You might not know it, but races are a big deal in Grand Rapids. There are several very large running and biking clubs in town, from Run GR to the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance. Locally owned specialty stores like Gazelle Sports and Striders cater to running aficionados while Grand Rapids Bicycle Company and Village Bike & Fitness are two of many homegrown bike shops.

We don’t let a little thing like weather get in the way of our fun – we race year-round, in all kinds of conditions. So if you’re looking for a fun way to experience the city, do something positive for your mental and physical health, and possibly earn a medal, check out our 12 months of races below and meet us at the starting line!

January: Michigan Adventure Race - Winter Edition

2025 Date TBA

The Michigan Adventure Race is a cooperative effort – you and your teammate(s) will hike or run together on and off trail using a topographic map to find as many checkpoints as you can and conquer Amazing Race-style challenges. You’ll travel about five miles if you complete all the challenges.

The race takes place at Rockford’s Camp Roger, about 25 minutes northeast of downtown Grand Rapids, and participants enjoy a post-race lunch catered by Honey Creek Inn.

February: Groundhog Day Marathon

February 1 & 2, 2025

The course the Groundhog Day Marathon follows includes 6 loops of approximately 4.4 miles, so might feel like you’re reliving the same day over and over (sort of like the movie). It is, nonetheless, a Boston Marathon Qualifier. There are actually six races to choose from: Marathon, Half Marathon, Whole Hog (1/6 plus Full), Half Hog (1/6 plus Half) and Moonlight 1/6 Marathon on Groundhog Eve.

The race is held at Millennium Park – one of the nation’s largest urban parks – about five minutes from downtown GR.

March: Corewell Health Irish Jig

2025 Date TBA

For most runners and fitness enthusiasts in Grand Rapids, the “official start” to the spring race season is the Corewell Health Irish Jig. It’s a 5K (3.1-mile race) put on by Corewell Health (formerly Spectrum Health) to bring awareness to Colorectal Cancer

The race, which you can run or walk, starts at East Grand Rapids High School and features a flat course through the surrounding East Grand Rapids neighborhood. Wear green, this is a St. Patrick’s Day event!

April: Rivertown Races

April 19 & 20, 2024

Perfect for both the elite athlete and the novice runner, the Rivertown Races – a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon – start and end in Millennium Park. These three races take place on April 20 and a kid’s 1-mile fun run is held the day before.

Depending on which race you enter, you’ll run alongside the Grand River, between lakes, and through woods and meadows. All the courses are fully paved and mostly flat, with a handful of gentle rollers just to keep it interesting. Register before March 29 for a reduced price.

Crowd Participating in The River Bank Run in Grand Rapids

The Amway River Bank Run features the largest 25K in the country and has over 10,000 participants.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

May: Amway River Bank Run

May 11, 2024

The Amway River Bank Run, established in 1978, is the country’s largest 25K road race. This Grand Rapids staple is the largest race in the city, with nearly 10,000 people participating between the 5K, 10K, and 25K distances.

The River Bank Run also serves as the USA Track and Field 25K Open Championship, which means that if you enter the race, you’ll be on the same course as some of the most elite runners in the country. Don’t let the size and competitive nature of the event scare you off, though – the runners and the crowd are incredibly encouraging.

If running isn’t your thing, but you want to get out there for your well-being, the River Bank also has a 5K walk. Register here.

June: Grand Rapids Gran Fondo

June 22, 2024

Italian for “Big Ride,” a Gran Fondo is a long-distance, mass-participation event geared toward bicyclists of all abilities. Since 2013, the GR Gran Fondo – formerly known as the MSU Gran Fondo – has included four courses that start in downtown Grand Rapids and range from 12 miles to an 80-mile round trip along the picturesque Grand River valley to Grand Haven and back.

The Gran Fondo is a charity fundraiser and participants are encouraged to raise at least $50 prior to the ride. This year, 100% of the fundraising efforts will go to GR’s Mary Free Bed, ranked one of the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation.

Registration is now open and you can enjoy a discount rate if you sign up before March 31.

Summer is peak race season, of course, so you also have other competitions to choose from. If you prefer a foot race to a bike race, consider the Brian Diemer Family of Races (June 8), which include a 5K, 5K handcycle and kid’s steeplechase. You’ll compete alongside Olympian Brian Diemer, who grew up in Grand Rapids.

How do you feel about a 12-hour race? That’s one of the options for the Wicked Worm trail race at Robinette’s Apple Haus (June 22). There’s also a 10K and 12-hour format. Register here by June 19.

July: TriMillennium

July 27, 2024

The TriMillennium offers Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, including duathlon and aquabike options. For the Sprint, you’ll swim 700 meters, bike 12.7 miles and run a 5K. For the Olympic version, you’ll swim 1,500 meters, bike 24.8 miles and run a 10K. Relay options are available for both races.

