Nader’s Motor Lodge on Lakeshore Drive
Near the center of Stearns Park
Enjoy a Popsicle, kick off your shoes, stroll down to the water and cool off in Lake Michigan. How does it get any better than that?
Most of the runners bring the family and spend the day on the beach swimming, tanning or playing volleyball. Downtown Ludington has many restaurants, a brewery, ice cream and retail shops, all within walking distance from the beach.
The half marathon course is beautiful. Runners start on Lake Shore Drive, near the city beach, go north on Lakeshore Drive towards the Ludington State Park. The Piney Ridge mile is full of twists, turns and gentle rolling hills.
You enter the Ludington State Park trails at mile marker 4, which takes you on a 1.8 mile trail run through a very beautiful mature forest full of oak, beech nut, birch and maple. This section of the course is really fun; it’s like being on a roller coaster. It’s full of short ups and downs that allow you to maintain pace with little effort, you feel like you are flying, it’s fast but passing must be done carefully.
Once clear of the woods, you run up (and down) a small dune cross over the Hamlin Dam. Mile 6 takes you through the State Park Campground to the gate.
The next three miles are flat and along the beautiful Lake Michigan coastline on M116 from the State Park gate to what the locals call First Curve, where M116 heads East briefly before turning back into Lakeshore Drive. Miles 10-13 have three decent hills, but once you are over the last one it’s just a half mile downhill and into the beach to the finish lines.
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