Sault International Festival of Races Half Marathon

Saturday, September 26, 2020 • Sault Ste. Marie, MI • Course Map

Note: The 2020 race has been cancelled.

A run across the International Bridge that stretches between the United States and Canada here along the coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, with views of the ships passing through the locks here in the world’s busiest canal, awaits runners who make the trek up to one of the country’s northernmost corners at the Sault International Festival of Races.

Called fast and flat for the most part — with the exception of the climb that takes runners up and over the bridge — the race follows a point-to-point route that starts in the U.S., from the James Norris Ph ysical Education Center on the campus of Lake Superior State University.

From there, runners then head west along Easterday Avenue and then north onto the International Bridge, which also serves as the northern terminus of U.S. Interstate 75 (which stretches south all the way to Miami, Fla.).

Runners follow the bridge as it takes them north toward Canada — the northbound lane in which runners make their way across the bridge will be closed to traffic — for just over a mile until they reach the turnaround point.

During this stretch, some of the course’s most scenic views are on display, as runners can see the ships passing through the American Soo Locks on the St. Mary’s River from the vantage point of the bridge from a totally different perspective than from the shore, which itself is a popular spot for tourists to come and watch the ships.

The major hills along the course occur with the stretch across the bridge; once runners make it back across the bridge, they’ve completed the only really hilly stretch of the race.

After exiting the bridge, runners then weave their way through the western parts of the city before heading back east toward Easterday Avenue, where runners turn left and then make a right onto Portage Avenue, which they follow north as it winds under the bridge and continues heading north in the direction of the locks.

Once the course reaches the riverbanks, runners then follow Portage as the road curves around to the right and starts a long, straightaway stretch that will unfold southeast through the city, all the way along the banks of the St. Mary’s River, before crossing the finish line in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

Race organizers note that the course does not actually enter Canada, so no passports are required; however, officials will be on hand to ensure no one enters the race from the Canadian side of the bridge.

Race Weather & Climate

Located along the northeastern coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, along the Canadian border and just across the river from its namesake sister city in Ontario, Sault Ste. Marie typically sees September temperatures that average between 45°F and 65°F.

On race day (Sept. 26), the average low is 43ºF and the average high is 62ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Sault International Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 7:15 AM – half marathon
  • 7:30 AM – Bridge Run (7.1 miles)
  • 7:45 AM – 5K


  • $60 – $70 for the half marathon
  • $39 – $44 for the Bridge Run
  • $29 – $34 for the 5K


To reserve your spot in the 2020 running of the Sault Area Chamber Chase Marathon, Half Marathon, Bridge Run & 5K, register online at the event website here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Sault International Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: September, Michigan

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