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...
Round four of the 2014 Fitness Ambassadors
We recognize their commitment to a healthy lifestyle
McKayla Hanson, Genesee County
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.
This blog is administered by the Michigan Fitness Foundation, one of the organizing bodies behind the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run. We are so excited that you have an interest in the event! The bridge run is a wonderful opportunity to be physically active. It’s not every day that Michigan residents are given the opportunity to run across the Mighty Mac, one of our state’s most recognizable landmarks.
On the right side of this blog, you will find links to other websites related to the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run. You can view a video of the 2007 run to get a feel for how the event works. There is footage of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and other participants completing the run. There are also links to the Michigan Fitness Foundation website, and to our endorsed events. Completion of an endorsed running event is required in order to enter the lottery for the bridge run. Find an event in your area by simply clicking on the “endorsed events” link and following the instructions on the events page.
We hope this blog is helpful to you, and that it provides you with the information you were looking for. Feel free to post comments, ask questions, and share your stories about preparing for the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run. Thanks for visiting!
How do I participate in this year’s Bridge Run?
The 2014 Bridge Run lottery closed on May 31. If you would like to be notified when the lottery for the 2015 Bridge Run opens, please send an email to marketingevents [at] michiganfitness dot org.
Where and when can I check-in?
There are two options for check-in:
1) Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 5:15 p.m. at Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace(“A” on the map). Doors will remain locked at the Arena until 5:15 p.m.
2) Monday, September 1, 2014, from 5:00-5:30 a.m. the morning of the run at the Recreation Center, Mackinaw City (“A” on the map).
What will I receive at the check-in?
You will receive a 2014 Bridge Run t-shirt and identification bracelet. Both items MUST be worn to participate in the event. A valid ID is also required to check-in.
Where is the Pasta Dinner?
The Pasta Dinner will be at Little Bear East Arena and Community Center in St. Ignace.
Why is the Dinner in St. Ignace?
By having the Pasta Dinner in St. Ignace we hope to encourage Bridge Runners to enjoy the City of St. Ignace and share in the economic boost that events around the Mackinac Bridge provide on Labor Day weekend. Visit www.saintignace.org for more information on what the city has to offer!
Can I bring family/friends to the Pasta Dinner on Sunday?
Yes – additional tickets are available for purchase at $12/adult and $8/child (ages 4-10). Please order additional tickets for guests and family members using the response form you will receive in the mail.
How do I get to the Bridge for the run?
Transportation to the start line will be provided by privately reserved buses.
ONLY runners and designated volunteers will be allowed on the reserved buses.
Boarding begins at 5:00 a.m. at the Recreation Center in Mackinaw City (“A” on the map)
Buses will leave promptly at 5:30 a.m.
If extenuating circumstances prevent you from riding the bus, please arrive at the start line holding area in St. Ignace no later than 6:15 a.m.
The run begins in St. Ignace, at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge in the UPPER PENINSULA.
The run ends in Mackinaw City at the south end in the LOWER PENINSULA.
If I have a question during the run, who should I contact?
Run volunteers will be wearing WHITE shirts and can answer your questions.
Can I bring a camera?
Absolutely! Please attach the camera to your body in some manner to avoid creating a safety hazard. You may NOT stop on the bridge to take photos.
Can I wear an iPod, or headset while running?
No. These items are a safety hazard, as you will need to be able to hear other runners, run officials, or vehicles that may be approaching behind you on the bridge.
Can I bring a water bottle on the run?
Yes. There will be no rest or water stops along the bridge course. For safety reasons, nothing may be discarded during the run.
What should I wear?
You are required to wear your Bridge Run t-shirt and ID bracelet – but because of cold morning temperatures and the windy conditions that frequently exist in the Straits of Mackinac, you may wish to layer with warm clothing. You are welcome to bring a bag in which to store extra clothing before the run begins. Plastic bags for this use will also be available at check-in.
Bags will be transported to the finish line (a location near Audie’s Restaurant) for pick up after the run. Unclaimed bags will be discarded.
Where should I go once I complete the run?
The race will end on the expressway in front of Audie’s Restaurant (“B” on map). Water and light snacks will be provided at the finish line. We ask that all runners wait near the finish line to cheer on the other participants as they complete their run. Group pictures may be taken at that time as well, and will be made available online.
Once finished, runners may walk to their cars at the Mackinaw City Recreation Center or take a bus for $5 at Conkling Park and the State Dock on South Huron Avenue in Mackinaw City to travel back to St. Ignace. Bus pickup map is located at http://www.mackinacbridge.org/
Labor Day Community Walks
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
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.
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 2014.
The 2015 Bridge Run Lottery will open in late January or early February, 2015. For more information about the run or to ask questions about the lottery, please email email@example.com
Visit the official Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run participant blog.
Eligibility for Lottery
Must be 18 years old by September 1, 2014 (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, 2013 and May 31, 2014. Endorsed events after May 31, 2014 will become part of the eligible events for the 2015 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 2014 Labor Day Bridge Run is now closed.
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 Tricia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
2014 Map of Starting Line
Click here to view a map of the start line for the 2014 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run.
2014 Map of Finish Line
2014 Map of Pasta Dinner
Click here to view a map of the pasta dinner location ( Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace ) for the 2014 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run.