Why We Run Trails - VIRTUAL for 2020

Wed July 15 - Sat August 15 Ionia, MI 48846 US Directions
Same great race - but different options!

While we here at the Y long to see our participants' smiling sweaty faces, we had to make the hard choice to go virtual this year.  WE WILL BE BACK IN THE FLESH IN 2021!!  We didn't want to just "cancel" on you!  So now you can run this race anytime between 7/15 and 8/15 ANYWHERE, ANYTIME!  That being said - we know many of you enjoy this race for the fabulous wooded trail surrounding Sessions Lake at the Ionia State Park.  We still VERY MUCH encourage you to go there, grab a partner, your bug spray and a water bottle, and HIT THE TRAIL!  A course map can be found below.  If you run the trail, please post your time to runsignup to see where you would have finished with other runners!  The first 100 registrants receive a cool finisher's medal and water bottle.  Additionally, this race is STILL part of a trail series.  Our April race was pushed back to October 4th and WILL take place on the Riverside Trail.  Register for both races ahead of time, and receive $5 discount for each race!!  Right now, the Y needs you more than ever.  Do something good for yourself and your community.  All proceeds go directly back to your local YMCA and the great programs they provide!  Stay strong and run hard!!

Here Are Your Options:

Virtual races happen all the time, and allow you to join the fun without the crowds. You simply run the distance on your own, and report your results - we’ll send you instructions.

You understand that events are expensive, even when cancelled, and you want us to keep your registration fees to help cover our costs. We deeply appreciate your generosity and look forward to seeing you at an event soon.

We understand. We hope you can join us next time.

2880 W David Hwy
Ionia, MI US 48846

“Why We Run Trails” has officially gone virtual!  We will not cancel!  This is a great race and we want to be there for you in 2021.  But right now, the Y needs you more than ever.  If you're stuck in the world of virtual races - realize that all proceeds go back to supporting your local YMCA and the great programs serving our community.  Runners will have from July 15th- Aug 15th to complete this race.  Now that it's virtual, this race can be run anywhere at any time, but due to the nature of the original course - we highly encourage runners to head to the Ionia State Park where the race would normally be and run the course marked below.  Trail running shoes are not necessary - but not discouraged.  X Country cleats are also acceptable - but there are a few VERY SHORT road crossings on asphalt. If you actually run the State Park Course, please post your time on runsignup and see where you would've finished!!  Additionally, take a pic of running with a watch time, and post to social media! The first 100 signups receive a cool finisher's medal and water bottle.  Pickup instructions will be mailed to registrants.  Depending on the year - mosquito repellent is not a bad idea!  Additionally - there is a beautiful lake with swimming access - bring your suit so you have the ability to "jump in the lake" and cool off when done!   Cross country runners and coaches:  This is a GREAT pre-season race and has been attended by both high school and collegiate racers in the past 8 years.  Teams are welcome!!

Our drawing for the GR 1/2 and full marathon will return next year when all races are running.

As always, all race proceeds go back to our Annual Campaign to help promote health and wellness for EVERYONE - and most specifically - to our 3rd grade water safety program helping all Ionia County children recognize the value of safe water behaviors!

Parking info: This event is in a state park. State park pass is REQUIRED for entrance. If you do not have one, you can purchase one at the gate day of entry $16. If you choose not to, there is a park and ride south of the park entrance just off 96.  THERE IS NOT A SHUTTLE PROVIDED!  Please share information with spectators!!

“Why We Run Roads” being held on Sunday, October 4th is a 5k/10k out and back, flat, fast and timed. 5k is entirely on hard pack crushed limestone. 10k miles 2-4 on paved section.  Great for the first time or experienced runner looking for a fast run with good competition.  This race is STILL part of a series and registrants will receive a discount for signup up for both races ahead of time!!  Sign up for both races and save $5 per race!

This race is endorsed by The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and part of the Michigan Fitness Foundation Challenge. The challenge encourages Michiganders to engage with events that promote physical activity, health and wellness. You will receive a FIT point for every endorsed event you participate in or volunteer for from January 1st until December 31st. Points earn cool swag and a chance to win various prizes! To sign up and learn more click HERE. There is no cost to this challenge.


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