Ludington Lakestride race director Maurie Holbrook sets up post-race water at the 2011 event.

I pulled out the August 1995 issue of Michigan Runner this afternoon. On the cover was a banner for the Ludington Lakestride. At the time we were in our 14th year of offering a very unique setting for a half marathon and 5K. The folks here in Ludington were excited and happy to share our little slice of heaven with runners from all over Michigan and surrounding states. Anyone remember John Steinberg the men’s half marathon overall winner with a time of 1:10:27? How about Jan Brown from Kalamazoo that paced the ladies in 1:27:03? As I read through the article I noticed what one participant said about the Lakestride, “This is really a runner’s race, the aid stations were perfect, this course is beautiful.”

Here we are now in 2012 preparing for the 31st Ludington Lakestride Half Marathon and 5K. So what has changed since then other than running apparel and shoe technology? Not much, most of the original team that launched the event in 1981 are still excited and happy to be involved. Our aid stations are awesome and frequent. We still run the same half marathon course highlighted by a beautiful 1.8 mile run through the woods and a gorgeous run (on pavement) along the shores of Lake Michigan with a finish at the city beach in Ludington.

A few things have changed, we think in the right direction. We’ve gone a little bit techy on marketing adding a dedicated website and yes, you can find us on Facebook. We added finisher medal last year and few other pizazzy things. The chiropractor tent was huge. But, what people say about the Lakestride hasn’t changed at all. That makes us very happy. Here is what a few of our valued participants had to say about last year’s race.

“A big thanks to everyone responsible for putting together another great Lakestride event. I have been up many times and have yet to be disappointed…and don’t plan to be. This was my wife’s first ½ marathon, and first time running in Ludington. We both loved it! Thank you for all the time and effort put forth in making Ludington Lakestride one of the best running events in Michigan?”
…Sam and Maggie W.

“I just wanted to let you know that this was by far the most beautiful race I have done so far. The trail part was breathtaking, “Rave Run” from Runners World comes to mind, and the sand dunes and dam that followed were an experience. The weather couldn’t have been better. Overall the race was amazing from start to finish and what a great feeling it is to finish a ½ marathon. Thanks for the adventure, I can’t wait to run it again next year!”
…Jill W.

…I want to thank/congratulate you on a well-organized run this past Saturday! Both the race route and the organization around it were excellent in my eyes…Looking forward to doing the Lakestride annually.
…Thomas B.

There is one very important change we at the World Headquarters for the Ludington Lakestride would like to announce. We will have chip scanning at the starting line for 2012. Your official time will actually be your time from start line to finish line. Oh yeah, and we are bringing back the 10K. Please spread the word on that. Making you happy makes us happy. One more thought…I had a runner last year tell me that he loved the Lakestride because “it felt like a big time race with a small town feel.” That’s never going to change. We hope to see you this year in Ludington for the 31st running of the Ludington Lakestride Half Marathon, 10K and 5K!

Pre-race pasta and pizza buffet at Luciano’s

Back by popular demand is our mouthwatering pasta and pizza buffet that includes salad, bread and tea or water. This was very popular last year. You can walk up and down the streets of Ludington asking folks where a good place to eat is and you’ll hear them say Luciano’s Ristoranti! Chef Luciano was born on a farm on the outskirts of Rome, Chef Luciano Canova grew up with his parents and grandparents where food has always been a staple that kept his family together. Luciano’s passion for food was instilled in him by the Italian family life at a very young age.  Luciano graduated from the Culinary Institute of Italy. After graduating, he worked around the world including in Switzerland, Germany and on a cruise line.  Make plans to join us for dinner by signing up online. Adults are $7.00, children age 7 and under are $5.00.

The 2011 “About Us” page – THE BATON EXCHANGE

For 30 years, Gary Andersen and the Lakestride Running Club have organized the Ludington Lakestride. Ludington and the running community owe a debt of gratitude to the core group of volunteers that have kept the race going over the decades. In the fall of 2010 Gary came to Maurie Holbrook and handed over the reins of the Lakestride to Maurie and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The spirit of the race will remain the same, a scenic and affordable race along Lake Michigan. Profits from the race will now help fund the FCA and its mission.
“Gary and I are on the same page. We understand that if the race is a quality experience for the participants and their families, then we will be honored by their participation in future years. With core values of Serving, Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence driving our decisions it’s a win-win for everyone.”

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is the largest sports ministry in the world. There are over 7,000 certified school campuses across the nation. Over 1.8 million people were reached through the FCA ministry in 2010. Our passion is combining athletics and faith.

FCA is a faith based organization, meaning, the work of FCA Northern Michigan is supported by donors and other events throughout the year. We raise 100% of our funding.

“Both Gary and Kathy (Andersen) have supported FCA Northern Michigan since inception. It was almost a natural choice to hand off the Lakestride to FCA. We are athletically focused, we have tremendous athletic resources, networking capabilities, a large volunteer base, a proven track record of excellence and a strong commitment to living out our core values.”


“I seem to be having quite a few of them lately. I’ve known Gary and Kathy for a long time. My wife and I have both run in and volunteered with the Lakestride Half Marathon for years. Kathy sits on the Board of Directors for FCA Northern Michigan. When we did our FCA Big Run for the One at The Big Ticket Festival last year, Gary was our finish line director while Kathy ran the 10K. We’ve been talking about races, logistics, marketing and promotion for the past year and a half.”
The Lakestride Half Marathon and 5K has become a race with a purpose. A portion of the race proceeds will be retained as seed money for the following year while the balance is used to continue the work of FCA Northern Michigan. But wait, there’s more…Marathon Mission.

Marathon Mission is a premier faith & community -based umbrella charity. MM is for walkers & joggers, of all ages and abilities, to raise support for the myraid of outstanding missionaries and charitable workers stateside & abroad. MM has been in the running since 2003, taking it to the marathon streets of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Tulsa, Maine, Dearborn and MORE! We welcome MM to our beautiful little town of Ludington this year as they participate in the Lakestride Half Marathon and 5K. Runners will be able to raise money for groups that fall under Marathon Mission if they choose to, if not that’s cool too. Just come and run with us.