6 Things You Should Know About the Lumberjack Mile & 5K

Annually, the Lumberjack Mike and 5K, held on the second Saturday in September, draws more than 100 participants. In addition to the in-person event, we will continue to offer virtual, non-competitive participation. Are you considering joining in on the fun? Here are six things you should know, including start times, what to wear, which landmarks you’ll see along the routes, how to get involved without running, and, of course, what to expect at the finish line.

  1. Early-bird rates: Sign up before race day to lock in the best rate. After that, participant fees increase to $40 for adults and $30 for kids.
  2. Flannel-friendly (and family-friendly): Race participants are encouraged to “wear their Lumberjack best,” with many traditionally donning flannel and boots. United Way recognizes the best-dressed loggers with an award following the race, as well as recognizing top finishers in the mile and 5K divisions.
  3. Scenic route: The route will again feature a scenic riverside course that crosses over two bridges and under one, where you will have beautiful views of the Mississippi River. As you run or cheer, keep a look for the Canoe Sculpture, which you’ll spot along the riverwalk bridge just down from the Grand Rapids Riverfest stage. Aaron Squadroni designed the steel art in collaboration with Leah Yellowbird. Friends and family are welcome to attend the race, bring a motivational sign, and watch and cheer on participants! 1-Mile Course | 5K Course
  4. Swag: Entries receive a race packet, including the 2023 collectible T-shirt uniquely designed by local artist Jenny Farber. Packet pickup starts at 8 a.m., with race beginning at 9 a.m. A limited number of run shirts are available (and tend to sell out by race day). Register early to claim yours! Download our coloring page for a sneak peek of this year’s design.
  5.  There’s much to do pre- and post-race: When the race is run, celebrate with us at the finish! Enjoy Digital Jake in the Zorbaz DJ Booth, post-race snacks, and a cold beer compliments of Bemidji Brewing, Rapids Brewing Co., and Klockow Brewing Company. Additionally, local venues feature a great lineup of live music all weekend.
  6. Every mile matters: When you lace up, you make every mile matter, raising money and awareness for our work to ensure families have the opportunity and access to thrive. Our mission remains big but simple: Since 1963, United Way of 1000 Lakes has been improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of the Itasca area.

Do you want to play your part – but you’re not a runner? Throw on your best flannel, get into the Lumberjack spirit, and volunteer with us! We couldn’t pull off the event without the support and assistance of volunteers.

Thank you to our 2023 sponsors: Edward Jones, L&M Fleet Supply, Paul Bunyan Communications, SuperOne Foods, and Zorbaz on Pokegama Lake. If you are interested in supporting this or another United Way of 1000 Lakes event, email kimberly@uwlakes.org.

For more information on the race and to register, visit uwlakes.org/lumberjack or contact United Way at 218-999-7570.