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Porcupine Mountains Trail Marathon


Porcupine Mountains
Trail Marathon

Half Marathon & 5K
Silver City, Michigan
September 19, 2015


The Porcupine Mountains are one of the largest tracts of wilderness east of the Mississippi River. The Porcupine Mts overlook Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake on Earth. The coastline is remote and rugged. The marathon course includes some of the most remarkable single track in the midwest and takes runners past tranquil and remote Mirror Lake and along the classic Escarpment Trail where you can almost reach out and touch soaring hawks as you overlook Lake of the Clouds. This event completes a trio of deeply inspiring trail marathon hosted by Great Lakes Endurance (Waugoshance, Grand Island, and Porcupine Mtns) offering runners the best of what Michigan and the Upper Great Lakes have to offer.


2015 Results 

Click here to go to the results page


Travel & Lodging

Nearest Airports: Gogebic-Iron County Airport & Houghton Memorial Airport
Exclusive Host Hotel: Americinn, Silver City, MI.
Reservations recommended: 906.885.5511
Camping at Porcupine Mountains State Park: (906) 885-5275
Convention and Visitors Bureau: www.porcupinemountains.com
Chamber of Commerce: www.ontanoganmi.org 
We recommend lodging at the Americinn, which is only three miles from the race start. Make reservations early as this is peak color season.

Packet Pick Up

Where: Americinn Hotel, Silver City, MI
When: Friday, September 18, 4:00 to 9:00 p.m or Race Day starting @ 7:00AM



The marathon starts in front of the Porcupine Mtns Ski Lodge and ascends the mountain via cross country ski trails. The course then travels on mostly single track through the rugged highlands surrounding the remarkable Carp River Valley. Runners will enjoy world class scenic vistas. There is one river crossing. The course is well marked with colored flags, directional arrows, and mile markers. In 2013 rain produced treacherous conditions on portions of the trail that required a re-route. In case of similar conditions the re-route will be employed.
Marathon Start: 8:00 a.m. Saturday, September 18, 2015, Porcupine Mtn Ski Lodge.  Map

Half Marathon

The marathon starts in front of the Porcupine Mtns Ski Lodge and ascends the mountain via cross country ski trails to the Log Camp Aid Station 1 (3 miles). Runners head west to Union Spring and then takes runners up and over ridge before crossing the Carp River. Runners then turn north, following and elegant trail that descends along the Carp River before reaching the Cuyahoga Creek Aid Station (7.5 mi). The trail then ascends through a old growth hemlock forest to West Vista where runners will enjoy a panaoramic vista of Lake Superior and the valley below. Runners then follow XC ski trails along the ridge before returning to the Log Camp Aid Station (mile 10). The last three miles follow a gradual 3 mile downhill course back to the ski lodge. The course is well marked with colored flags, directional arrows, and mile markers.
Half Marathon Start: 8:30 a.m. Saturday, September 19, 2015 Porcupine Mtn Ski Lodge. Map


The race starts and finishes at the Porcupine Mtns Ski Lodge and follows a scenic loop on the cross country ski trail system.
5K Start: 9:00 a.m. Saturday, September 19, 2015. Porcupine Mtn Ski Lodge.

Aid Stations

The marathon will have four aid stations at 4, 8.5, 15, and 23 miles. The half marathon will have three aid stations at 4, 8.5 & 10 miles. All runners will be required to carry a 20 oz water bottle or other functional hydration system which they can refill at each station. Aid station volunteers will have large pitchers with cold water and cold HEED (Hammer Nutrition) energy drink with electrolytes and will quickly fill your bottle or hydration system. Simply have it open and ready to fill. Hammer Gel and Endurolytes will also be available at each aid station.

