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Top 5k Races in Michigan 2023

Looking for a good workout or some fun 5k races in Michigan to do with the family? Running is a great family activity!

I’m sharing 15 top races and fun runs throughout the summer and fall to keep you hitting the pavement. From the Upper Peninsula to Sleeping Bear Dunes; from Ann Arbor to Grand Rapids, here are some of the top, don’t-miss 5Ks in Michigan.

5K race in Michigan - 15 Top 5K races in michigan

Michigan 5K’s in June

Dad’s Day 5K Run/Walk

When: June 18
Where: Spring Lake, MI

Spring Lake, Michigan has you covered this Father’s Day! This all trail 5K run is perfect for you and your dad, or whoever you celebrate with. If three miles doesn’t sound exciting, don’t sweat it, there is a one-mile fun run. Don’t want to travel from home? Check out the virtual 5k run!

After the run, treat yourself to a trip to Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Holland, or Muskegon. Whatever you’re in the mood to do, whether it be shopping, walking the pier, or relaxing on the beach, it is just minutes away.

In a Pickle 5K

When: June 19
Where: Berrien Springs, MI

Don’t worry, you don’t have to like pickles to participate in this run. On June 19th at 7:59 am, do your final stretches and tie your final knots before that 8:00 am kick off. This race includes some paved and dirt sections, however a majority of the race you will be running through the beautiful Andrews University.

After running this race during Pickle Preview weekend, don’t forget to come back for the pickle festival!

Glen Arbor Solstice Half Marathon & 5K

When: June 18
Where: Glen Arbor, MI

Glen Arbor is the scenic 5k run you’ve been dreaming of. Starting in downtown Glen Arbor and winding around the beautiful blues and greens of Glen Lake, you will finish your run in downtown Glen Arbor feeling refreshed. The majority of this course is flat and shaded but in order to make it to the lake views, you will have an incline to Inspiration Point. After that don’t worry, it is just a short way downhill, by the lake, and over a bridge to the finish line.

If you’re going to run 13.1 miles you might as well do it here! This half marathon will take you around the entirety of Glen Lake. Check out out guide to the best restaurants in Glen Arbor for a bite to eat when you’re through and ready to relax.

Michigan 5K race- top 5Ks in Michigan

July 5k Races in Michigan

Lake George 5K Run/Walk

When: July 2
Where: Lake George, MI

Want to get some miles in before chilling on the lake for the 4th of July weekend? Or before you reach your destination in the Upper Peninsula? Head over to Lake George for a good time! This scenic town will not disappoint.

After you run your 3 miles, there are plenty of things nearby to keep you busy! If you want to spend the rest of the day outside, check out the nearby lakes for fishing, swimming, boating, or whatever you like to do on the water. You may also enjoy hiking or camping in one of the nearby state forests. Or even better, a hike with a picnic at the end.

HoDoWal Firecracker 5K/1M

When: July 4
Where: Indian River, MI

Like free stuff? All you have to do is run 1-3 miles and you will receive a free surprise. A four pack of beer! For those of us who are not of legal age, you will receive a grab bag of fun items. This run is also on the weekend of July 4th, so get a quick run in, a free pack of beer, and you’re off to a great holiday weekend!

Strut For The Strays

When: July 9
Where: Battle Creek, MI

On July 9th bring you and your dog out to Battle Creek, Michigan for the annual Strut for the Strays 5k. While yes, you can win a medal for doing well, your dog can also win a medal for their hard work. If your dog is the lucky pup who wins first place, they will receive a gift basket. The best part is, they will receive a race bandana that can be kept for years to come.

Not to mention, all proceeds go to the care and support of the animals at the local animal shelter. I can’t think of a race that will bring more joy than one with dogs!

Sweaty Yeti Run

When: July 9
Where: East Jordan, MI

If you’re looking for a 5K run that has a good cause, look no further than the Sweaty Yeti Run on July 9th. This run near Charlevoix was created in memory of two women who have passed from cancer. Its mascot, a yeti, was born out of the positive memories associated from the founder and her children. If you are far away but still want to participate, make sure to tune in on July 9th for their virtual run!

