MyNorth News Service
(Press Release provided by Run Little Traverse)
HARBOR SPRINGS: In just a few weeks a Northern Michigan event will have hundreds of runners from around the country waiting before sunrise at the bus stop in Harbor Springs. But instead of backpacks, they’ll be sporting race bibs and instead of heading to school, they’ll be starting their point-to-point adventure around Little Traverse Bay. Saturday, September 19th marks the third annual Little Traverse Half Marathon and 10K Run/Walk, a unique race experience and premier running event in Northern Michigan.
The race brings hundreds of visitors and locals together every autumn to celebrate Little Traverse Bay, experience small town community and run a fast course. The half marathon, which is USA Track and Field certified and a Pure Michigan FITness Series event, starts in the Village of Bay Harbor. The 10K Run/Walk starts at the beach in Petoskey State Park and joins the half marathon course near mile marker 7. Both races end at the waterfront park in downtown Harbor Springs, an idyllic setting for the finish line.
But it’s not just a school bus ride at sunrise that makes this race unique. “It’s a combination of the water, the course and the finish line that set this race apart,” says Emily Skau, a crewmember of The Outfitter who ran her first half marathon on the course last year. She adds, “From start to finish, you can look out across the water and see where you’re headed and where you’ve been. It’s really awesome to mark off the miles by the shoreline. You can’t help but be in awe of the lake and just smile.”
“The Little Traverse Half Marathon is my favorite running event of the year, said Jeff Towner, who comes ‘Up North’ from Grand Rapids to participate. “While the views along the course are ‘Pure Michigan’, the fact that every step is something new is what I like best.” Runners get a taste of it all–the historic Little Traverse Wheelway passing right along the water, the wooded back-dunes of Petoskey State Park, and centuries-old cottages of Bay View and Wequetonsing.
With the addition of a 10k Run/Walk, even more people are able to experience the fun. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome. This year’s participants are coming from ten states and range in age from 10-72 years old, making for a multi-generational, all-inclusive event. “There are so many ways to be a part–you can run, walk, cheer or volunteer,” says Molly Ames Baker, race director and co-owner of The Outfitter. “There’s something about a point-to-point that makes the energy even better. All these pieces of the community come together to make the race happen, from the policemen stopping traffic to the glassblower making awards, from the sweep biker to the 100+ volunteers stationed all around the bay. “
Proceeds from this year’s race will benefit Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council’s Watershed Academy offering hands-on stewardship opportunities for local high school students as well as Petoskey State Park’s “Step Up for Baldy!” trail renovation project.
Want to be a part of this awesome community event? Volunteer sign-up is ongoing and registration is open through September 18, with fees increasing on September 12. To volunteer: email [email protected] or call The Outfitter at 231-526-2621. To register or learn more: visit runlittletraverse.com.