Overall Rating
Overall Rating (71 Reviews)
4.2
(71 Ratings)(71 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.3
SCENERY
4.4
PRODUCTION
4.1
SWAG
4
Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner, casual runner or training for your first 5K, we have a race for you. On Saturday, we kick off our weekend of races with the American Home Fitness 5K, Meijer Kids Fun Run and Competitive 1-Mile. Then on Sunday, the Full Marathon, International Half-Marathon and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Jennifer Sutherland
    jnsnewsletter FIRST-TIMER '17

    The internatonal half is difficult. You can actually look up the elevation rates to see how high the bridge is and the tunnel is to see the height that you're … MORE

    The internatonal half is difficult. You can actually look up the elevation rates to see how high the bridge is and the tunnel is to see the height that you’re gonna need to do. There are plenty of water stations. For the 1st 3rd of the course, have a water station every 2 miles. The middle of the course, have a water station every mile and a 1/2. For the last 3rd of the course, have a water station every mile. I think that this is one of the best run courses I’ve ever done. Very organized, lots of water, loss of signage, and lots of communication beforehand to make me feel comfortable.

    On the negative side, I was disappointed that there weren’t as many people along the marathon route as I thought there would be to cheer people on. For example, I’ve been to some 5 k’s that have a bunch of bands and/or school cheerleaders or marching bands performing to keep people energized along the route. This one, I only saw 1 actual band of 3 guys performing. In general, there weren’t a lot of people outside their houses cheering us on or anything like that. that sort of bummed me out. The other disappointing thing, and my friend Kathy and I both said the same thing, is afterwards the after party was really lame. I was disappointed that there wasn’t some activity going on. There was a beer tent that you have to pay for. But other than that, there were a couple of tents where there were specific sponsors that people had their teams coming in to say Hi. But there wasn’t any music or anything. there wasn’t really a celebration type of feel afterwards.

    The marathon and international 1/2 marathon people all start at the same time, but it’s based on your pace that you select and tell them. So on your bib it will give you a letter and that is the corral you need to go to. Although the start was at 7:00 a.m., because I was in the last corral, I didn’t actually go through the start line until almost 7:30 a.m.. They said they would close the race course at 11:00 a.m., which would have been 4 hours. But for me, that only gave me 3 and a 1/2 hours to finish the course. So, that’s why I was nervous about getting swept. I took longer than 3 and a 1/2 hours and I was fine. I honestly think they over estimate the time for the sweepers, to scare people. But there were people that came in an hour after me. So I know that I was safe.

    The tunnel was no joke. I legit had to stop and lean against the wall because I was about to pass out. It was stuffy and the exhaust fumes were awful with zero fresh air. I was so relieved when I made it through the tunnel and was out in the open again. There were 0 cars in the tunnel. But it was just the fumes. Keep in mind it’s almost a mile long, underground. So there really isn’t much air. It was that it was stuffy. More so than the actual fumes, for me anyway. I did realize that on the outside of each lane, there was like a vent that had some cool air coming in for part of the way. So I was running right next to those to get as much of that air I could. But I still got very light headed. The bridge however had one lane that was being used sporadically. It looks like they were Letting cars over, escorted, a few cars at a time. I would see an escort Before & After about 5 cars coming from one direction to go across. And then a few minutes later 5 cars coming from the other direction escorted to go across the bridge. I heard that several thousand people started the international half and or full but didn’t finish. I also heard that several quit after the tunnel. So be prepared for the tunnel!

    I really appreciated all of the communication for this race. It was very well organized!

