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.

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

Limited Spots Remaining

New for 2015, lottery winners had until June 27 to claim their spots for the Labor Day Bridge Run. All unclaimed spots were open to the public starting June 28.

Space is limited so sign up today at No refunds will be given after August 1st, 2015.

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.

Each participant will get a deep purple A4 branded technical shirt. New this year, sizes will be gender specific.

State of Michigan employees will receive a lime green A4 branded technical shirt:

Volunteers and Fitness Ambassadors will receive a black A4 branded technical shirt:


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.

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


A registration packet that provides detailed information regarding the run available for pick up the night before the run. In addition, runners 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.

As of 7/14/15, there is an anticipated $55 participation fee to help cover the costs of the event.

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.

  • 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.



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.

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.

LDBR Contact

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