The following are featured races taking place in Michigan in 2017. Race directors: if you’re interested in having your event included here, please contact MRG at heather [at] michiganrunnergirl [dot] com for details. MRG endorses these events. What does this mean exactly? It means that MRG has been in direct contact with organizers of these events and is working with them to spread the word and encourage runners to sign on. In some cases, MRG may also be running the event. For complete event details and to register, please be sure to click on the race links provided.

Don’t forget to check out the all-new searchable calendar of Michigan races and events — and be sure to add your own event! This is free and easy to do.

Spring & Summer 2017

BIG Little Hero Race
Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, Mich.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Stay tuned for more race details here on MRG and on an upcoming podcast episode. Read last year’s race preview here »

Northwestern Michigan College business students are teaming up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Michigan to give you an opportunity to help a child in need. The Big Little Hero Race is taking place April 15 on the beautiful NMC campus. Community members, local businesses, avid runners, and anyone seeking fun family events are invited to join the event, and be a hero for at-risk children. The Big Little Hero Race will feature both a 5K and 10K, as well as a one mile fun run for the whole family.

Both races will start on the NMC campus, and feature routes that allow runners to take in the picturesque views along east bay. Both races will be officially timed by Endurance Evolution. Awards will be given for top overall male and female. As well as medals for first, second, and third place in each of the six age brackets. Be sure to register by April 1 to secure your technical race tee shirt. Held just a month before the popular Bayshore Marathon, this is a great opportunity to gauge how your training is going.


10735868_10205124565143701_396628557_nMUTT (Mid-Michigan Ultra Team Trail Race) 

Mid-Michigan Community College, Harrison, Mich.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Stay tuned for more race details here on MRG and check out Heather’s conversation with race director Kevin Fowler on the MRG podcast here »

Why relay race when you can team race….MUTT-style. Get your team of 4 runners together and experience this one of a kind team trail race!

The MUTT is not a relay race, but rather a team trail race that requires 4 team members to start and stay together at the beginning of the race, and one by one turn around at the halfway point of each individual distance. The format allows for different distance runners to race together, and also assures each runner contributes to the success of the team. Learn more and register here »





Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, 10K & 5K Downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. Sunday, April 23, 2017

Listen to the podcast interview about the 2017 event featuring Race Director Holly Visser here »

Check out the race medals for 2017 here »

Whether you’re looking to complete your first 5K, 10K or half marathon, or are looking to set a PR, this race is for you. Grab your girlfriends, mothers, sisters, cousins, grandmas, aunts or a co-worker and sign up for this event. Gazelle Sports, a Michigan-based company, is behind this event now in its 5th year.


Mercy Health Seaway Run and Lake Michigan Half Marathon in downtown Muskegon on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Stay tuned for race updates and information here on the blog and also on an upcoming podcast episode.

Read about the 2016 event here »

This race, a Muskegon tradition for more than 30 years, starts and finishes in downtown and features a post-race street party. New expo location this year! This event includes a half marathon, 15K and 5K run/community walk. Learn more and register here »



North Mitten Half Marathon, 10K & 5K
Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, Michigan (about 45 minutes southwest of Traverse City)
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Use the code MRG17 to save $10 off your race entry. Register here »
Listen to the podcast episode featuring an interview with Race Director Janice Davidson here »
Check out the 2015 race preview here »

(Read the 2014 race preview post here »)

Kick off summer with a running start at Crystal Mountain’s half marathon, 10K and 5K race. The North Mitten Half Marathon, 10K and 5K is a combination of paved roads, dirt roads and trails. The North Mitten route consists of primarily flat, open trails on Crystal Mountain property and will not climb the mountain. Races will start and finish at the white slopeside tent near the Crystal Clipper chairlift. This is a great spring race for beginners and running enthusiasts. Registration includes tech tee, aid station hydration, chipped time by Endurance Evolution, post-race fuel and finisher’s medal. Event is capped at 500 runners per race. Runners must register online. Entry fee is non-refundable. Register here »
ForeShore Adventure Run ~ Pere Marquette Beach Park, Muskegon Saturday, May 20, 2017
Be sure to use the code runnergirl to save 25% off your race entry. This offer is good through March 31. Learn more and register here»
Listen to the podcast episode here » 
Read the 2016 race preview post here »

Adventure runs are among the fastest-growing sporting activities, and Muskegon has its own version: the ForeShore Adventure Run, supporting the Muskegon Rescue Mission and showcasing the lakeshore of west Michigan. This is the second annual event, taking place on Muskegon’s beaches at Pere Marquette Park. Here’s what you can expect at this spring’s ForeShore:

• 5K on the beach with more than 21 challenging obstacles • Climbing, crawling, balancing … agility required • Family-friendly, community event • Surveys from last year’s runners asked for more climbing, more water and organizers promise to deliver • Electronic chip timing • Medals and performance shirt for all participants • 4-person teams “Corporate Challenge” with awards for best time (9:10am start time) • Large Kid’s Zone with similar obstacles to adult course and inflatables • Over 45 sponsors
Dexter-Ann Arbor Run – Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, Team Challenge (kids run at expo, too)
Sunday, June 4, 2017
The beautiful shaded backwoods of the Huron River provide the setting for the annual Dexter to Ann Arbor Runs. Choose from a 5K, a 10K, or the classic half marathon, which takes runners on a scenic, gently rolling 13.1 mile course starting in the picturesque town of Dexter and heading east along Huron River Drive to the exciting finish in beautiful downtown Ann Arbor. The 5K and 10K events start and finish in downtown Ann Arbor, a city selected this year by Road Runners Club of America as the top Road Runner Friendly Community in the U.S. All courses are completely paved. After the events, enjoy a cold beer from the Wolverine State Brewing Company tent located near the finish line. A kids fun run is also held at Ann Arbor Skyline High School on the Saturday prior to the runs. Register here »