    I did it anyway. I have the medal and the photo to prove it. And I’m pretty damn proud of myself. For all of you that have considered starting to run, or even walk more frequently, I hope that I was able to provide a little inspiration. No one will ever accuse me of looking fit or having a runner’s body. But, I run. And therefore, I’m a runner and I have a runner’s body. Don’t let anything stop you.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Lynn Abbott-McCloud
    labbottmccloud REPEAT RUNNER '17

    From the communication from the RD and crew to the phenomenal expo to the gorgeous course and the unique experience of running into another country and running under water to … MORE

    From the communication from the RD and crew to the phenomenal expo to the gorgeous course and the unique experience of running into another country and running under water to the outstanding community support — this is a a definite bucket list race. I absolutely LOVE the Detroit International Half because the energy and enthusiasm from other runners is contagious. You can’t help but smile as you weave your way into Windsor and then back through the streets of Detroit. I loved every second of the 13.1 miles. It’s the perfect first half and an ideal course for the beginner to elite.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Shawn Cradit
    cradits REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Aid Stations were good, however volunteers on both sides of the street would have been amazing. There needs to be a line to separate where walkers should be separated from … MORE

    Aid Stations were good, however volunteers on both sides of the street would have been amazing. There needs to be a line to separate where walkers should be separated from runners, in other races I have ran, there is a white line to make it easier for the runners to not run into others who suddenly decide to walk. This makes the run more enjoyable and allows those who need to walk an area where they will not be accidentally ran into. After the race workers are too strict on where they can walk and where they can’t.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    Profile photo of Rebecca Davis
    davisr REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Race is well organized, excellent aid stations, lots of information sent out prior to race about race course, expo, etc. Fun atmosphere and lots of people cheering throughout! Simply cannot … MORE

    Race is well organized, excellent aid stations, lots of information sent out prior to race about race course, expo, etc. Fun atmosphere and lots of people cheering throughout! Simply cannot beat the view from the Ambassador Bridge

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Susan Connolly
    sconnolly714 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Wonderful atmosphere. Local restaurants are great for pre-post meals. Nice walk along riverfront the day prior to event. Hotels are close to expo and venue. Tunnel run was one of … MORE

    Wonderful atmosphere. Local restaurants are great for pre-post meals. Nice walk along riverfront the day prior to event. Hotels are close to expo and venue. Tunnel run was one of a kind experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Jodie Sedestrom
    Sedestrom27 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Only race you run a mile under water! Always plenty of volunteers, water stations, and spectators. Great course! Ran this last 8 years and plan on plenty more. Running in … MORE

    Only race you run a mile under water! Always plenty of volunteers, water stations, and spectators. Great course! Ran this last 8 years and plan on plenty more. Running in two countries is quite cool!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Jack Lee
    Maniac5377 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race is very scenic as runners get to go over the Ambassador bridge from Detroit into Windsor and return back to Detroit via the Tunnel bridge. The road condition … MORE

    This race is very scenic as runners get to go over the Ambassador bridge from Detroit into Windsor and return back to Detroit via the Tunnel bridge. The road condition can be better as many are run over hard concrete and with lots of cracks and pot holes. View is breath taking looking over the Detroit river on both sides of the border. There are many fuel stations along the course and volunteers are wonderful. Running in the tunnel is quite humid, so be prepared and head winds that gusts over 25 MPH makes running extremely difficult.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Mike Chekal
    mjchekal REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The tunnel and the bridge are the best part of the event. This year the wind was an issue with all portions of the event. I am looking forward to … MORE

    The tunnel and the bridge are the best part of the event. This year the wind was an issue with all portions of the event. I am looking forward to next year’s event.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Judy Scavino
    jscavino FIRST-TIMER '17

    -Awesome medal with both country flags on ribbon -Pretty royal blue shirt with great logo and no business sponsors all over it -LOTS of volunteers at aid stations -Easy to … MORE

    -Awesome medal with both country flags on ribbon
    -Pretty royal blue shirt with great logo and no business sponsors all over it
    -LOTS of volunteers at aid stations
    -Easy to find race start and corral from people mover (metro)
    -Great crowd support
    -Where else can you run into another country; fun stuff!
    -Sculptures along race course!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Andrea Vendlinski
    avendlinski REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The vibe surrounding the Free Press marathon is fun and upbeat. All of the volunteers at the stations are amazing and there is lots of cheering. It's fun to run … MORE

    The vibe surrounding the Free Press marathon is fun and upbeat. All of the volunteers at the stations are amazing and there is lots of cheering. It’s fun to run past all the people and helpful for motivating on to the next one.

