Saturday, August 15, 2015 • Alma, MI • Course Map
One of a series of seven half marathons here in central Michigan throughout the spring, summer and fall, Alma’s Panda Bear Night Run takes runners on an out-and-back route along the Fred Meijer Rail Trail System, part of a network of more than 40 miles of trails along former railroad lines that stretch from Alma southwest all the way to Greenville.
The race is part of what is known here in central Michigan as the Michigan Half Series, a set of half marathon race events begun by 24-year-old Ryan Hackett, a local running enthusiast and manager of a specialty running store in Mount Pleasant.
The Michigan Half Series features a slate of races for every season, from the series’ winter events (like its Ice Cube Half Marathon, Snowmans Half Marathon and Mud Dogs Half Marathon races) to this series, which covers the remainder of the year.
Runners taking part in the Panda Bear Night Run — formerly called the Panda Bear Prevention Run — will follow an out-and-back course that starts and finishes in Alma at the trailhead for the Fred Meijer Trail, which lies at the corner of Superior Street and Center Street, near the campus of Alma College.
From there, runners in the half marathon head out and run along the trail to the half-way point of the half marathon, where they hit the turnaround and then run back in the opposite direction for the second half.
As the event is a night-time race — the starting time is 9:00 PM — runners will be provided with a light source to carry with them out on the trail, which organizers describe as a fast and flat run.
Race Weather & Climate
Located near the geographic center of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, just over 50 miles north of Lansing and about 140 miles northwest of Detroit, Alma typically sees mild to moderately warm and occasionally hot weather in August, which has brought record temperatures as low as 36°F (in 1982) and as high as 101°F (in 1988).
On race day (Aug. 15), the average low is 57ºF and the average high is 80ºF.
- 2014 Panda Bear Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Panda Bear Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Panda Bear Half Marathon Results
- 9:00 PM – half marathon
- 9:05 PM – 10K
- 9:10 PM – 5K
- $30 for the half marathon, if registered up to 2 months before the race
- $35 between 2 months – 1 month before the race
- $40 on the day of the race
To reserve your spot in the half marathon, 10K or 5K at the 2015 running of Alma’s Panda Bear Night Run, register online at RunSignUp.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Panda Bear Night Run? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.