Overall Rating
Overall Rating (7 Reviews)
3.9
(7 Ratings)(7 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.1
SWAG
3.9
Join Us For Our 40th Anniversary! The marathon may happen during the third weekend of October, but the journey brings out the best in people year-round. Join the thousands who run for their own reasons and support each other every step of the way. Ready for the full 26.2? Our … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Jenny L.
    Jenny L. FIRST-TIMER '16

    The course was very cool, loved running along the water in Canada. The tunnel was very hot and stuffy (the weather was already humid and very warm), and the bridge, … MORE

    The course was very cool, loved running along the water in Canada. The tunnel was very hot and stuffy (the weather was already humid and very warm), and the bridge, while AWESOME views, was a lot hillier than I expected! The course also never thinned out like I’ve seen on other races, it was crowded the whole time. This had a cool community feel to it – we were all getting really tired together! They had some problems with the shirts this year, and I still haven’t received mine in the mail yet, but other than that, this race went off without a hitch. Missed a PR by 20 seconds but I’ll definitely be doing this one again!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    Profile photo of Donn Raymond
    Donn Raymond FIRST-TIMER '16

    First off, the city of Detroit is nothing what I had expected. The downtown is built along the Detroit river, separating the city from Windsor, Canada. A beautiful city, with … MORE

    First off, the city of Detroit is nothing what I had expected. The downtown is built along the Detroit river, separating the city from Windsor, Canada. A beautiful city, with several professional sports teams, and a history dating back to the late 1600’s (city established 1701).
    EXPO: Nothing spectacular, offering one the ability to purchase shirts, shorts, cups, decals, whatever you could possibly want, to remember your marathon experience. At the expo you can meet with both the USA and Canadian Border Patrol, asking questions regarding crossing the border. I was advised to carry my Passport, or in my case my Global Entry card, and without it, if stopped, I would not be able to continue the race. The reality is, there are so many runners bunched together early in the race (you cross the border around miles 3 and 8), that there is no way you could be stopped. As long as you have a bib on front, this is a non issue.
    LODGING: I stayed at the Crown Plaza, which turned out to be great. Located about 3 blocks from the start and about 6 blocks from the finish, this hotel is about as close as you can get. I did see a Holiday in close by, as well as a Marriott. The point is, get a downtown hotel, they might cost a little extra, but it will save you all kinds of time race day. I left my hotel at 6:30, race time was 7:00 and I had to sit and wait 20 minutes.
    THE RACE ITSELF: This is a beautiful course, mostly because you are running close to the Detroit river much of the way. Close to the end of the marathon, around mile 20-23, you enter and run around Belle Isle, making the course even that much more spectacular. The first couple miles are run in Detroit, which takes you to the Ambassador Bridge, crossing into Windsor, Canada. The views are amazing, take the time to look around!! This is your biggest bump on the course, and though it does last for a while, it is a gradual climb and not as bad as it looks. The next 4-5 miles are run in Windsor, where the locals really come out to support their neighbors to the north and the course they share. Again, most of this takes you along the river, although you do run into a few neighborhoods. The worst part of the course, and I would say most unusual and I am glad I had the opportunity begins about mile 7.1 and ends at the 8 mile marker. The runners actually run UNDER the Detroit river, through a tunnel, crossing back into the USA. It was very hot and humid, and definitely affected my race. I was informed later that they pump cool air into the tunnel, but you must run on the left hand side. I ran on the right, because it was less congested, and suffered from the heat. Next time?? The tunnel is closed to traffic and it did make the course more interesting, just to tell your friends you ran 1 mile under the river. The rest of the course spends time alternating along the river, running through some high end, as well as lower end neighborhoods, finally around Belle isle and then finishing the last couple of miles through downtown. It really was a beautiful, and entertaining course.
    SPECTATORS: There were spectators almost everywhere (not in the tunnel), yet there were never large crowds. I actually found it more enjoyable that there spectators to the point of being lifted up, but not loud and obnoxious (hello NEW York).
    FINISH LINE: You finish about a block from where you started, and the finish line was evident as you made the final turn. It was about a 1/2 mile finish, seeming to get further away, the closer you got. The finishers Medal was nice, definitely show casing some of the history of Detroit. Not too large, but rather heavy. A few snacks were offered at the finish line, and a small celebration ensued.
    MY FINAL THOUGHTS: I did enjoy this race. Not a big fan of big races, this course never felt overly crowded. 26,000 or so participants, split between the full, USA half, international half and marathon relay made one feel comfortable with the crowds. I wish I had spent more time to explore the city more, as Detroit definitely has a great vibe to it, and lots to see. I would say this was one of my favorite larger marathons.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    Profile photo of Lorelei
    Lorelei FIRST-TIMER '16

    This is an easy 5K. The course is flat and along the water. This year, the course was diverted to less pretty scenery due to the arrival of USS Detroit. … MORE

    This is an easy 5K. The course is flat and along the water. This year, the course was diverted to less pretty scenery due to the arrival of USS Detroit.

