Running is be a healthy way to get daily exercise, clear your mind and feel more energetic and refreshed. Marathons, half marathons and 5k runs are an excellent option for runners who are looking to challenge themselves, enjoy the outdoors and meet new people. Whether you are a novice or a more-seasoned runner, Michigan offers a variety of running expeditions to help you have fun and break a sweat.
Beaver Island Marathon
Held each September, the Beaver Island Marathon (beaverisland.org) features a full marathon, half marathon and 3.5-mile run. The marathon route takes runners around Beaver Island, located in the middle of Lake Michigan, an area known for its scenic beaches, harbors and sand dunes. The course includes paved, gravel and dirt-road surfaces. The race starts and ends at a public beach, so after the race is over, runners are welcome to jump in the cool waters of Lake Michigan.
Snowmans Half Marathon
Each January, the Snowmans Half Marathon (michiganhalfseries.com) takes place in Mount Pleasant, located northwest of Detroit. The event includes the Winter Warriors half marathon, 10k and 5k race. The race starts and finishes on the Central Michigan University campus. The course varies in elevation by about 100 feet from start to finish, taking runners up a steady incline in the first half followed by a steady decline in the second half. For those who have not gotten enough of winter racing with this event, the Ice Cube Half Marathon, another Winter Warriors event, takes place in February and follows the same course.
Detroit Free Press Marathon
The Detroit Free Press Marathon (freepmarathon.com) is a competitive run or walk and is open to people with disabilities as well. The event, held in October, includes a five-person relay and a 5k run/walk. Participants journey through downtown Detroit and parts of Ontario along the Detroit River and through quaint neighborhoods and parks. All participants are given an official event shirt, commemorative medal and certificate. Free massages and refreshments are given out at the finish line.
Run Woodstock (runwoodstock.com) is a three-day event held in the wilderness of the Pinckney State Recreation Area, near Ann Arbor. The event features races on nine different trails, including the "Hippie Half Marathon," the "Mellow Full Marathon," as a 5k run, 10k run, 50-mile run and a 100-mile run. The theme of Run Woodstock is "peace, love and running," and all participants are given a tie-dyed shirt and plenty of peace-and-love paraphernalia. All of the trails start and finish at Silver Lake Beach and run both uphill and downhill, past peaceful lakes and through lush forests.
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