    The course is nicely broken up into different sections, so a runner is able to compartmentalize and sort of check off all the destinations as she continues. However, there are a few really long, boring stretches where a runner just runs straight down the road for way too long. This is especially difficult when there is wind (which there was).

    It’s neat to run through the tunnel, but it’s also smelly and hot. The hill up to the bridge is no laughing matter (and I train on lots of big hills) – so be ready for it. The views are amazing, however.

    The finish line and celebration area were kind of a let down. Once you cross the finish line, you receive a medal and some food/water, but then you’re on your own. There was no music or feeling of celebration. No free beer, either.

    I was especially disappointed with the amount of waste this race produces. There were water and chocolate milk bottles at the finish that would have been very easy to recycle, but there was not a single recycling bin. Why not?! And so many other ways to reduce waste and be more “green,” but there seemed to be no consideration for that. Bummer.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Regina McDonald
    iamdirect FIRST-TIMER '17

    They ran out of medals for the delay finishers and it was very disappointing. The scenery was nice but it was quite windy during the last 3-4 miles. There was … MORE

    They ran out of medals for the delay finishers and it was very disappointing. The scenery was nice but it was quite windy during the last 3-4 miles. There was a bit of confusion with the buses in regards to directions and parking for participants of the 4th and 5th leg of the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    The bridge and tunnel had sharp inclines but the best views. So many incredible supporters along the trail, kept me motivated the whole way! Very organized run! Totally planning on … MORE

    The bridge and tunnel had sharp inclines but the best views. So many incredible supporters along the trail, kept me motivated the whole way! Very organized run! Totally planning on running again!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Ali Doyle-Hoover
    doyleali FIRST-TIMER '17

    I don't have experience with races, but I do have lots of experience with large events, and this one was wonderfully done. Everything was well organized, well managed, and all … MORE

    I don’t have experience with races, but I do have lots of experience with large events, and this one was wonderfully done. Everything was well organized, well managed, and all aspects of the event were great.
    The course has two elevation changes, but they aren’t that bad (I did, however, train in Pittsburgh…), and it makes lots of turns to keep you engaged. Running across the Ambassador Bridge at sunrise, and then running an “underwater mile,” are two experiences that can’t be beat. I highly recommend this race to anyone – come and see how wonderful Detroit really is!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of kelly zuppke
    kazrn12 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Great race and goes by so fast. Great support and such a unique experience. Running in 2 countries is so much fun ! I love when you cand stand in … MORE

    Great race and goes by so fast. Great support and such a unique experience. Running in 2 countries is so much fun ! I love when you cand stand in both countries in the Windsor tunnel.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Rita Gordon
    pinkshamrocks REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The US half is a flat, scenic course. The marathon and international half go through southwest Detroit to Canada over the bridge, back through the tunnel. It's my favorite race, … MORE

    The US half is a flat, scenic course. The marathon and international half go through southwest Detroit to Canada over the bridge, back through the tunnel. It’s my favorite race, well run, happy people, awesome volunteers., huge medal. Don’t listen to Detroit haters, this is a great race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Angela Brooks
    abrooks FIRST-TIMER '17

    The aid stations are great, volunteers on both sides begging you to take water or gatorade. If you aren't from Michigan or the neighboring states, be prepared for any kind … MORE

    The aid stations are great, volunteers on both sides begging you to take water or gatorade. If you aren’t from Michigan or the neighboring states, be prepared for any kind of weather. The “under water” mile is a really cool thing and to take your picture between two countries super cool.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Nicole Hopkins
    ne.alexander824 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The course is relatively flat with the exception of the Ambassador Bridge (which you should stop and take a selfie on anyway) and has some of the most beautiful views … MORE

