Photo by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash.com

Annual Fun Runs, 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, & Marathon Events in West Michigan

West Michigan is an ideal location for runs and races. Right along the shores of Lake Michigan, Ludington features many beautiful roads beside the lake, through downtown Ludington, and on the way out to the State Park along the sand dunes. There are races in Ludington’s surrounding areas, as well, featuring more lakefront views and rural settings. Below, you will find dates and information for more annual fun runs and races in Ludington and the surrounding areas.

Here’s a list of races typically held in West Michigan, in calendar order:

Photo by Capstone Events on Unsplash.com.

Run the Pier 5k

August 13th, 2022

Run the Pier in Manistee from 8-10pm to help support local organizations. Proceeds will go to Stomp out Cancerand The Manistee County Child Advocacy Center. Additionally a portion of the donated dollars will go towards local public safety training.

Register by visiting runthepier.com.

Ludington Lighthouse Triathlon

August 14th, 2022

The annual Ludington Lighthouse Triathlon happens each August in downtown Ludington, where the Avenue ends right at the beach. The event includes biking, kayaking, and running and participants can choose from 6 different race combinations.

For more information, visit 3disciplines.com.

Dune Dash 4-Mile Walk

August 20th, 2022

This beautiful scenic run starts and finishes at the base of the Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Runners race on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and experience the beautiful forests and rolling dunes, turning around at historic Glen Haven. The race is generally held in mid August with a cost of $25 for adults 18 and up, $15 for teens 13-17, and $15 for children 12 and under. Prices go up by $5 after a certain date. Late registration will take place during packet pick up at The Filling Station Microbrewery- 642 Railroad Place, Traverse City. There is no day of registration. The Sleeping Bear Dunes charge an entrance fee of $15 per vehicle if you do not already possess a park pass.

For more information or to register, visit dunedash.com.

Michigan Adventure Race: Manistee National Forest at Caberfae

September 24th, 2022

Explore classic northern Michigan terrain while you and your teammates trek, orienteer, paddle, and bike in the majestic Manistee National Forest, collecting as many checkpoints as you can in the time allowed. This adventure features some of the best orienteering land in the Midwest and super-detailed LIDAR orienteering maps. Your paddle section is gorgeous and will reward good navigation, not a hammer fest down a river. The gravel + two-track biking will be on a mix of fast and rugged surfaces (no singletrack trails but plenty of challenge).

For more information, visit miadventurerace.com.

Salmon Run 5k & 10k Run/Walk

September 24th, 2022

This event is held annually to benefit the Food Pantry at St. Ann’s Senior Center in Baldwin. The race features a 5k and 10k through spectacular Michigan forests. The 5k is mostly along flat, paved surfaces with one large hill. The 10k is for serious distance runners and will go along unpaved trails in hilly wooded forest.

Early registration is generally $25 and $30 for late registrants. All registrants receive a t-shirt, while supplies last. 

Register by visiting racewire.com.

Stout Stumble 5k Walk/Run

October 8th, 2022

As part of Pentwater’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, weave through the village of Pentwater at your own pace. There will be a beer and a celebration at the finish line. All skills and ages welcome.

For more information or to register, visit runsignup.org.

Run for Your Lives 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run

October 29th, 2022

This annual 5k/10k/Marathon/fun-walk/run begins at 9am at James Street Plaza- Corner of Ludington Avenue and James St. in downtown Ludington. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume. Proceeds benefit the Love Ludington Fund and all pre-registrants receive a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt. The first 100 finishers receive a custom medal. 

For more information or to register, visit downtownludington.org/runludington.

Turkey Trot 5k

November

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and Win with Wellness sponsor the annual race which takes place at 8am on Thanksgiving morning. The 5k fun run/walk starts at the Cartier Park parking lot at the corner of Rath and Bryant in Ludington. There is no charge to participate and all ages and fitness levels are welcome to attend. Festive attire is encouraged! Fit Club students will earn miles toward the 100 Mile Challenge for participating in the Turkey Trot.

Pumpkin Pie Promenade Fun Run

November

Due to the cancellation of the annual Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Turkey Trot, this informal race has been created. Meet in the parking lot at Rath Ave. & Bryant Rd. at 8am, and take off to make 3 laps around the Cartier Park Loop for a 5k. Feel free to dress up, bring pets and kids, and walk or run Thanksgiving morning. This is just a fun run, so no medals or ribbons will be awarded.

New Year’s Resolution 5k Run

January 1, 2023

Presented by Downtown Ludington, this race runs from Loomis Street to James Street in downtown Ludington. Registration typically includes a custom medal, and a tri-blend race tee.

For updated information and to register, visit downtownludington.org/runludington.

White Pine Stampede 50k, 20k, 10k Point-to-Point Cross Country Race

February

This cross country race event begins at Mancelona High School- 9300 W. Limits Rd., Mancelona, winds through Northwest Michigan, and ends at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire, Michigan. A portion of proceeds benefit the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and the Jack McKaig Social Justice Scholarship. 

For more information or to register, visit whitepinestampede.org.

Snowman Scram 1 Mile Fun Run & 5k

February

The race begins and ends in front of Pentwater School- 600 Park St. with the 1 Mile Fun Run kicking off at noon and the 5k to follow. Pre-registration (by January 31st) is $15 for the fun run and $25 for the 5k with proceeds benefiting the Pentwater Cross Country and Track Teams. 

Register by visiting runsignup.com.

Irish Jig Fun Run/5k/10k

March

This RunLudington event includes a 1-Mile Fun Run starting at 9am, 10k at 9:10am, and 5k at 9:15am. The route and location is yet to be determined and cost is $25 for the 5k and 10k, with the Fun Run being free. Finishers will receive a custom medal.

