Rules & Etiquette

If you wish to pass a runner in the singletrack sections, please give him or her a heads up that you are there and how you will be going around them (e.g., “on your left, when you have a chance”).

Music via ear buds is not allowed due to how many runners are on the trail; you may run with music but only with your buds hanging outside of your ears so you can hear runners or volunteers.

You may have family and friends provide you with food and hydration during the race.

Per Kent County Parks rules, dogs must be on a leash and are not allowed on the trails with runners during the race.

If the trail is muddy or wet, it’s very important that you run THROUGH mud or water, not around it. Running around muddy or wet areas widens the trail. It’s important that Luton – with the exception of the Blue loop – remains singletrack for runners, mountain bikers and other trail users.

“Bandit”/non-registered racers and pacers are not allowed. Pacers are allowed if they are registered racers of course. Runners who join the race without registering create a medical risk since we don’t have any information about them. They are freeloading, which is not fair to paid runners or Michigan Adventure Racing. And if they are pacing, they may give racers an unfair advantage.

Michigan Adventure Racing works with the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance (WMMBA) and the West Michigan Trail Runners group to help runners, bikers and other trail users understand how to protect Luton Park and other natural areas. The first step is to avoid using trails during muddy conditions whether on foot or bike so that our trails remain in great condition and at a singletrack width. Dodging puddles is not a solution – that actually does more damage by widening the trail. And while bikes cause deep ruts, shoe prints can as well. While trails are drying out, find a nice gravel road near you and run that. Thanks!

The 6.55 mile loop used for the races is measured by a measuring wheel, the most accurate way to measure a race course. Here’s some information on why your GPS device or smartphone is likely generating inaccurate mileage during your training runs or the race.

Dense, overhead foliage, tall buildings and other types of satellite or cellular interference make for greater inaccuracies. So do turns, especially tight ones, because your phone is averaging location signals from cell towers; every time you change course, there’s a chance the device might miss it…

If you have a GPS watch, wear it while you’re operating your favorite running app on one of those open, flat routes. That way you can get an idea of how far “off” your smartphone is, and in what direction. For example, I’ve worn my Garmin Forerunner 305 on several runs while running the MapMyRun and iSmoothRun apps on my phone, and I know from trial and error that my iPhone overestimates my mileage by about .02 to .04 mile per mile compared to my Garmin. That might not sound like much, but on a 10-mile run, that overestimates by a quarter-mile or more, which can be significant for some runners. (from