Race Information

four runners on dirt trail on courseSaturday, April 27, 2024
Luton Park, Rockford, MI

Presented by Merrell, Cannonsburg Village and Gazelle Sports.

Race at Luton Park, one of the top trail systems in the state. Luton is a 100% flowing, dirt singletrack through hardwood forest and meadow. While narrow and a bit challenging in many areas, the trails still provide plenty of passing opportunities. Hang out with us after the race as we celebrate with complimentary pulled pork, chicken and jackfruit sandwiches, delicious deli sides, fresh fruit and sweet snacks. Capped at 500 runners. This runner’s video from last year’s race gives you a good feel for the experience.

November Project running group posing at finish lineDistances
Quarter marathon – (6.55 mile loop)
Half marathon (2 loops)
Marathon (4 loops)

+ a free kids’ run (1/2 mile loop)

3 aid stations per loop (2 for the quarter mile)

Age Groups

  • 14 age groups: Under 15, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75+.
  • Wood medals to the top 3 in each group.
  • 1st place finishers will also receive their choice a $15 Gazelle Sports (unlimited) or $15 Third Nature Brewing gift certificate (50 available, will divvy up based on number of racers at each distance)
  • 2nd place finishers will receive a $10 Gazelle certificate (or you can trade for a $15 Third Nature certificate once all 1st place finishers get their pick).

Swag/Finisher Award
All finishers get SockGuy running socks ($15 retail) or a small medal. Your choice. We’re so confident that you’ll finish we will provide your award at check-in to make things flowing smoothly at the finish line!

5950 10 Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341 (requires parking pass)
Most racers must proceed to the shuttle lot. See below.

Parking Options
1. At start/finish. Pay $5 per vehicle to park at the trailhead lot. You must buy a parking pass online (RunReg site). First come, first served. All parking revenue will go directly to Kent County Parks.

Marathoners: Your entry fee includes a parking pass to the 10 Mile lot; it will be emailed to you. The shuttle will NOT be available for marathoners.

2. Shuttle lot. Free parking/shuttle at Crossroads Wesleyan Church, one mile east. Address is 8331 Myers Lake Ave NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Or run a one-mile warm-up west on 10 Mile to the start. The shuttles will run until at least 1:00 pm; volunteers will shuttle you after that. Thanks to Crossroads for the use of the lot! You may NOT park on Olde Meadow Drive across from the Luton parking lot. It is a private drive. Please also avoid parking in the lot off Kies. Let’s reserve that for general public use of the meadow, yellow and orange trails. We will have a drop bag area. See below for details.


Registration, Entry Fees, Merchandise
Go to the Register page to sign up for the race, purchase merchandise or buy a guest lunch. To confirm you are signed in or see who else is racing, click on Who’s Registered or go to www.runreg.com, sign in and look under My Upcoming Events.

Early Check-in
Early check-in is from 4:00-7:00 pm, Friday, the day before the race, at Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids, 3930 28th ST (outside if weather permits). You do not need to show proof of registration. Just know your race number which we’ll send to you before Friday. If you do early check-in, still leave enough time to take the shuttle (20 minutes to be safe) if you don’t have the pass.

Give yourself 45-60 minutes for the shuttle process, check-in, drop bag, restrooms… and a deep breath. This will be fun (at least once the gun goes off)!

6:00 am Luton Park 10 Mile lot opens (requires pass)
6:00 am marathon check-in begins
7:00 am marathon start
7:15 am shuttle begins from Crossroads Church for half and quarter marathon
7:15 am quarter/half check-in begins
8:30 am quarter marathon start (waves).

9:00 am half marathon start (waves)
9:45 am kids fun run
9:30 am – 1:00 pm brunch/lunch
10:00 am awards ceremonies start as podiums fill
1:00 pm shuttle bus ends; volunteers take over shuttling duties
1:45 pm cut-off for all racers (subject to race director’s discretion)

Starting quarter marathoners before the half marathoners greatly reduces congestion. Quarter marathoners will see only a handful of marathoners, if any, on their first lap. Half marathoners and marathoners will have fewer racers to pass or passing them as no quarter marathoners will be on the course and the field will be spread thin by 9:00 am.

couple of runners laughing on trailMarathoners must complete their third lap by 11:30 am or may have their race bib pulled. They can continue on with their final loop if they desire, but with no promise of aid station and medical support and their final time will be listed as unofficial. The 11:30 cut-off equates to 1 hour and 30 minutes per lap or a 6-hour marathon. We need to have a reasonable end time so volunteers can go home and we don’t have to pay overtime for medical support. If you make the last lap cutoff but you are not finished by 1:45 pm, again, you can finish on your race on your own with no promise of support. Race director’s decision.  We will do our best to save plenty of food for you after your finish. It’s possible we can start you at 6:30 am so contact us if you need that extra half hour (aid station and medical support not guaranteed in the first 30 minutes for early starters).