National Cherry Festival ~ Festival of Races
Priority Health 5K Run/Walk, 10K, 15K & Chateau Grand Traverse Half Marathon
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Use the code MRG2017 to save $5 off your race entry.
Listen to the podcast episode featuring co-race director Katherine Brege, talking about the 2017 races, here »

Priority Health 5K Run/Walk, 10K, 15K and Chateau Grand Traverse Half Marathon on Saturday, July 8 in Traverse City, Mich. Known as the “Original Traverse City Foot Race,” the Festival of Races that are part of the National Cherry Festival each July include distances for just about any runner: a half marathon, 15K, 10K and 5K. These races, which take place the final weekend of the weeklong festival, are a summer tradition for many runners. This year marks the races’ 44th year—the race started in 1973 as a 10K and shifted to a 15K in 1978. In 1989 the 5K was added; most recently, the 10K was re-introduced along with a half marathon. All told, more than 50,000 participants have crossed the finish line over the years. Register here »



Vineyard to Bay 25K
Suttons Bay ~ Leelanau Peninsula, Mich.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Use the code MRG2017 to save $5 off your race entry. This is good until Aug. 24, 2017.
Listen to the podcast episode featuring race director Ross Deye here »

Read the 2015 race preview with race director Ross Deye here »

The annual Vineyard to Bay 25K, 15K/10K relay and 5K run/walk are point-to-point courses and encompass both the Leelanau Trail and Wine Trail of Leelanau County before ending in Suttons Bay. Proceeds from all races benefit Suttons Bay Public Schools and TART Trails. The event features cash prizes, age group awards and finishers awards. For more information, including volunteer or sponsorship opportunities, go to the race web site here »

Boyne City Triathlon
Boyne City, Mich.
Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017

Olympic and sprint distances available, as well as a duathlon option. Two- to three-person relay options are available with these events. This course will take your breath away! Athletes will start out swimming in the crystal clear waters of Lake Charlevoix before skimming the coastline on their bike and passing through town on their run. Don’t miss out on this event and keep checking the web site for more information on the extra flair that comes with this event, like an included post-race meal provided by local food trucks, live online broadcast of the race from multiple cameras, finisher medals, etc. Learn more and sign up here »

Fall 2017


Holland Haven Marathon, Half Marathon & (all new for 2017) 8K
Grand Haven to Holland, Mich.
Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017
Use the code HHM2017MRG to save $10 off your race entry
Holland Haven Marathon runners experience the beautiful coast of Lake Michigan as they travel from Grand Haven to Holland. This point-to-point marathon follows Lakeshore Drive past summer cottages and over majestic hills right into downtown Holland. The early September weekend allows for mild weather and a last chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Boston qualifying hopefuls love this opportunity to make the cut only one day before registration opens. The 26.2 mile course is USATF certified as a Boston qualifier. The 13.1 mile Holland Haven Half Marathon begins at Camp Geneva Christian Youth Camp along the Lake Michigan coastline. Runners follow the scenic Lakeshore Drive past the beaches and into the City of Holland. The course is comprised of roads and bike paths rolling over beautiful hills while engulfing the summer landscape of Lake Michigan. This one-way race is one-of-a-kind in West Michigan, uniting communities in a unique event. The 8K race is a great segue into longer distance races. The Holland Haven 8 kilometer race is a flat route, out-and-back course. As a mid-distance road race, it is accessible enough for the novice runner yet incredibly challenging to experienced racers. Participants can do the Holland Haven 8K as a fun run with kids and as an 8K walk. All runners celebrate their accomplishments at our post race party with live music, local beer, local food, sponsor tables and vendor tents. Holland Haven Marathon is proud to support Camp Geneva – Charity Partner 2017. Full Marathon start: 7:30 a.m.; Half Marathon start: 8:00 a.m.; 8K start 8:30 a.m. Course close at 2 p.m., Packet pick-up is available the night before and on race day.


Michigan Reebok Logo Horizontal StandardReebok Ragnar Relay Michigan
Muskegon to Traverse City
Friday, Sept. 29-Saturday, Sept. 30
Use the code RRMI17MRG to receive $60 off your team entry (good until August 16, 2017). Register here »

Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan is a magical combination of fall colors, sugar sand beaches, massive dunes and wild Ragnarians. Teams of 12 or 6 will start the 200-ish mile relay in charming Muskegon, where runners speed past historic ships and lighthouses with a van of teammates cheering them along each leg of the course. Teams make their way past apple orchards, cherry blossoms and rolling hills painted in vibrant autumn hues. As the sun sets, runners continue their relay through the night as a starlit sky and bouncing line of headlamps brighten the way. Gulps of crisp October air propel runners on their final miles to the finish line in Traverse City – home to some of Michigan’s finest wineries and the sapphire blue Grand Traverse Bay. A Ragnar wouldn’t be complete without a finish line party, hunky finisher medal and stories to tell for years to come. Find out what it means to find your #innerWILD and mark your running calendar for Sept. 29-30. Reebok is giving every team captain a free pair of shoes.