Time Limits

There is a seven hour time limit for the marathon. This is strictly enforced due to safety reasons and the remote nature of the race course. Do not register if you cannot finish within seven hours. Aid stations will close at times listed in the table below. Those runners who decide to drop out of the race are advised to drop out at an aid station where transportation back to the race start at the Porcupine Mountain Ski Lodge will be available. A sweep runner will follow the runners, closing the course.

Race Fees

EventUntil 1:00 a.m.
June 1, 2015
Until 1:00 a.m.
August 1, 2015
Until 1:00 a.m.
September 16, 2015
Half Marathon

Refund & Transfer Policy

No refunds. This means that once you have registered your entry fee will not be refunded for any reason by Great Lakes Endurance. Active.com offers entry fee insurance.
No participant transfers. This means that you may not transfer your entry to anyone else.
No year to year transfers. This means that you cannot transfer your entry to any future events.
Event transfers. You may transfer from the marathon to the half marathon up to and including September 18, 2015. Email the race director ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to request an event change prior to September 18, 2015. There are no refunds for entry fee differences between events.
Please note: Personal checks will no longer be accepted by Great Lakes Endurance.

Age Groups

EventAge Groups
15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+
Half Marathon
15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+
12-15, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+


EventOverall Male & FemaleTop Three in Each Age GroupAll Runners
Marathon & Half Marathon
Glasswork by artist Rick Shapero
Pint Bottle of Mass Farms Maple Syrup
Custom Printed Greenlayer Evolution Shirt & Custom Medallion
Trail Running Gear
GLE Merino Trail Socks
Custom Printed Greenlayer Evolution Shirt

(Must register by September 5, 2015 to receive a shirt)

Creating a Positive Experience

The Porcupine Mountains Trail Marathon & Half Marathon are run on an immensely beautiful course. The course is challenging. To ensure a good race, you must be well trained. Expect hilly and technical terrain. Bring a 20 oz water bottle or refillable hydration system - it is required in the marathon and half marathon. Aid stations are up to 4-9 miles apart, to ensure plenty of fluids and energy, refill at each aid station. Hammer Gel & Endurolytes will be available at all aid stations.

Natural History of the Porcupine Mountains

The Porcupine Moutains have a rich geological, biological, and cultural history. In addition to running scenic trails through this region, a Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park forest ranger will provide an interpretive program on Friday, September 18 at the Americinn at 7:00 pm.


Please do not litter. Runners who litter will be disqualified. A volunteer at each aid station will be glad to take any litter you may have and/or transport something back to the finish line for you to pick up later.


For runner safety, bikes are not allowed on the race course. Because a majority of the course is designated wilderness, this means no wheeled vehicles of any kind. Failure to abide by this policy will result in a runner's disqualification.


Dogs are allowed at the start finish area near the ski lodge, but not on the race course; they must be current on vaccinations and rabies shots. Dogs may not be left unattended in a vehicle, camper, or a campsite at any time, and they must be quiet, on no more than a 6 foot leash, and cleaned up after at all times. Dogs may not be left outside tied up alone, and they are not allowed in park buildings or at swim beaches.

iPods/MP3 Players

For runner safety, we advise against the use of iPods and MP3 players.

Environmental Measures

  1. A donation from this event to the Friends of the Porcupine Mountains supports environmental education workshops for the public.
  2. Eco-technical race shirt from our shirt sponsor, Greenlayer, made from 100% Recycled Polyester.
  3. Each runner must carry a 20 oz water bottle or other functional hydration system. Cups are not available at the aid stations on the course. Runners can have their bottle or hydration system refilled quickly with either cold water or cold HEED via a pitcher poured by a GLE volunteer. This is a superior system on ecological grounds, as we have found it results in less spillage and better hydration for runners (access to fluid between aid stations).
  4. Foods served after the event are either locally produced, organically grown, or both.
  5. Age group awards are locally sourced maple syrup.
  6. Marathon medallions are made from recycled hardwood scraps.
  7. Food waste is composted and all other materials are recycled.
  8. Course is marked with reusable flags that are removed after the event.