Kids Fun Run

  • small finisher medalPlease register your kid here. Free!
  • The kids fun run will begin at 9:45 am.
  • If you were not able to register your child online, they can still run/walk; please request a waiver at the check-in tents on race day.
  • Lunch not included but can be purchased online for kids and adults.
  • The loop is 1/2 mile long, on the youth strider bike trail and green loop. It is not timed.
  • Parents should accompany young children. Older kids can run on their own at your discretion. PLEASE watch for adult race traffic on Green loop.
  • Each child 12 and under will receive a finisher’s medal.

Race Shirt

  • The race shirt is an optional $15. Order by about April 15 to ensure you get one.
  • Unisex crew or women’s v-neck, long-sleeved, tech/poly fabric.
  • Shirts tend to run true to size for most.
  • We will have a small number of shirts available at the race but they go fast. Available after everyone who purchased a shirt gets theirs.

(purchase online or at check-in)

  1. Skull cap $20
  2. Vehicle decal/sticker $3
  3. Stainless steel pint $12
  4. Michigan Adventure Racing buff/headwear $12

running on famous pine tree alleyBEFORE THE RACE


  • Campgrounds (seasonal): Detach Primitive (in Rockford), Indian Lakes, Scalley Lake
  • Many hotel and home rentals in the area
  • Enjoy Frederick Meijer Gardens, great outdoor dining, Lake Michigan beaches and other area attractions before or after the race.


  • If you did not do early check-in, get your shirt, race/bib number, and safety pins on race day. Attach your number on the front of your shirt, jacket or pants. Do not fold it. This race is chip-timed.
  • If you cannot attend the race, you must pick up your shirt BEFORE the start of the race. We have no way of knowing who will or will not be at the race so we reserve the right to sell your shirt once same-day check-in begins.
  • Portajohns are located at the start/finish only.

Drop Bag Area

  • We will have a drop bag area/tarp. You must label your bag with your name and phone number. Be aware that while this area will be next to the aid station and volunteers will keep an eye on it, we cannot guarantee the security of your items so please keep valuables at home or locked and hidden in your vehicle.
  • East/On-Course section: The section within the course ropes/cones is for half marathoners and marathoners to grab or drop gear/fuel after each lap (and for dry clothes after the race).
  • West/Off-Course section: The section outside the course, closer to the parking lot, is for quarter marathoners to leave their dry clothes, special food or drink, etc.


  • We would encourage you to invite friends and family to watch the race. They may walk along the Blue hub trail, just off trail (accessible via the Green trail) or hang out near the start/finish.
  • Spectators must take the shuttle from Crossroads church unless they have a handicap sticker
  • Spectators may purchase the lunch on the RunReg registration site.

3 runners bowing in jest in front of friend on podium who finished firstRaffle

  • If we have sponsor prizes after awarding those to top finishers, we may hold a raffle
  • Names likely will be drawn before the race from all registered racers)


  • See The Course page for a detailed map. Quarter marathon racers will run one loop, half marathoners will run two, and marathoners will run four loops. Same course.
  • Aid stations will be available at the start/finish and at the 4 mile mark (Red trailhead). If it’s a hot day and we have enough volunteers, we will also have an aid station at the 1.5 mark (Black trailhead). We encourage runners to bring their own bottle(s) for fluids for during and/or after the race to reduce the amount of trash. Thanks!
  • Because the trails are quite full of racers, we are not able to allow dogs to run with racers. Spectators may have dogs on leash.

volunteers serving post race brunch - lunchAFTER THE RACE

  • Please join us for our brunch/lunch feast, our treat! Provided by Cannonsburg Village/Honey Creek Inn.
  • Awards will be given out as the top finishers arrive and podiums fill. All finishers will receive the finishers award (at check-in – we have confidence in you that you will finish!).

Our charity partner is Team Orphans. Team Orphans works with 6 adoption agencies, including Bethany here in Grand Rapids, to provide adoption grants to families adopting kids with special needs. These include children with medical needs, keeping sibling groups together, and older children. In the last 10 years, Team Orphans has raised over $250,000 and helped dozens of kids with special needs come home to their forever families.

Thanks also to Kent County Parks for the use of Luton Park and the Kent County Parks Foundation for helping expand and enhance our park and trails system. To support Luton Park and all our great Kent County parks by volunteering or donating, visit the Kent County Parks Foundation.

Join The Alliance to protect, maintain and build trails in West Michigan. This group is not just for mountain bikers even though its official name is the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance. Your $40 annual membership helps protect existing trails from development, maintain them, and build new trails.

Questions? www.facebook.com/hurtthedirt is a great place to ask questions and get answers so others can learn from your question. For questions specific to you, email Mark VanTongeren, race director.