Meet the Ambassadors


Victor Reynolds

First Detroit event: 2018

Favorite part of race weekend: Finally meeting people from the marathon’s Facebook group whom I’ve interacted with, chatted with, made friends with, or even just read their posts, all throughout the weeks of training leading to race weekend.

Why did you decide to go virtual: I decided to go virtual because I wanted to show support to a race I love and prove that any run can be a good run, racing or not. So, I am very much looking forward to Freep rocking the virtual raceverse this October!



Erin Dawkins

First Detroit event: My first Detroit Free Press / TCF Bank Marathon race was the U.S. Half in 2016. Up until that day, I never exceeded 10 miles!

Favorite part of race weekend: My favorite thing about race weekend is the PEOPLE! The runners, the fans on the sidelines, the sponsors. During the full marathon in 2018, I was at Mile 23 and uncertain if I could keep going. A kind lady saw I was wearing a green bib (first timer!) and came out to run with me and told me to “dig deep and I will finish.” I repeated this to myself until I crossed the finish line.

Why did you decide to go virtual: I am running The Wonder virtually this year. I am most looking forward to challenging myself and making sure that I keep my goal in mind. Without the spectators and energy that you normally get on race day in Detroit and Canada, it’s a good opportunity to “dig deep!”


Tanya Thornton

First Detroit event:  2018 Marathon.

Favorite part of race weekend: My favorite part of race weekend is the energy and excitement of the entire weekend! From meeting my runner friends at package pickup/the expo to the energy at the start line to the cheers along the way!

Why did you decide to go virtual: I decided to go virtual because I love this event and still wanted to participate. Going virtual keeps me in training mode!




Harvey Steinhoff

First Detroit event: My first Detroit Freepress/TCF Bank marathon event was the international half in 2017.

Favorite part of race weekend:  I can’t just pick 1 thing as my favourite (did you know Harvey was Canadian?)  thing about the race. I love the hype of the start line, the sunrise on the Ambassador bridge, and the underwater mile.

Why did you decide to go virtual: I decided to go virtual this so that I still have something to train for.




Carlos Orosco

First Detroit event: The 2019 Marathon.

Favorite part of race weekend: My favorite things about the event was going down to Detroit on Thursday to do the television, and newspaper interviews, volunteering at the expo, and at the Saturday races, doing the television interview on Sunday morning at 6am, and of course getting into the corral with my running partner, and just taking in the atmosphere of race day.

Why did you decide to go virtual: My training/race partner immediately decided to do the virtual, because we committed to each other last year that we’d be returning in 2020 to do the race again no matter what, and we’re absolutely looking forward to having fun with the virtual event, and including a few friends with us who are doing it as well.

Jacqueline Reneaud

First Detroit event: The 2019 International Full-Marathon.

Favorite part of race weekend: I love the energy of the weekend. The excitement at the starting line, the comradery of the participants, and the LOUD spectators!

Why did you decide to go virtual: I decided to go virtual so that I could still participate in a race this year and with my spring marathon cancelled, accomplish something that I’ve been working all year for.




Lauren Marcon

First Detroit event: My first Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon race was the full marathon in 2019. This was also my first full marathon – it was the PERFECT first 26.2!

Favorite part of race weekend: The Expo is HUGE and super fun – I loved watching a video drive of the 26.2 route they had on replay on a big screen! Also, flags are hung from each country that has someone racing that weekend and you walk through them all as you enter – so cool!

Why did you decide to go virtual: I’m excited about the virtual race because it gives me an opportunity to have someone cheering me on the ENTIRE race (my fiancé is going to follow me on a bike!), and providing water/honey stinger chews when I need them. I’m also grateful to not have any lines for the bathroom beforehand!


Dominique Passanante

First Detroit event: 2020 will actually be my first year doing a race with the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon.

Favorite part of race weekend: Race weekends are always full of excitement and I’m always in my best mood when I know it’s race week.

