Macomb County Sprint and Splash Event Offers Running, Kayaking and Paddle Boarding on Lake St. Clair

This annual event features a 5K run and 2-mile paddle for athletes of all ages and fitness levels with proceeds going to support the Huron-Clinton Metroparks.

Families tend to flock to the Great Lakes when they want a day on the water, but our inland lakes often have just as much to offer. Case-in-point, Lake St. Clair.

This Macomb County lake offers more than 100 miles of shoreline and ample
opportunities for fishing, swimming and other family activities, which makes it the perfect spot to host the annual Sprint and Splash event.

Sprint and Splash 2023

This event, which is celebrating its 12th anniversary, features a 5K
walk/run, a 2-mile paddle race and a duathlon that aims to get families outside and on the lake.

“Sprint and Splash started to bring awareness around Lake St. Clair and what it offers,” says Amanda Minaudo, the program director for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and an event planner with Sprint and Splash. “I grew up in Sterling Heights and I had no idea we even had a lake, so our goal was to increase healthy, outdoor activities and make residents aware of the lake that’s no more than a 30-minute drive from everyone in Macomb County.”

The 2023 Sprint and Splash, sponsored by Delta Dental, HRC Engineering, SMART and Michigan Works!, happens on Saturday, Aug. 13, at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township.

It kicks off at 9:15 a.m. with the 5K run and duathlon, then a 2-mile paddle race follows at about 9:20 a.m.

Competitors may race alone or in a relay team of two. Those who do not wish to compete in both events may also choose to participate in one or the other — and you don’t even need to be a veteran runner or paddler to give it a go.

“It is competitive for some people but not for all,” Minaudo explains. “We allow both strollers and walkers, and once you go to the park, you can stay as long as you want, so we see a lot of families stick around and hang out on the splash pad or at the playground.”

In addition to the races and everything the park has to offer, this event also features a live DJ and closes out with a breakfast so that you can re-energize after you compete.

How to register

Registration for this year’s Sprint and Splash is open and available through Aug. 11 on the event’s website. Prices are $50 for either the 5K run or the 2-mile paddle, a single entrant to the duathlon is $55 and a team of two is $100.

Proceeds from the event go to support the Huron-Clinton Metroparks and the Clinton River Watershed Council.

“The Metroparks are proud to play host to Sprint and Splash, and we’re so honored to be a beneficiary of the event as well,” said Joe Hall, park operations manager, Lake St. Clair Metropark. “The donations provide us with the opportunity to improve amenities for the public in ways that ensure people of all abilities can get outdoors and enjoy our natural and recreational opportunities.”

Donations for the 2022 event supported two new ADA accessible beach shower stations and water bottle fillers with pet drinking fountains at Lake St. Clair Metropark. Donations for 2023 hasn’t been decided yet, but Hall explains that it will be used to support a project that is associated with the park.

Entrants should note that while the 5K is on a paved trail, the waters on Lake St. Clair can vary based on weather conditions. The Marine Sheriff’s Office will be out on the water to ensure the safety of paddlers but paddlers should use discretion before hitting the water.

In addition, paddlers must also supply their own water craft. Limited rentals are available through Simple Adventures on the Sprint and Splash website for $20-$25.

If you would like to camp at the Lake St. Clair Metropark the night before the event, you should register as soon as possible, because spots are filling up fast.

For more information on living and learning in Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s A Family Guide to Macomb County.

Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.


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