    This makes a great PR course and is a perfect warmup to the next day’s half or full.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of This Girl Runs
    This Girl Runs FIRST-TIMER '14

    Pricing/Signup: When you are running an international race you can't really beat the price. It is the same as any normal half/full marathon depending on what time of year you … MORE

    Pricing/Signup: When you are running an international race you can’t really beat the price. It is the same as any normal half/full marathon depending on what time of year you sign up, you can expect to pay around 100 (give or take for time period).
    Packet pickup/expo: The expo was great! It was huge and very well organized. When you walked in everyone got a tote, cowbell, some magnets and other flyers to carry anything you sampled or purchased. To pick up your race bib you did have to have your passport or passport card. If you didn’t have this you weren’t getting your bib. (unless you chose to run the only US version of the race).
    Start: The start is very relaxed. They have you corralled based on estimated finish time but you can move around to anywhere without worry. It is very cold and they start right on time. You do have to wait for both the US and Canadian National Anthems with I thought was nice.
    Course: The course is great apart from the first couple of miles. It is just a straight shot in the dark until you get to Ambassador bridge and cross over into Canada. At this point you do go through border patrol and they were awesome! Coming back into the US they aren’t as fun though..:( They had aid stations every couple of miles with gatorade and water which both worked well and plenty of bathrooms available also.
    Post race snacks were awesome. They had a full spread of just about anything, pretzels, bananas, choc milk, water etc. Very organized and very helpful people in the finishers chute. Their medals are very hefty and nice too!!! The ribbon has both the US and Canadian flags on it to make it very unique.
    Overall I love this race! I think they do a great job of having everything very organized. The parking race morning is the pits but that isn’t something that can be changed too easil

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of jeffruns
    jeffruns FIRST-TIMER '15

    I enjoyed running this marathon. It was my first marathon so I didn't know exactly what to expect. And you know what? The organizers forgot to include a moving sidewalk … MORE

    I enjoyed running this marathon. It was my first marathon so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. And you know what? The organizers forgot to include a moving sidewalk from mile 20 to mile 26.2. The NERVE. (Just kidding of course!)

    The scenery was beautiful and improved as the day wore on. Crowd support was excellent in spots and non existent in other spots. Indian Village had a beer stop. That’s what I’m talking about, though serious runners probably aren’t looking for beer at mile 16. Pacers were available for a wide variety of finishing goals.

    There were a few (minor) down sides…
    One thing I didn’t like was the seriousness of crossing the border. And by seriousness, I mean the US side. Canadian customs were relaxing and cracking jokes with us about the Michigan Michigan State football game the night before but when we were returning to the US, the agents were pretty much standing at attention scrutinizing everyone that ran through the tunnel. Not one of the moments I’d hold up as showing the hospitality of my country.

    Then there were the restrictions. You MUST wear your bib on your upper body. This is a race that started out snowing, then had fierce winds when we ran across the bridge, then sweltering heat as we ran back into the US through the tunnel and finally more fierce winds when we got to Belle Isle. There was simply no way to dress for this entire race. Clothing adjustments were required. They should have let us put our bibs on our bottoms where they wouldn’t get in the way of the half dozen clothing adjustments we needed to make. Then they wouldn’t let us bring our own liquids. Seriously? So this is definitely a “live off the course” race. Which isn’t all that bad because aid stations were plentiful.

    Despite these minor down sides, I recommend this race. There is a US-only half marathon for anyone not wanting to bother with bib placement and liquid carrying restrictions. There is an international half for those wanting to cross the border but wanting to run less than a full marathon. Lastly there’s a 5K the day before (which I also ran) that works well as a “tune up” run.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    I completed this race in 2010 so things may have changed since then. The race began at 7am. The first mile or two is through downtown Detroit. The course was … MORE

    I completed this race in 2010 so things may have changed since then.

    The race began at 7am. The first mile or two is through downtown Detroit. The course was relatively flat. One of the most appealing aspects of this race was that it takes you over the Windsor Bridge into Canada. In fact, at the Expo you need to show your passport as part of the registration process. The run over the Windsor Bridge was a pretty cool experience. Following that part of the race you run through Ontario along the river. It was a very scenic run.

    The next exciting part of the race is on the way back from Canada. Please note there was security checking that everyone had a bib (which meant a passport). The course then takes you through an underwater tunnel connecting Canada with the US. This was by far the coolest portion of the race. In fact, I ran the fastest mile(s) of the overall race through that portion.
    Overall, I reccomend this race. It was medium in size and well organized. It was a cool experience getting to run from the US to Canada over a bridge and back through a tunnel. This was also the best t-shirt I’ve received.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of jrohlede
    jrohlede REPEAT RUNNER '14

    Detroit's marathon first 10 miles ranks right up there with any of the North American marathons I have run. Yes, I know you are saying 'Detroit? Who would run Detroit?' … MORE

    Detroit’s marathon first 10 miles ranks right up there with any of the North American marathons I have run. Yes, I know you are saying ‘Detroit? Who would run Detroit?’ But the course is great, First half hilly and back half flat, scenery is great and organization is excellent. Starting at mile 3 and running into Canada over the Ambassador Bridge, then running along the waterfront thru Windsor, then back into the US again at mile 10 thru the underwater tunnel is just plain fun. Sun is coming up when you run over the bridge and the sunlight on the Detroit River (no, did not see any bodies) and the skyscrapers is stunning. Then settles down into a neighborhood / Belle Island run for the back half.

    Expo was pretty much the same as any marathon expo – they make you go all the way thru all the vendors to get your race packet.

    5th time I have run this and haven’t tired of it yet.

    Best part – first 10 miles / Ambassador Bridge / Tunnel
    Worse part – Detroit only gets about 5,000 full marathoners but between the marathon relay (5 legs) and the two half marathons there are about 27,000 runners. Everybody runs the same course. So it is always crowded. Fresh legged relay runners running by and cutting of full marathon runners always bugs me. I understand the Detroit marathons motive – 5,000 people spread out over 26 miles would look a little sparse but 27,000 people running together makes it look like a major marathon.

    For bling fans the medal is excellent. Also a big shout out to the Detroit marathon people for there attention to the hand cycle and wheelchair divisions. They go way above the call for these participants. They assign each one there own personal bike guide and assistant and also work with veterans with disabilities to help get them into the race. There were 35 hand cycle and 5 wheelchair entrants – if not the largest in the country – right up there with the most. Thanks again Detroit for doing this

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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