2019 Participant Guide

Thanks for coming out to the Inaugural White Dog 5K Trail Run! Please read below for answers to most of your questions regarding times, locations and activities. We are excited about this year’s event and can’t wait to see you all out at Camp Timbers!

Proceeds will support summer camp scholarships to help local youth benefit from experiences at YMCA Camp Timbers.

This is a professionally timed USA Track & Field Sanctioned event.

Date:  Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Race Start Times:  

  • 1 Mile Trail Fun Run/Walk - 10:00 AM

  • 5K Trail Run - 10:30 AM

Location:  YMCA Camp Timbers

Address:  3269 Horseshoe Lake Road, West Branch, MI

The Legend of the White Dog

Long before YMCA Camp Timbers, the forests surrounding Piper Lake were home to a small lumber town – the town of Piper.  From1882-1892, Piper was a bustling lumber town where the mighty White Pine were cut and shipped south to build the growing cities of the Michigan and the Midwest.  

According to legend, Piper Pete was the strongest of the town’s lumberjacks. A “topper,” Piper Pete had the dangerous job of climbing and cutting the top from the tall pines before they were felled.  When not working, Pete could be found walking the trails and tracks around Piper with his beloved companion, the White Dog.  Through a series of treacherous situations, colorful characters, and unusual encounters best shared around the glow of a summer campfire, Pete and the White Dog eventually met untimely ends.  However, the legend doesn’t stop here.

As a protector of the forests around Piper Lake, the White Dog has also become a protector of camp.  Whether through mysterious sounds in the woods, chance “out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye” sightings, or the wishful thinking of generations of campers, the Legend of the White Dog “howls on.”

Getting There

Directions to YMCA Camp Timbers are available at www.saginawymca.org/camps/camp-timbers/about-camp/directions/.  Please note the cell phone service and GPS directions may be inconsistent within the immediate vicinity of camp.    

Packet Pickup and Late Registration

  • Saturday, September 28th, 2019, 6:00-8:00pm (Early-Bird exclusively for participants renting cabins Saturday evening)

  • Sunday, September 29th, 2019 at 9:00-10:00am 

On-site Registration Prices:

  • 5K Trail Run/Walk - $35.00 for on-site registration

  • Youth (13 & Under) 5K Trail Run/Walk - $25.00 for on-site registration

  • 1 Mile Trail Fun Run/Walk - $20.00 for on-site registration

Don’t Forget!

In addition to enjoying a beautiful, wooded trail run, race participants will receive the following perks:

  • Event Water Bottles

  • Custom Finisher Medals

  • Unique Hand-burned Awards (see below)

  • Free Finisher Photos

  • Complementary Cookout Lunch

  • Exclusive Access to Afternoon Camp Activities

  • Available On-site Showers

  • Sunday afternoon of camp adventures exclusively for race participants with Cookout Lunch, Climbing Tower, Paddle Boards, Zip Lines, S’mores, and more!

You Can Still Make It a Weekend Event! 

Optional Saturday Evening Family Cabin Rentals

Enjoy an evening at camp with the family in one of YMCA Camp Timbers’ rustic cabins.  Cabins have heat and electricity, and can sleep up to fourteen people in built-in bunk beds. Bathhouses (new in 2018) are available nearby with warm showers!

Cabins can be rented for the evening of Saturday, September 28th for $150 per cabin. A maximum of fourteen individuals may stay in each cabin.  Please note, YMCA Camp Timbers is an alcohol-free facility, and cabins are pet-free. If interested, please call 989-345-2630 to book a cabin!

Cabin rental includes overnight lodging and the following activity schedule:

Saturday, September 28, 2019

  • 6:00-8:00pm            Check-In and Special Early-Bird Packet Pick-Up 

  • 7:00-9:00pm            Camp Activities Available: Hammock Hike, Canoes/Kayaks/Paddle Boards, Fishing, Yard Games, Disc Golf, Lodge Board Games, and Campfires

Sunday, September 29, 2019 – RACE DAY!

  • 7:30-8:30am            Continental Breakfast (included with cabin rental)

  • 8:30-9:30am            Early Morning Boating and Fishing 

Reservations are first-come, first-served as space allows, and must be made in advance.  For reservations or questions, contact Sean at Timbers@SaginawYMCA.org or call 989-345-2630. 

Course Descriptions

Both the 5K Trail Run and the 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk will be held on the YMCA Camp Timbers’ property.  Trails have a variety of surfaces, including dirt, sand, gravel, and grass with possible exposed roots.

