1st 5k: Starting point is at 827 feet, rising slightly to 867 feet by the mile mark before descending to 680 feet at mile two. The slight climb of the Leelanau Trail the 3rd mile to 737 feet means a net drop of 90 feet the first 5k. (827 to 737)
2nd 5k: The slight incline of the Leelanau Trail continues mile four to 757 feet and to 761 feet by the mile five mark. Mile six sees a slight drop to 741 resulting in the flattest 5k of the five with a net climb of 4 feet. (737 to 741)
3rd 5k: After a short decline to 713 feet, this 5k will prove to be one of the two most demanding, with an incline to 801 feet by the time you reach the crest of Hill Top Rd. at 8.5 miles. The sharp drop down Hill Top Rd. to 612 feet to the exchange zone means a net drop of 129 feet for this 5k. (741 to 612)
4th 5k: The slight decline as you reach M-22 is soon met with a sustained gradual incline for both miles ten and eleven. A steeper grade to 712 feet by the 20k mark on Revold Road is a challenge with a net gain for the 5k of 100 feet. (612 to 712)
5th 5k: After a roller coaster stretch along Revold Road, heading north on the Leelanau Trail allows for the gradual downhill into Suttons Bay & an elevation of 591 feet at the 15 mile mark. A flat .5 mile on the streets of Suttons Bay results in a net drop of 121 feet. (712 to 591) This is the section of the 25k course used for the 5k, which promises to be fast!
Summation: While the first and last 5k's are clearly the easiest, the third and fourth 5k's are the most demanding. One should not be deceived by the net drop the third 5k. Fortunately, the two longest hills with the most substantial grades are downhill. (1.2 to 2.0 on Lakeview Hills Road and 8.5 to 9.4 on Hill Top Road) The decline for the 25k is 236 feet. (827 to 591) The decline for the 15k relay leg is 215 feet. (827 to 612) The incline for the 10k relay leg is 21 feet. (612 to 591) The decline for the 5k is 121 feet (712 to 591)