    The course is relatively flat with the exception of the Ambassador Bridge (which you should stop and take a selfie on anyway) and has some of the most beautiful views of Detroit you will ever see. The crowds are very encouraging and aid stations were spectacular. If you don’t want to carry water of your own, you won’t need to. Plenty of water and Gatorade at each station, just be careful not to trip over all the cups on the ground as there aren’t many garbage cans! There are plenty of places to eat downtown after your race, just check to make sure they’re open on a Sunday before you go. I do wish there was more of an “afterparty” with more options on where to eat, massage tent, drinks, etc. I was primarily in charity village and there wasn’t much after my marathon and most of the food trucks ran out of food. Make plans for your post-race meal outside of charity village!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Katie Kramer
    kkramer83 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was my fourth half marathon, but my first time running this particular race or a race of this size. I think the course is awesome, a lot of variety … MORE

    This was my fourth half marathon, but my first time running this particular race or a race of this size. I think the course is awesome, a lot of variety of scenery to enjoy. Of course crossing the Ambassador Bridge is the highlight, but be prepared, you’re on a steady incline for quite a while there. I burned myself out on the bridge a bit. The tunnel is a neat experience, but very warm and noisy. Also, you have quite a steady incline to get out of the tunnel as well. The crowds of fans when you exit the tunnel help make it better though! The only thing I wasn’t thrilled with was the corral system. Lining up, everyone was so packed that I literally could not get up to my correct corral group. I should have started with F, but ended up not being able to get closer than H. I think this hurt my pace a bit overall. Other than that though, the race was well organized and a lovely experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of LM Riker
    lmriker REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I've never seen so many active ambulances or runners crashing on on the course due to the heat! Was disappointed that cyclists were on the course in multiple areas (no, … MORE

    I’ve never seen so many active ambulances or runners crashing on on the course due to the heat! Was disappointed that cyclists were on the course in multiple areas (no, I don’t mean the handbike guides; I mean friends of race participants riding along runners). I’ve also never so many runners stop to take selfies during a race, and I mean literally stop in the middle of the bridge in runner traffic to take a photo.

    I saw a barrier actually blow through an intersection at one point, possibly because the race volunteer at that corner was on her phone texting.

    I relied on the fans at times for fluids because it was so hot and humid the first half of the course and you are discouraged from bringing your own fluids internationally (totally makes sense). The water stations just weren’t enough. I’ve done this marathon 3 times now and this was the most disappointing in terms of race atmosphere. I’m sure the weather had everything to do with it. The fans that were along the course were absolutely awesome though.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    Profile photo of Darlene Panganiban
    dar_xoxo REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Love the bling/swag. Some water stations were NOT organized this year. Kids would tell us “cups are over there!” causing us to waste time, so sometimes I’d have them just … MORE

    Love the bling/swag. Some water stations were NOT organized this year. Kids would tell us “cups are over there!” causing us to waste time, so sometimes I’d have them just pour it in my hand so I could splash my face. It was so hot for the second year in a row. Otherwise it’s been perfect running weather since 2008. Sometimes the water wasn’t even poured yet. Would’ve made sense to pre-pour a bunch of cups on the table so runners could quickly grab a cup and go. LOVE running in 2 countries. Bridge and tunnel are the best, even if the tunnel was hot the last 2 years. Things that could be improved: 1) cost 2) water stations 3) emphasizing the etiquette that walkers stay right so runners can pass on the left. There were WALLS of walkers we had to get around. 4) eliminate/minimize use of plastic to make it more eco-friendly
    Overall, I’d HIGHLY recommend this race to anyone. The crowd support is awesome. Energy is high running through Windsor. And you get to see beautiful areas of Detroit that you might not otherwise see!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    abrooks Oct 18, 2017 at 4:36pm

    I agree with emphasizing that walkers stay to the right and runners pass on the left. I had to zig-zag the entire race just to pass walkers. The walls of walkers were frustrating at times.

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