West Michigan is a Runner's Paradise with Lots of Races to Choose From

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.

Due to health concerns relating to the COVID-19 virus, cancellations and changes have been put in place by several race organizers. Participants are encouraged to check with organizers before making plans to participate.

Freedom Festival 1-Mile Dash

July 4th, 2021

Runners are invited to run the 4th of July Grand Parade route prior to the parade step off to help raise money for the evening's fireworks display. Entry is $25 prior to June 24th. Late entry online and on race day is $30. Entry includes a tech shirt and a finisher's medal. Prizes will be awarded to top male and female runners. Tshirts 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- 900 E. Ludington Ave. from 11:30am-12:30pm and the race will begin at 12:35pm. All race proceeds will benefit the Fireworks Fund.

To register, visit eventbrite.com.

WSCC Muddy Fox Trot

July 24, 2021 10am

West Shore Community College hosts a Muddy Fox Trot, a family-friendly 5k mud run with a boot camp style obstacle course. Scheduled in July and starting at 10am, the run benefits the WSCC Foundation student scholarship fund. Registration for adults is $20 and includes lunch. 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.


Ludington Lighthouse Triathlon

August 8, 2021

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 or Read more about the Ludington Lighthouse Triathlon

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

August 7

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. 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. Cost is $25 for early registration (before August 3rd) and $30 for late registration.

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

Run the Beach 5k

August 7th, 2021

This was a new race in 2018 as part of the #RunLudington Race series. The race begins at the Ludington Pub- 209 S. James St. at 9am and the track includes sand dune and beach running so jogging strollers are not recommended. Registration fee is generally $25 which includes a custom die cast finishers medal, race swag item, coupons, and chances to win prizes (race winners and random drawings). Race day registration begins at 8am on August 4th at Ludington Pub. Dogs are not allowed in this race.

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

Run the Pier 5k

August 14th, 2021

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.

Rich Tompkins Memorial Run/Hart Healthy Labor Day 5K, Youth Mile, & Bridge Walk


The annual Rich Tompkins Memorial Run/Hart Healthy Labor Day 5k, Youth Mile, and Bridge Walk is held each Labor Day beginning in front of the Hart Main Street Office at 49 S. State Street in Hart. Race day check-in and registration begins at 6:30am. The 1-Mile Youth Run registration is $17 and begins at 8am. 5K Run/Walk registration is $25 and begins at 8:30am. 2.2 Mile Bridge Walk registration is free or $15 w/ a t-shirt and begins at 8:45am.

Call the Hart Main Street Office at (231) 301-8449 or visit www.hartmainstreet.org for more information.

Salmon Run 5k & 10k Run/walk

September 25, 2021

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.

Registration is generally $25 until September 9th and $30 from then until the event. All registrants receive a t-shirt, while supplies last.

Michigan Adventure Race: The Ludington Edition

October 9, 2021

Teams will canoe, bike and trek on foot, navigating by map and compass beginning at Ludington State Park. Choose from the 5-7 hour beginner/intermediate race or the more challenging 10-12 hour race. Divisions are solo, 2- and 3-4 person co-ed, females and males. Swag includes free compass clinic, shirt, huge raffle and top prizes, pizza dinner.

For more information, visit miadventurerace.com.

Run for Your Lives 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run

October 30, 2021

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.

Online registration ONLY at eventbrite.com.

Turkey Trot 5k


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.

New Year's Resolution 5k Run

January 1, 2022

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.

Snowman Scram 1 Mile Fun Run & 5k


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 13th, 2021

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.

Harbor Run


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.

Register here: eventbrite.com.

Amazing Grace Race


The Annual Amazing Grace Race to benefit Covenant Christian and Ludington Area Catholic Schools is held in May near the Hamlin Dam at Ludington State Park. The event includes a free, one-mile fun run for kids only and a 5k open to anyone. Admission for the 5k is $25 per runner and there are prizes for the top five finishers for men and women. Hot dogs, chips, and water will be available for purchase. Pre-registration is required for all 5k runners as well as one-mile fun run participants. Please contact the Covenant Christian School office at ccsoffice@ccs-ludington.org with any questions.

Hospital Hustle 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run


Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital hosts this annual event. The 2017 race starts at 10 am, and begins and ends at the hospital's south parking lot, 1 Atkinson Dr., Ludington. A free will donation will be accepted from participants and all proceeds benefit the Family Birthing Center at the hospital.

Visit spectrumhealth.org for more information.

CANCELED for 2021- Irons Flea Roast & Ox Market 5k


The race 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. Cost is $20 per person or $15 per person for a group of 4 or more by June 21st. After June 21st, 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.

Ludington Lakestride 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon


Since 1980, Ludington has been the host for the well known Ludington Lakestride 5K, 10K & Half Marathon. The weekend begins with a one-mile fun run on Friday evening at 6pm. Saturday's Lakestride is actually three races: the 5K run which winds its way through Cartier Park, the 10K which runs out to Decker Road and back, and the Half-Marathon.

Read more about the Ludington Lakestride.

Stony Lake Sparkler 5k

POSTPONED to July 3, 2022

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.

Visit stonylakesparkler.com for more information.

Other Local Races


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


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


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


Jingle Bell Jog 5k at Manistee High School

Run Club

Ludington is also home to the Ludington Pub Run Club which meets every Tuesday at 6pm at the Ludington Pub- 209 S. James Street for a fun run of about 3 miles. Runners of all levels are encouraged to join in the run and socializing after the run.

More Great Outdoors in West Michigan...

For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:

West Michigan Map
Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.
Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced WestMichigan.MichBiz.com directory for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.
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Last Updated: 06-25-2021 04:12 PM ID: 1604