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, drawn by a lottery system, 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. Learn more about the event by visiting the participant blog.

The 2015 Labor Day Bridge Run lottery is now open (view the Bridge Run Lottery tab at left)

We recognizes 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 Mike Maisner.

Bridge Run Lottery

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 500 participants who will be selected in a lottery drawn in June of 2015.

The 2015 Bridge Run Lottery will open mid-March. For more information about the run or to ask questions about the lottery, please email

Visit the official Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run participant blog.

Eligibility for Lottery

  • Must be 18 years old by September 1, 2015 (you will be asked to provide proof of your age)

  • Must have participated in a Pure Michigan FITness Series running event endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness that takes place between June 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015. Endorsed events after May 31, 2015 will become part of the eligible events for the 2016 Labor Day Run.


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

If you were not selected in the lottery, 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.

To Enter the Lottery Drawing

The lottery for the 2015 Labor Day Bridge Run is now open!

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

Winning Lottery Entries

Lottery winners will be notified by email and U.S. mail. A registration packet that provides detailed information regarding the run will be sent to all lottery winners along with an Acceptance Response Form which must be returned for selection to be considered final. In addition, winners will:

  • Enjoy a pasta dinner with fellow runners the night before the run.
  • Kick off the traditional Mackinac Bridge Walk.
  • Have an opportunity to serve as a fitness ambassador.
  • Receive a commemorative t-shirt.

There is an anticipated $45 participation fee to help cover the costs of the event.

Place and Time

For selected winners, the run will take place before the annual bridge walk which begins at 7:00 a.m. on Labor Day. Like the walk, the run will start in St. Ignace and end in Mackinaw City. Only the lottery winners 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.


  • Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 14:37

    My FIRST bridge run — Karen Taylor’s Story

    I began living healthy June 1st, 2013. I ran my first 10K in December during a snowstorm! I didn’t have a very fast run time, but I started and I finished. That has been my goal all along. If you’re going to start it, then finish it. Don’t quit. I first learned about the bridge run from that 10K website. The Mackinaw Bridge run became my next goal. I couldn’t wait to sign up for the lottery. Then I waited and waited to get “the letter.” I was so excited and yes...


  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 13:55

    Round four of the 2014 Fitness Ambassadors

    We recognize their commitment to a healthy lifestyle

    McKayla Hanson, Genesee County



  • Monday, August 18, 2014 - 16:11

    Activities for the Whole Family  

    Located in Lake Huron, in between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas is the little gem known as Mackinac Island. Called Michilimackinac by its Native Anishinaabe inhabitants, this 3.8 square mile island, home to roughly 500 year-round residents, can see upwards of 15,000 visitors on a nice summer day. From biking to carriage-riding or snacking on fudge, this island is sure to have an activity everyone in the family will enjoy.



Labor Day Community Walks

Mackinac Bridge aerial view of Labor Day  runnersMichigan 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.

Labor Day Community Walks are now a tradition for many Michigan communities. Previous event organizers from White Lake have called the walks “a community staple.” While representatives from the Thornapple Trail Association and Village Council noted that their community walk has become “the thing to do on Labor Day.”

Hosting a walk is a great opportunity for communities to showcase their unique area and promote healthy living. A Labor Day walk is a great addition to any community’s pre-existing summer program. Organizers who register their event with the Michigan Fitness Foundation are able to have their walk endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. Event information will be posted online and promoted to citizens and the media. Organizers of registered walks will receive free support materials to help make their Labor Day Community Walk a success.

Communities participating in 2014 Labor Day Community Walks

The following communities have registered to host Community Walks:

  • 13th Annual Aliferis Memorial Run/Bike/Walk, Alpena. Coordinated by: Alpena Regional Medical Center

  • Cadillac Festival of Races, Cadillac. Coordinated by: Dynamic Physical Therapy

  • Labor Day Celebration Run, Hike or Bike, Champion Township. Coordinated by: Champion Township Board

  • Ironwood Township Labor Day Walk, Charter Township of Ironwood.

  • Chelsea Labor Day Walk, Chelsea. Coordinated by: Chelsea Community Hospital

  • 2014 Labor Day Bridge Walk, Grand Haven. Coordinated by: City of Grand Haven

  • Grand Crossings Bridge Walk, Grand Rapids. Coordinated by: City of Grand Rapids

  • Portage Health Labor Day Bridge Walk, Houghton/Hancock. Coordinated by: Portage Health

  • 4th Annual Labor Day Bridge Walk, Manistee. Coordinated by: City of Manistee Non-Motorized Transportation Comittee. Sponsored by: Pier Port Farms

  • Mighty Mac in Marathon, Marathon Township

  • 9th Annual River Raisin Labor Day BBQ Festival Labor Day Walk, Monroe. Coordinated by: Monroe County Convention and Tourism Bureau

  • Muskegon Community Labor Day Walk and 5k Run, Muskegon. Coordinated by: City of Muskegon

  • Touched by Adoption 5k Run/Walk, Portland. Coordinated by: Adoption Associates, Inc

  • 9th Annual Paint Creek Trail Labor Day Bridge Walk and Run, Rochester. Coordinated by: Paint Creek Trailways Commission

  • Trek the Trestle/Labor Day Bridge Walk, St. Clair. Coordinated by: St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Commission

  • 3rd Annual Traverse City Labor Day Bridge(s) Walk, Traverse City. Coordinated by: Traverse City Walks

  • White Lake Area Annual Labor Day Community Walk, White Lake. Coordinated by: White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Ypsilanti Labor Day "Bridge" Walk, Ypsilanti. Coordinated by: City of Ypsilanti Parks & Recreation Commission

Registration Deadline: Friday, August 15

If your community is interested in hosting a Labor Day Community Walks event, please e-mail with the following information:

  • Contact name

  • Contact e-mail

  • Contact number

  • Community name

  • Organization

  • Name of walk

  • Link to event website/registration (if applicable)

Organizers of registered walks will receive free support materials to help make their Labor Day Community Walk a success.


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.

LDBR Contact

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