Labor Day Run and Walks

Labor Day Run/Walk Blog

Mackinac Bridge aerial view of Labor Day  runnersLabor Day Bridge Run & Walks

Labor Day is an opportunity to celebrate the end of summer with friends and family. For some, Labor Day means packing up the car for a long weekend, while others might celebrate with a relaxing staycation. In Michigan, Labor Day means physical fitness. For more than 55 years, 50,000 Michiganders have traveled to the Straits of Mackinac to join in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk celebration.

The Michigan Fitness Foundation offers 500 runners the opportunity to kick off the Labor Day festivities with the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run. Participants will greet the sun during the non-competitive, five mile run. The Governor’s Office, the Michigan Fitness Foundation, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Mackinac Bridge Authority coordinate the Bridge Run.

We recognize that not everyone is able to walk or run the Mighty Mac on Labor Day. Gas prices and busy schedules may prevent Michiganders from attending the events at the bridge, but through the Labor Day Community Walks program, the Michigan Fitness Foundation hopes to provide all residents with the opportunity to get out and be active.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2015 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run. To discuss sponsorship levels or receive more information, please contact Michelle Phillipich.

Bridge Run

The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run is a non-competitive run of about five miles over the Mackinac Bridge. It is organized by the Governor’s Office, the Michigan Fitness Foundation, and the Mackinac Bridge Authority. This is not a timed event and the course will not be certified for distance. The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run will be limited to 600 participants.

Registration is now closed.


Runners who expect to run slower than 12 minutes per mile and/or who cannot run the entire five miles should not participate in the run. It is important to keep the runners and walkers as separate groups for this event.

If you are unable to participate in the run, please consider enjoying the celebration by participating in the Mackinac Bridge Walk. Information on the walk can be found on the Mackinaw Bridge Authority website.


Packet Pickup

  • Starts Sunday at 5:15 p.m. at Little Bear East Ice Arena in St. Ignace
    • Dinner and Silent Auction starts at 6 p.m. Silent Auction items include:
      • Trip up to the Mackinac Bridge Tower
      • Two nights at Crystal Mountain
      • Two nights at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island
      • And more...
    • Program starts at 6:30 p.m. with Lt. Gov. Calley
  • Morning of at the Mackinaw Recreation Center at 5 a.m. until buses leave


Morning of the Race:

  • Buses arrive at 5:10 a.m. at the Mackinaw City Recreation Center
  • Buses leave for St. Ignace at 5:40 a.m.--Bridge Run shirts and wrist bands must be worn to ride the bus
  • If you do not plan on riding the bus: be at the Start Line by 6:15 a.m.
    • Limited parking is available in the fields to the east of I-75, past the toll booths
    • A Runner Drop-off area will be staged by the Mackinac Bridge Authority on the side of I-75 past the toll booths
  • Run starts at 6:35 a.m.


For those that choose to meet at the Start Line, you can return to St. Ignace one of two ways:

  • Catch a Mackinac Bridge WALK bus back to St. Igance. Buses are located near Conkling Park
  • Take the Shepler's Ferry from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace. This ride features a historical presentation of the Mackinac Bridge.

When you finish, join in on our group picture. Smile and have a great time!

Endorsed Events

Each year, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness endorses events that promote safe physical activity and are consistent with the Council’s mission to Get Michigan Moving. The Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run winners are randomly selected from the online lottery registration. Lottery registrants must have run in an eligible endorsed running event and be 18 years of age by Labor Day of that given year to qualify for the opportunity to participate. If you are an event organizer and would like to submit your event for consideration, please contact

Place and Time

The run will take place before the annual Bridge Walk which begins at 7:00 a.m. on Labor Day. Runners will be expected to catch a bus from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace by 5:40 a.m. to ensure they can take off for the run at approximately 6:50 a.m. Like the walk, the run will start in St. Ignace and end in Mackinaw City. Only the select 600 will be allowed to run the bridge. All others are welcome to join the walkers.

Visit the Mackinac Bridge Authority website for information on the Labor Day Bridge Walk.

Disclaimer of Liability:

Before beginning the run, all participants must carefully determine that they are physically fit and medically able to participate, since the physical strain of the run could lead to serious health problems. Participants should also understand that running involves risks of injury from falls due to the surface condition of the bridge, contact with other participants, and the effects of weather, including high heat and/or humidity. The state of Michigan, Mackinac Bridge Authority, St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce, Mackinaw Area Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness/Michigan Fitness Foundation, and all their respective employees, agents, volunteers and sponsors are not assuming any obligations with regard to such risks and specifically disclaim any and all liability arising from any runner's participation in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run.



Author Blog Entry

Lainie Buckles

Balancing eating with physical activity

Mark Cryderman

Basics of running

Lainie Buckles

At what point do you become a true runner?

Patrick O'Connor

In your 40s? It's never too late to become a runner

Robert Berghoef

Getting motivated to start running

Lainie Buckles


Alexandra Iyer

Confessional rewind

Holly Mulligan

Get up off your tail and move!

Mark Cryderman

This is an awesome run!

Karen Taylor

Fitness Ambassador wanted!

Danielle Terry

Always go, go, go!

Alexandra Iyer

30 days

Mark Cryderman

4 reasons I love running

Patrick O'Connor

My top 11 Michigan runs

Holly Mulligan

Never say "can't"

Lainie Buckles

Top 5 Reasons I Run

Danielle Terry

Winning the lottery

Robert Berghoef

Tech support

Karen Taylor

The value of running groups


Michigan has a long history of walking on Labor Day. For more than five decades Michigan residents have gathered in St. Ignace for the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk. However, not all Michigan residents are able to attend the Bridge Walk. The Michigan Fitness Foundation hopes to give every Michigander an opportunity to participate in this walking tradition by encouraging communities to host their own Labor Day Community Walk.

2015 Endorsed Walks:


If your community is interested in hosting a Labor Day Community Walk event, please fill out the form below. Organizers of registered walks will receive free support materials to help make their Labor Day Community Walk a success.


An endorsement from the Pure Michigan FITness Series gives each event the Governor’s Council’s seal of approval, and allows the event to use the Pure Michigan FITness Series logo for promotional materials. The Pure Michigan FITness Series also provides resources for event directors and participants to promote and improve the overall experience of their events as well as to learn more about healthy living activities. In addition, event organizers will be connected to the Pure Michigan FIT network, which offers additional resources and opportunities.

The endorsement committee will review your application, assess your event based on the criteria listed, and determine its eligibility. You will be notified within 2-3 weeks of your application whether your event qualifies.

Registration Deadline: Friday, August 14


2015 Map of Starting Line

View a map of the start line for the 2015 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run.


2015 Map of Finish Line

View a map of the finish line for the 2015 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run.

2015 Map of Pasta Dinner

View a map of the pasta dinner location ( Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace ) for the 2015 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run.

If you would like to be notified when registration is open for next year's Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run, please fill out the form below.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run, please contact us: