2014-09-06 / Top News

Runners Will Circle Island in Saturday Race

By Stephanie Fortino

One of Michigan’s oldest footraces, the 45th Mackinac Island 8 Mile Race, is scheduled for this Saturday, September 6. Runners and walkers will take off from Mission Point Resort at 9:30 a.m., and a children’s race will follow at 11:30 a.m.

About 1,800 runners competed in the race in 2013, and Anne Gault of Gault Race management expects about the same turnout for this year. While the weather may be cool, Mrs. Gault noted participants will likely welcome the autumn-like conditions.

“This has been a nice summer for runners,” she said. “They’ll probably love the weather.”

After leaving Mission Point Resort, runners and walkers will head toward downtown and continue along M-185 to encircle the Island. The race will finish back at Mission Point Resort, along the Shoreline Trail.

Runners and walkers are encouraged to take a ferry no later than 8 a.m. from the mainland to the Island, if arriving Saturday morning. Participants are required to pick up their race gear before the event Friday afternoon from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. or Saturday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

People can register up to the morning of the race. Online registration (at http://www.runmackinac.com/eightmile.htm) is open until noon Friday, September 5. Participants can also sign up in person Saturday morning at the Mission Point Soundstage, located above the Activities Center. Registration for the 8 Mile Race costs $45 and children’s race costs $15.

There will be no formal awards ceremony for the race, but participants can check their times and pick up awards around 11 a.m. in the soundstage.

The race is a joint effort between Gault Race Management and the St. Ignace Kiwanis Club, and the groups share the proceeds. Previous funds the St. Ignace Kiwanis Club has received from the 8 Mile Race were used to build the LaSalle High School track, resurface the track in 2013, invest in the softball fields, and provide scholarships to local youths, among other projects.

St. Ignace Kiwanis Club President Greg S. Cheeseman noted he has been volunteering at the race since he was eight years old.

“It started as a small race with local participants that evolved into a bigger race…” Mr. Cheeseman said. “Kiwanis was involved in its inception. My dad [Greg R. Cheeseman] was one of the members who initiated it.”

About 30 Kiwanis Club members will be on the Island volunteering for the race, along with several members of the LaSalle High School cross country team. The volunteers will hand out water and fruit to participants at the finish line and oversee three water stations throughout the course.

Many adult volunteers also bring their children to help, instilling a sense of tradition and community service in younger generations, Mr. Cheeseman said.

“Runners are some of the most appreciative people you can meet,” Mr. Cheeseman added. “…It’s kind of gratifying.”

Gault Race Management also administers the Lilac Festival 10K Run and Walk in June and the Great Turtle Half Marathon and 5.7 Run/Walk in October.

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