Why did you decide to go virtual: I decided to go virtual so I could still get a race experience, even if it isn’t the typical one! I’m still excited to participate and share this special race experience with everyone else!



Brian Schembri

First Detroit event: My first Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon race was in 2014 when I did my first official half marathon with my lovely wife. I have been back every year since, rotating between the Half and the Full.

Favorite part of race weekend: There are so many great things about the weekend; such a great group of racers and volunteers. Highlights include sunrise while on the Ambassador Bridge, the fans after leaving the Tunnel, “breaking the wall” in Indian Village are just a few.

Why did you decide to go virtual:  I decided to go Virtual to keep me motivated to train during this crazy year. Having a goal to work towards always helps me to stay on track. I want to be ready next year to beat my personal best.


Jessica Smith

First Detroit event: I ran the International Half in 2016

Favorite part of race weekend: My favorite thing about race weekend is the energy, the camaraderie, being part of something bigger than just myself.

Why did you decide to go virtual: I decided to go virtual because having something on the calendar keeps me motivated. I’m really looking forward to celebrating other runners and seeing how they make Freep 2020 their own in a unique way.





Caroline Brooks

First Detroit event: My first year running was 2019! I feel like I got a taste for how amazing an event it is and can’t wait for 2021.

Favorite part of race weekend: There’s something electric about Detroit that weekend: from the excitement at the Expo to the night-before jitters, the adrenaline and music at the start line and overwhelming gratitude at the finish line, thousands and thousands of people are feeling the same things. The volunteers keep the energy going for miles on end, and you can feel that the pride of the city and all its people with each mile you run.

Why did you decide to go virtual: Just because we can’t experience the in-person race doesn’t make the Freep running community non-existent! Lots of people have their reasons to defer, but now that I live in the Detroit area, I feel like it’s a fantastic opportunity to stay connected with people I’ve met training (and my amazing ambassadors!), and work together and cheer one another on up until race weekend, all while getting to know my new town.


Lindsay Parsell

First Detroit event: My first marathon was Detroit in 1999 when the finish line was the home plate at Tigers Stadium.

Favorite part of race weekend: My favorite thing about race weekend is spending the whole weekend with my family.

Why did you decide to go virtual: For the virtual race I’m looking forward to finally being able to run side by side with my dad for a whole marathon.





Robyn Childers

First Detroit event: My first Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon race was the Half Marathon in 2016!

Favorite part of race weekend: I love the energy that comes with being a part of a supportive community!

Why did you decide to go virtual: I decided to go virtual to maintain a sense of community in whatever way we can right now. Running is a gift. I’m grateful we have it.





Emily Broxterman

First Detroit event: My first Detroit experience was in 2010 when I walked the half marathon with my two sisters and my mom.

Favorite part of race weekend: I love the atmosphere and energy at the expo and starting line the most about race weekend as well as running over the Ambassador Bridge and through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

Why did you decide to go virtual: I decided to go virtual because when in life can you ever say you ran 26.2 miles on your own during a global pandemic. We’re living history. Well, that and of course the awesome SWAG!



Kelsey O’Connor

First Detroit event: 2015 US Only Half Marathon

Favorite part of race weekend: There are so many parts of the race weekend that I love. The expo is amazing and it gets me pumped up to run the race. The spectators are fantastic especially when you come out of the tunnel and running to the finish line. Also, running over the ambassador bridge and seeing the sunrise are a few of my favorite things.

Why did you decide to go virtual: I went virtual because it allows me to have a goal to work towards and I’ll be able to run the race even if it is different than I originally planned. I am excited to still be able to participate virtually and am really looking forward to it!


#AndTheFreepGoesOn Contest


From Sunday, August 16, 2020 to Friday August 22, 2020, we have partnered up with Playmakers to give you the chance to win a new pair of running shoes!

Whether you’re training to run or walk with us virtually this October, or you think a new pair of kicks will be exactly what you need to kick-off your training, we hope you’ll join us in a little fun!