While you’re there head over to Lake Charlevoix or the Raven Ridge Nature Preserve for some more quality time outdoors. Sick of the outdoors? Check out the shops in their quaint downtown.

Dirty Burg

When: Juy 16
Where: Belmont, MI

If you’re looking for a challenge, the Dirty Burg race is your answer. With 5k, 10k, 20k, or 50k options, you can truly challenge yourself. Even more testing, this course runs through the hills of the Cannonsburg Ski Area. Don’t worry, there will be aid stations serving refreshments and small snacks. If you’re up for the challenge, this is the one to go to on July 16th!

Firefly 5K Fun Run

When: July 23
Where: Ann Arbor, MI

Firefly 5K Fun Run is a great escape from urban life. Three miles through park trails and I promise you’ll leave feeling refreshed and in touch with your nature side. Don’t worry if it’s a super-hot day, this run starts in the evening! Afterwards, take a tour of the beautiful University of Michigan. Or if you’re feeling hungry, venture downtown Ann Arbor for an abundance of restaurant options.

winner of Michigan 5k race

August 5K Races in Michigan

Run with the Cows 5K

When: August 6
Where: Chatham, MI

Besides feeling great after crossing the finish line, Run with the Cows 5k in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has a few fun surprises in store. You will receive a coupon for ice cream at Mama Cows, and you don’t want to miss out on their hand dipped ice cream. And to add the cherry on top, you will receive a day pass to the Alger County Fair.

What’s a better day than running a 5K, getting some ice cream, and then heading over to the Fair? Bring your friends and family for a fun filled time! Not to mention that the proceeds support local community events.

Running Between the Vines

When: August 13
Where: Jackson, MI

This Thirsty 3 Event Series is no joke. Jackson’s Running Between the Vines is the second stop in this three-stop tour to Michigan’s locally made beer, wine, and cider establishments. Each participant receives a medal and a wine glass after crossing the finish line!

Outside of the incentives at the end of the race, the route though the Michigan wineries itself is persuasive enough to draw you in. You will wind through the beautiful Sandhill Crane Vineyards, and I forgot to mention… there is also wine tasting and chocolate at the end. What else do you need to know! Oh, maybe that you should mark your calendars for August 13th.

Man running in a michigan 5k Race

Fall and Winter 5K Races in Michigan

GRR Runway 5K

When: September 24
Where: Grand Rapids, MI

Want to live out a movie scene of running in the airport? Well even better, you can run on the actual runway! At Gerald R. Ford Airport, you will have the experience of a lifetime on September 24th.

After the race, regardless of how you finish, plenty of fun times await you. There are food, drinks, and vendors. You can even check out race photos to share with your friends or maybe, if you’re like me, tuck them away deep into the interest where no soul can find them.

Coffee Classic Run

When: September 24
Where: White Lake, MI

On September 24th, National Coffee Day, commemorate your love for coffee with a 5k! In White Lake, Michigan, you will not be disappointed to celebrate with a bunch of crazy coffee people. After the race you will receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, and all you desire coffee! To go along with the coffee, make sure to grab a bagel, protein bar, or one of the many snacks that are available.

The Zombie Dash 5K

When: October 22
Where: Grand Rapids, MI

Get your pre-Halloween scares in on October 22nd at Grand Rapids’ Zombie Dash 5k. This run will be a breeze on the flat surfaces of downtown GR. At the beginning of the race you start with three life strips, and the challenge is to keep them away from the zombies. For each life strip you have left, a minute will be taken off your race time. If you’re not a runner, no fear! Volunteer zombies are needed. You even get a free t-shirt.

Ugly Sweater 5K

When: December 18
Where: Auburn, MI

Does your family have an ugly sweater party? Well take it to the next level by doing an ugly sweater family 5k run. Right in the middle of the holiday season, December 18th, this is the perfect family friendly event. You could even do an inter-family ugly sweater contest and the winner, of course, gets the ultimate bragging rights.

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Abot the Author-

Allie Horning is a current undergraduate Senior studying Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science at Michigan State University. She has had a passion for writing since elementary school and hopes to continue writing throughout her life, whether it be for fun or for work. Or, if the two overlap that would be even better! Currently she is figuring out her post-graduation plans and enjoying her last true summer.