Sault International Festival of Races

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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the course like?
A: With the exception of the International Bridge portion of the race, The Sault International Festival of Races is a flat, out and back course running along the shores of the St. Mary’s River. It begins on the campus of Lake Superior State University, continues across the International Bridge, circles downtown along the Soo Locks and finishes at the corner of Portage and Ashmun where the local Farmer's Market is held.  Racers will enjoy a fabulous finish that provides a segue into our Annual Oktoberfest. The only ‘rise’ on the course falls at the beginning of the race on the International Bridge.

An elevation chart of the International Bridge and a 5K course map are also available by clicking on the highlighted links. The 5K route does not include the International Bridge.Course marshals will be stationed along the route to provide additional directions and there will also be mile marker signs posted as well.

Q: So the course isn't closed to traffic?
A: Not entirely, but due to the early start time traffic is very light for most of the race. The first 4 ½ miles are on the International Bridge, the North bound lane will be closed to traffic, traffic will be routed on the south bound lane. Once you leave the bridge, you’ll be running through our tourist district, which will be relatively mild at this time of year. A portion of the downtown area will be closed to traffic and set up for our Oktoberfest celebration. Once you leave downtown, traffic is sparse and you’ll start to come into residential areas. Traffic will be fairly slow the further out of town you go. Watch out for your fellow runner as those ahead of you head back to the finish after the turnaround. We’ll have police, policy auxiliary and traffic volunteers at key traffic locations.

Q: Why does the 5K not include the International Bridge?
A: The International Bridge is 4.4 miles from the U.S. entry point to Canada and back, therefore significantly longer than a standard 5K.  Due to a limited window of time for use of the International Bridge, it is difficult to offer a 5K route on only a partial segment of the bridge.

Q: How long do we have to run on the International Bridge for the Half and Bridge Run?

A: The International Bridge will close at 6:30AM. The Half-Marathon will start at 7:15AM and the Bridge Run will start at 7:30AM. Runners have until 8:30AM to exit the bridge (roughly 4.4miles). If you are really close to the end of the bridge the Bridge Authority will let you keep running, However, if you are not close to the end of the bridge they will give you a ride to the off ramp.

Q: How are the turnaround points marked?
A: There will be signs and people set up at key turning points for the races.

Q: What do you have at your aid stations?
A: There are  Water Stations with water. There will be a single water station at the North end of the International Bridge. Two medical aid stations will be along the course as well as at the finish line rest and recovery area. More information will be available as race day approaches.

Q: Do you have pace groups at the The Sault International Festival Of Races?
A: No.

Q: Do you use the chip?
A: Yes, both a starting and finishers mat. Every race participant will receive a chip in their bib. This eliminates the need for return chips at the end of race and lost chip charges.

Q: Are there bathrooms on the route?
A: Yes.  In addition to restroom access at Lake Superior State University, there are additional port-a- johns located along the race route. The finish line will also have additional port-a-johns.

Q: How many runners are in the race?
A: We are anticipating 500 runners.

Q: Do you allow walkers in The Sault International Festival Of Races?
A: We do not have a separate category for walkers in any of The Sault International Festival Of Races. All times are listed by age group only in the results. The finish line closes at 11:15am, anyone finishing after then may not receive an official time or finisher medal. The 5k is considered a run/walk. Please do not walk on the International Bridge.

Q: What time does the finish line close?
A: The finish line will close at 11:15AM.

Q: Will I get a medal for participation?
A: Yes.  All runners that cross the finish line will receive a medal.  Runners in the half-marathon will receive tech shirts and medals. Bridge Run and 5K receive a cotton shirt and medal. You must be registered by September 1 to be guaranteed a shirt.

Q: Are there showers available?
A: Yes.  Showers will be available at the Norris Center at Lake Superior State University after the race.

Q: Can I listen to my mp3 player?
A: Yes.  We caution you, however, to be aware of your own safety.  Remember, this course is not closed to traffic and you must be aware of your surroundings at all times.  We have several volunteers and course marshals along with public safety officials, but you must also be responsible and aware of your surroundings.

Q: Are there spectators out on the course?
A: Sault Ste. Marie is a small town so don’t expect huge crowds of spectators. However, we love our community and support each other as much as we can, so race volunteers will work extra hard to invite and direct spectators to good locations. We are also planning several spirit stations along the way.

Q: Can my friends and family meet me out on the course or ride along on a bike?
A: Friends and family CANNOT ride along with you. We want to limit all possible traffic on the course and ask you to provide your friends and family with the spectator maps available at registration. Our course marshals are given the authority to disqualify you if they determine you are associated with a bike or car on the course. They have full and final authority in these matters. We take your safety very seriously.

Q: Can I run with a stroller or my pets?

A: Only jogging strollers will be permitted for children in all three of the running races. The Bridge Run and Half-Marathon only allows 1 hour and fifteen minutes to run the bridge, so you must run with the jogging stroller on the International Bridge. Absolutely no non-jogging strollers, roller blades, pets, wagons or other wheeled vehicles will be allowed on the course. If you have not completed the full bridge by the end of the allotted time you will be transported to the end of the bridge to finish the race on foot.

Q: Are there hotels close to the start/finish? Do any provide discounts?
A: Accommodations are available throughout the area at several establishments.  Please also read the information tab with a list of participating hotels and restaurants. 

Q: I am from out of the area how do I get to Sault Ste. Marie?
A: The Sault is located at the northernmost point off of I-75. Check out our “getting here” page on for travel directions.

Q: Where do I park on race day?
A: The start line is located at the Norris Center at Lake Superior State University.  Parking will be available in lots A and B, directly in front of the Norris Center.  A campus map is available for additional details. In addition, shuttle service will provide transportation from the finish line to the Norris Center. 

Q: I registered online but need to make a change. What do I do?
A: Just e-mail us at or call 906-632-3366 and we’ll make the appropriate changes.

Q: How do I know I am registered?
A: Your confirmed check or credit card statement is your source of confirmation.

Q: I’ve got additional questions.
A: Great! Just e-mail us at or you can call the Sault Events at 906-632-3366.