Registration Opens for Runners and Volunteers at the Thatcher Markham Memorial Run

Organizers are excited to announce registration has opened for the Thatcher Markham Memorial Run 5 K taking place Bridgefest weekend. The memorial remembers Thatcher Markham, the only death recorded during the 2018 Father’s Day Flood. In his memory and at the request of his family, proceeds raised during the event benefit the Copper Country Junior Hockey Association and the Copper Country Police and Fire Relief Fund. Thatcher was an avid fan of the sport of hockey during his life, and the run also honors the first responders that were on scene.

“Two years ago we were able to raise three thousand dollars total so fifteen hundred each to the Pigs-n Heat and the CCJHA. And then this past year in 2023 we were able to raise four thousand dollars from the Thatcher Markham memorial run. So that was two thousand dollars apiece to Pigs-n-Heat and CCJHA. W did  check presentations with them here this spring up to the Pigs-n-Heat game and during the Jim Markham Memorial Hockey Tuesday proceed to CCJHA a couple of weeks ago. We’re very happy to support with them with those amounts and all the proceeds go to these organizations. So we don’t keep any money other than maybe a hundred bucks to feed for next year and nobody is paid for their involvement in helping put the Thatcher Run on. It is 100% all this money going to these organizations.” – Ryan Towles, Lead Organizer, Thatcher Markham Memorial Run 5 K

Lead Organizer Ryan Towles says that the event typically brings around 200 neighbors together to take the starting line before the parade. Runners and walkers will move down Quincy Street from US-41 toward Houghton ending at the Houghton Waterfront Pier.

“Before the parade you’ll around on closed roads. but really it’s the only chance to run through downtown Hancock and Houghton on closed roads and in front of hundreds and thousands of people there. It’s great and they’ll be more than happy to cheer you on as you go by before the parade gets to them. And then we proceed past downtown Houghton to the Michigan Tech campus down to the water behind campus there. Then follow the bike path back to the new Houghton pier that was opened last summer between the Lakeshore Center of Michigan Tech and the Portage Lake District Library. So we’ve got a nice, very picturesque finish there right on the water, with a great view of the bridge. And then you’re only a block off of the parade route and the runners and walkers go a lot faster than the parade. So it’s a great opportunity, especially for families, if you want to finish the race and then walk up and still see the parade and still grab all the candy and that, you don’t have to choose. You can do both.” – Ryan Towles, Lead Organizer, Thatcher Markham Memorial Run 5 K

There’s also a way to get involved without having to run. Volunteering individuals will help maintain course safety, and make sure everyone is registered and working with Superior Timing.

“We need people to help at the finish, just moving everybody through, helping people print out their results with Superior Timing. Those kind of jobs. And so it’s going to take, to do it well, it’s going to take  thirty-five forty people and we’ve been fortunate to have some help from local firefighters and CCJHA people. And I have Angela Luskin with Canal Run that’s going to help me take it to the next level with totally staffing the race and having everyone and what we need for those two days.” – Ryan Towles, Lead Organizer, Thatcher Markham Memorial Run 5 K

Individual Registration fees cost 25 dollars until May 14th, then increase to 35 dollars until June 12th. Group registration for families costs 75 dollars until June 1st Those interested in registering as a runner or volunteer can find more details below or register for the run here. Contact Ryan Towles about volunteer opportunities. Contact information can be found below.

The finish is at the new Houghton Pier (between the Lakeshore Center and the Portage Lake District Library). Finish amenities will include water, sports drink, and snacks.

Park in any legal area in Houghton/Hancock on race day and proceed to the start area on foot.  There will be no shuttle between the start and finish areas, which are a little over a mile apart.

Gear Check
If you would like any items taken from the start area to the finish area, bags, tags, and markers will be available for you to mark your belongings with your bib number and place them in a vehicle for transport.  You can claim your items with your race bib at the finish area immediately following your completion of the course.  Race officials are not responsible for lost items.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Ray Kestner Waterfront Park (bandshell/stage) as part of Bridgefest at approximately 9:30pm.

Awards and prizes for the Top Overall Male and Female, and Top Master’s (40 and up) Male and Female in the 5K run.  Age group awards to the top 3 male and female finishers in the 5K run – and prizes to the age group winners – in these age groups: 12 and under, 13-15, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-plus.

The 5K walk is non-competitive and not judged.  Walk results will be posted, but there will be no awards for the walk.  If you want to do a mix of running and walking, you should register for the 5K run event.  Walkers may receive awards in age groups where there are not at least 3 runners.

Individual results will be available for print-out at the finish line.  Full overall and age-group run results will be posted online through within 72 hours of race conclusion.  Walk results will be posted overall, but not broken down by age groups.

Event postponement or cancellation due to weather conditions or other safety factors is possible and at the sole discretion of race and public safety officials.  All participants should remain alert for directions from race officials and announcers and take precautions to prepare properly for varying weather conditions on race day.

No refunds of registration fees for any reason at any time.

It takes many great volunteers to have a great event.  If you can’t run/walk or aren’t up to it, but still want to help out a great cause, please email to express your interest in assisting with the race.

We need volunteers to help with organization prior to race day, race-day and day-before registration and check-in, organizing the start and finish areas, transporting racer’s gear, helping with timing (splits), helping at the aid station, leading and sweeping the race, controlling traffic, setting up the course, etc.  Even if you’re participating in the event, we still need your help.  And you can still catch the parade in Houghton with most volunteer positions.  Let us know what position preference you may have when emailing, if any.  Volunteers will need to sign a release form prior to volunteering.

We’re always open to adding new sponsors for the Thatcher Markham Memorial Run. If you’re interested in sponsoring, please email for more information.  Cash and in-kind contributions are welcome.  All Thatcher Markham Memorial Run sponsors will have their logo (if supplied) printed on the race T-Shirts.


Contact Info
Feel free to get in touch with us through the following methods:
Mail: Thatcher Markham Memorial Run, PO Box 15, c/o Ryan Towles, Dollar Bay, Michigan 49922
Phone: 906-370-1935 (Ryan)