5K Course:

The 5K Trail run will begin and end at the center of camp. Participants will enjoy the varied landscape of camp as they travel the course, which features a full, non-repeating loop.  After leaving main camp, the course enters a beautiful pine forest and transitions to an open clearing as the first mile concludes. The second mile brings runners through mixed hardwood forests following curving hiking trails.  The third mile features dense aspen stands and ends with views of spring-fed Piper Lake as the trail follows the lakeshore back to main camp.

1 Mile Course:

The 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk begins and ends at the heart of main camp. Participants will travel through main camp before moving to wooded trails as they circle private, spring-fed Piper Lake. The course provides a tour of camp and a loop around the lake.


If you ordered a t-shirt before the cutoff date of Thursday, September 19th, your shirt will be available for you at packet pickup. There MAY be a limited number of additional event shirts to be sold, but you’ll want to arrive early for a chance to get one!

*Note: Participants will receive the size and type shirts ordered. Exchanges will be unavailable.

Schedule of Events:

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

9:00am - On-Site Registration and Packet Pick-up

10:00am - 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk

10:30am - 5K Trail Run/Walk 

10:30am-12noon - On-Site Showers Available Post-Race

12 noon - Cookout Lunch  (free for race participants; $5 for non-participants and includes: Hotdogs, Chips, Soda and Fruit) - SEE BELOW

12:30-4:30pm - Camp Activities  (free for race participants; $10 for non-participants)

  • Canoes, Kayaks, Paddleboards

  • Climbing Tower

  • Zip Lines

  • Campfire

4:30pm - Final Departure

The Post-Race Cookout

Race participants are invited to enjoy a post-race cookout as part of their camp experience from 12noon-1pm.  Expect a good, old-fashioned cookout lunch, including hot dogs, chips, soda, and fruit. Non-racing spectators and guests can purchase a meal ticket the day of the event for $5 with cash or check.



Unique, wood-burned awards will be available for the overall top 3 male and female finishers of the 5K run.  All participants will also receive high-quality finisher medals and custom water bottles at the finish line upon completion of the run.  

 NOTE:  While age group results WILL be provided, this year’s event will NOT have age group awards.


Both actual and adjusted results from Miller Race Management will be displayed at the event and will be posted at TRITOFINISH.COM within 48 hours of race completion.


Interested in volunteering? Events like this can’t be successful without great volunteers! Sign up at the link at the top of this page and we’ll be in touch. All volunteers receive a cool, TriToFinish logo’d tech t-shirt courtesy of ATS Printing in Bay City, MI!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring my dog to this race? Unfortunately, no. Not for this one folks!

Can I run/walk with a stroller? Due to the nature of the trail-based course (dirt/sand, narrow sections, and unlevel terrain) running with a stroller is not recommended.  Strollers can be accommodated in the 1 Mile course loop.

 What does “USATF Sanctioning” mean? It means that organizers have followed a process with USA Track & Field that requires creation of a safety plan and purchase of outstanding insurance covering participants, volunteers, sponsors, partners and organizers of the event.  It also means that your race results will be official for scoring purposes (assuming you track that sort of thing).

What happens if the event is cancelled?  Will I receive a refund? If the race is cancelled for reasons organizers can control then we will work diligently to provide a refund or transfer of registration to another event.  However, cancellation due to extreme weather or local emergency is not controlled by organizers and is not reason for reimbursement. We WILL however, attempt to push start of the race back in 30-minute increments until the emergency dissipates. 

Will there be an aid/water station on the course? Yes.  There will be a water station at about .75 miles for the 5k event. 

Do I need special running shoes for this race? Not necessarily, though trail specific shoes would help tremendously in keeping your footing on this course.  We recommend you visit our friends/partners at Runners Athletic Stores in Midland, Saginaw, Bay City, and Mt Pleasant to find the best available options!

Can I walk or ruck instead of run? Absolutely!

Refund and Transfer Policy

We completely understand that plans change and athletes will sometimes be unable to compete in an event they've signed up for.  Unfortunately, refunds will not be provided for any event unless the event is cancelled for reasons within our control.  Dangerous weather, natural disasters, and local emergencies are examples of reasons an event may be cancelled that are NOT within our control.

Should an athlete have an injury or other medical issue keeping them from competing in an event they've registered for, we would be happy to transfer their registration to a similar TriToFinish-owned event up to and including the same event the following season.  A doctor's slip may be required as proof of injury or ailment.  Failure to provide proof if requested will result in non-transfer of the event.

Transferring registrations to other athletes is NOT allowed.

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