Need another reason to visit Munising for your Paddling Michigan adventure? Come be part of the 43rd Annual Pictured Rocks Road Race. This summer, join runners from across the state for a half marathon or 10K along the gorgeous shores of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks. The newly designed course puts runners right on the Lake during the race, which is directed by the local Munising group, Munising Bay Trail Network. Though you can expect a great race this year, the group intends to develop and expand the race as its popularity continues to grow. Here’s what you can expect from each race.
About Pictured Rocks Road Race
This race is one the state’s premier running events and has been happening since 1976. Athlete and pioneer, Norma Hagar, created the event, which has seen many iterations since its beginning. Though it’s different from its earliest days, it’s still a tradition among area runners. All runners receive a tee, pre- and post- run snacks, and a bag of race swag. Racers who finish in the top three of their age division receive coveted trophy rocks.
The Half-Marathon Course
The new route for this year’s half-marathon begins at 8:00 am at Bayshore Park, then goes west, out of town. The route then cuts south and crosses M-28 at the Tourist Park Campground. Racers will continue on the pipeline, climbing the backside of Stink Hill. From the top of Stink Hill, runners will head down St. Martin’s Hill, staying on Varnum until they cross M-28 again. From there, the route continues to Cemetery Hill, where runners will take Lehnen Road to Conners, taking a left onto H58 to head back to Munising.
The 10K Course
The 10K course begins at 8:30 at Bayshore Park as well, then heads west toward the baseball field. Runners will follow the initial start of the half-marathon route, but come down Stink Hill instead of St. Martin’s to head back to Bayshore Park.
Register for either course through the website; the event is held June 24, 2018 and costs $65 for the half-marathon and $45 for the 10K, both for runners and walkers. Be sure to sign up soon, though. After June 10, a tee shirt isn’t a guarantee, and you’ll want one to show you were a part of this historic event.
What to Do Before or After Your Race
The name Pictured Rocks comes from the 15 miles of colorful sandstone cliffs that populate Munising, some of which are up to 200 feet above sea level. To fully experience these naturally sculpted rocks, you need a view from the lake. To see these rocks in all their glory, be sure to put aside some downtime before or after your race to spend kayaking Lake Superior. At Paddling Michigan, you’ll experience the beauty of the first National Shoreline in a completely different way than running along its trails. Your trip to Munising won’t be complete with a kayaking adventure to accompany your racing one!