course that meanders throughout the Traverse City warehouse district.
In April there's the Traverse City Trail Running Festival, a series of off-road running events on a variety of singletrack and two-track trails through the Pere Marquette Forest.
But it's May that brings one of the most popular running events in the Midwest. It's the Bayshore Marathon, a spring run up the Old Mission Peninsula - one of the world's most beautiful marathon settings - that attracts more than 7,000 runners.