For updated information and to register, visit downtownludington.org/runludington.

Harbor Run

May

Part of the #RunLudington series, this new 5k/10k will celebrate National Maritime Day and the start of the S.S. Badger Carferry’s sailing season. The race starts near Waterfront Park at Filer St. & Robert St. and the course is a 1.55 mile loop, so 5k runners will run two laps and 10k runners will run 4 laps. The course can be viewed here: mapmyfitness.com. Packet pickup will be from 8-9am on race day, under the pavilion at Waterfront Park near William & Filer. This in-person race starts at 9am at Robert & Filer. Race registration is $30 and online registration is open until May 21, 2021 at 6pm. It includes a 3.5″ custom die-cast finishers medal and a tri-blend race tee.

For updated information and to register, visit downtownludington.org/runludington.

Runners take on the Ludington Lakestride. | Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography.

Spectrum Health Lakestride Family Fun Run/Walk

June

Free 1 mile run/walk for all ages sponsored by Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. Begins at 6pm. Finisher photo & press announcement to the top 2 finishers boy & girl. Water & Frozen yogurts at the finish. No registration required.

Ludington Lakestride 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon

June

The Irons Flea Roast & Ox Market 5k starts and finishes at Skinner Park- 5074 W. 10 1/2 Mile Rd. in Irons. Check in time is 10am and the race begins at 11am. Early registration is $20 per person or $15 per person for a group of 4 or more. For late registration, cost is $25 per person, no group rate. T-shirts are guaranteed to all pre-registrants and race metals will be awarded to the top 3 male and female finishers in each age bracket. 

Flea Roast 5k

June

The Irons Flea Roast & Ox Market 5k starts and finishes at Skinner Park- 5074 W. 10 1/2 Mile Rd. in Irons. Check in time is 10am and the race begins at 11am. Early registration is $20 per person or $15 per person for a group of 4 or more. For late registration, cost is $25 per person, no group rate. T-shirts are guaranteed to all pre-registrants and race metals will be awarded to the top 3 male and female finishers in each age bracket. 

Stony Lake Sparkler 5k

July

The Stony Lake Sparkler 5k benefits the Crystal Valley Care Fund. The race begins at Stony Lake Inn- 4722 Scenic Dr. in Stony Lake, and also includes a 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. All 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk participants will receive an award and there will also be special awards given to Largest Family and Best Spirit Costume. The 1 Mile Fun Run begins at 8am with the timed 5k kicking off at 8:30am.

Registration are generally $25 for the 5k, $15 for the 1 Mile Fun Run, and $70 for a family of up to 2 adults and 4 kids living in the same household. T-shirts are guaranteed for those who register early. Late registration cost is usually $30 for the 5k, $20 for the 1 Mile Fun Run, and $80 for a family. There is a post-race party at Stony Lake Inn which includes fun, food, and music.

For more information, visit stonylakesparkler.com

Freedom Festival 1-Mile Dash

July

This is a 1-Mile Fun Run where runners are invited to run the Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival Grand Parade route prior to the parade step off to help raise money for the evenings fireworks. The annual fireworks display is funded 100% by donations.

Entry is $25 prior to June 24th. Late entry online and on race day is $30. Entry includes a t-shirt and a finisher’s medal. Prizes will be awarded to top male and female runners. Shirts are only guaranteed to those who register prior to June 24th. Remaining shirts will be available first come/first serve at packet pickup/registration on race day. Packet pickup and race day registration will take place at Leveaux Park from 11:30-12:30pm. Make checks out to Ludington Area Jaycees.

WSCC Muddy Fox Trot

July

West Shore Community College hosts a Muddy Fox Trot, a family-friendly 5k mud run with a boot camp style obstacle course. The race begins at 10am and benefits the WSCC Foundation student scholarship fund. Registration for adults is $20 and includes lunch. Register early and receive a free t-shirt. Current WSCC students with a valid student ID will be able to enter the race for free, as well as anyone 16 years or younger. The course challenges runners of all levels. All participants will receive a free t-shirt and complimentary lunch. A food concession will also be available to spectators. 

Register at westshore.aspconnected.com.

COVE Benefit 5k/10k Beach Run/Walk & 1 Mile Fun Run

August, 2023

Pentwater’s Charles Mears State Park hosts a 5K and 10K beach walk/run to benefit COVE each summer. The course covers paved, sand, and beach surfaces. The mission of COVE (Communities Overcoming Violent Encounters) is to provide shelter, advocacy and protection to victims of domestic and sexual violence and other homeless women and children, and to educate our communities about the root causes of violence.

Registration is $25 for early registration and $30 for late registration. This race is also offered virtually where participants choose a favorite place to complete the 5K Run/Walk or 10K Run/Walk. Registration for the virtual run is $25, which includes a custom T-shirt and a finishing certificate. Check-In and Registration begins at 7am with the race starting at 8:30 am. There are awards and prizes in many divisions and all participants will receive a finishers medal. 

To register, visit runsignup.com. For more information, contact Lynn Cavazos at (231) 869-5939 or lcavazos5939@charter.net.

Other Local Races

July

  • Firecracker 5k in Manistee
  • L.A.S.S.I. Loop 5k in Pentwater

September

  • MCC Walk/Run 4 Fun in Scottville
  • Torch Run in Downtown Ludington

October

  • Halloween Hustle One-Mile Run at Cartier Park (for kids in Kindergarten-6th Grade)
  • Foster Elementary School PTC Fun Run

December

  • Jingle Bell Jog 5k at Manistee High School