Youth races (for kids aged 6-10 and 11-14) take place the evening before the main event (July 26).

The TriMillennium is hosted at Millennium Park and 100% of the proceeds benefit Bridge Street Ministries, a Christian urban youth ministry in Grand Rapids. Register by March 31 to take advantage of an early bird discount.

If you’re a bicyclist, consider the Cedar Blitz (July 13), which includes 18-mile, 36-mile, 50-mile and 165-mile routes. Each race begins at Cedar Spring Brewing Company, 20 minutes or so from downtown GR. You can register here.

August: Michigan Titanium

August 11, 2024

Michigan’s only 140.6 (ultra-distance) triathlon starts with a 2.4-mile swim in Versluis Lake, continues with a 112-mile bike ride through rolling countryside and finishes up with a full 26.2-mile Marathon run through Plainfield and Ada. Not ready to attempt the Ultra-Distance race? You can also enter Half, Olympic and Sprint distances in Triathlon, Duathlon, Aquabike, Relay and Swim-Only events.

The Michigan Titanium is a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event and timing is provided by SportStats USA. The late-night finish party is not to be missed! Register here.

Still looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon? Enter the Millennium Meadows Marathon (August 25). The event features a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and Marathon relay, all taking place at Millennium Park. Register by May 13 for a discount rate.

A group of runners running across a bridge that spans a river.

Run over Grand Rapids' most popular bridges in the LMCU Bridge Run.

Photo by Courtesy of Jamie Geysbeek Photography

September: LMCU Bridge Run

September 15, 2024

The Lake Michigan Credit Union Bridge Run is hosted by RunGR and features a 10-mile run and a 5K run/ walk. No matter the distance you decide to tackle, you’ll go over a few Grand Rapids bridges, including the historic Sixth Street Bridge, built in 1866. Others include the Blue BridgeGillett Bridge, and Bridge Street Bridge. Register before the price increases on March 29.

Also in September: The Rhoades McKee Reeds Lake Triathlon (September 7), which also offers duathlon, AquaBike, relay and swim options. The Last Chance BQ.2 GR (September 8), designed specifically to give you a shot at getting to Boston in 2025. The Red Flannel 5K/10K (September 28), part of Cedar Springs’ famed Red Flannel Festival. And the SHE RUNS Half Marathon/10K/5K (September 29), which promotes movement and wellness amongst women and those who identify as a woman.

October: Grand Rapids Marathon

October 20, 2024

Now in its 21st year, the Grand Rapids Marathon also features a Half Marathon and Marathon Rely as well as the 56th Annual Run Thru the Rapids 5K and 10K. The full marathon gives runners a tour of downtown Grand Rapids and then heads out of the city into the beautiful trails of Millennium Park, resplendent in fall colors. There is a wheelchair and hand cycle division. This is another Boston Marathon Qualifier. Register early for better prices.

At least two October races get you into the spirit of the Halloween season: Spooky Sprint (October 13) includes half marathon, one mile, 5K, 10K and kids dash events. The Zombie Dash 5K (date TBA) requires you to avoid ravenous zombie hordes while you run through downtown GR.

November: Turkey Trot

November 28, 2024

The Turkey Trot is a family-friendly 5K run/walk through the streets of downtown GR on Thanksgiving morning. There’s also a Mini Trot for ages 12 and under. Register here by August 5 for a discount rate.

The Twisted Trail Race at Ken-O-Sha Park takes place the next day (November 29), so it’s a great way to work off all that turkey and dressing. There’s a 5K, 10K and 15K option, all traveling the “hidden” trails along Plaster Creek. Register by September 30 for the best price – or take part in the FREE one-mile run. (You still have to register for the free race, though.)

Earlier in the month, Robinette’s Apple Haus is hosting the Dirty Duel Trail Race (November 9), which offers a choice of two courses: Short & Brutal (3.1 miles/5K) or Long & Difficult (3.4 miles). Runners from both trails will finish with a wild crash course on navigating the Robinette’s corn maze and then enjoy “fresh out of the oven” donuts and fresh-pressed cider.

December: Reeds Lake Resolution Run

December 31, 2024

For more than 40 years, the Reeds Lake Resolution Run has attracted runners and walkers to join in the 4-mile journey around beautiful Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids. It’s a great way to end the old year and put your best foot forward for 2025. Register here.


This is just a sampling of the many races held in Grand Rapids every year. Browse our Events Calendar for even more – check the Health and Fitness, Walking/Hiking, Cycling and Fun Runs/Races categories to find events more quickly.

More Upcoming Races and Running Events