What is the contest?

While we are all still bummed that we will not be together this October at the start line, and we know that there is no substitute for running over the Ambassador Bridge at sunrise, we how that you will join us bring elements of our race to your own backyard!

All week we will be sharing race day pictures of different parts of the course and we want to see how you can recreate them. There will be six elements shared on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages Sunday through Friday. We hope this will inspire you to find pieces of Detroit in your own neighborhood and share them with us. Then starting on Friday we will be collecting submissions to win a new pair of running shoes! Three winners will be selected on Monday, August 24, 2020. But that is not all! These winners, and everyone else for that matter! Will have the opportunity to ask an expert every shoe question they have ever thought of to get into the perfect pair of shoes.

The rules:

To be officially entered for a chance to win, participants need to submit their photos here by 8/23: Contest Submission

Want an extra entry? Share your entries on social and use the following tags: #AndTheFreepGoesOn @freepmarathon @playmakersfit

Three winners will be announced on 8/24!

Virtual Info

Register Now for Our Virtual Events!

As you have probably heard by now, this year we are taking the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon Weekend virtual. While we are disappointed that we will not be able to be together downtown this October, we are really excited about the virtual options we will be bringing to all participants this October.

If you decide to join us virtually, you will receive:

  • A premium tech shirt with your registered distance on it.
  • A 2020 medal for your registered distance and bonus: Motor City Challenge Participants will receive a medal for each distance they complete as well as a Motor City Challenge Medal.
    • Medal design graphics can be found here!
  • Your own Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon Bib, with room for customization, to help bring the race day experience to your own backyard.
  • All Motor City Challenge Participants will receive a Motown-themed pullover in addition to the participant shirt for the highest individual distance they complete.
    • This means that The Temptation participants will also get a 5k shirt, The Wonder participants will also get a 13.1 shirt and The Supreme participants will also get a 26.2 shirt.
    • Photos of the pullover and participant shirts can be found here!
  • We are committed to bringing as many aspects of the race day experience to you and will be sharing more goody bag details as we get closer to the event!
  • BONUS, add on this Premium Virtual Jacket brought to you by TCF Bank, featured below:


Check out the size chart here!

Questions about how our virtual race will work? Check out our FAQ page. Still have questions? Shoot us an email at

Virtual registration prices available below:

Marathon: $55

Half: $50

Relay: $175

5K, 1-Mile and Kids: $40

Temptation: $75

Wonder: $100

Supreme: $110

Your new registration includes everything you see above EXCEPT the Premium Virtual Jacket brought to you by TCF Bank. Those jackets are available as an add on to your registration for an additional fee.

Virtual Registration closes on September 30, 2020 at 11:59pm ET.

To register for our virtual race, please visit the link below:

Virtual Registration Now Open


If we still haven’t convinced you to join us virtually in 2020, consider these ten reasons below:

1) It’s as competitive as you want it to be.

2) You can do it wherever you want.

3) The start time is much more flexible.

4) You can leave your passport at home this year!

5) It’s a great time for gear or food testing!

6) It can motivate you to keep on running.

7) A virtual race is a perfect time to try out a longer distance!

8) It’s an embarrassment-free zone.

9) The same great swag!

10) No Porta-Potty Lines!

2020 Shirt Designs Are Here!


Our 2020 participant shirts designs are in! If you haven’t already gotten a sneak peek of our shirts in the Detroit Marathon Runners or Rookie Round Up Facebook groups, we are so excited to share some pictures of the designs here! This year’s shirts are inspired by the stars and maple leaves of the U.S. and Canadian flags as well as the Spirit of Detroit. Every shirt will showcase the distance on the front and back!

  • Each distance has a unique shirt, showcasing the distance and/or name of the event on the front and back.
  • All shirts will be long-sleeved.
  • Each shirt is made of a technical, dry-fit fabric (Kids Fun Run shirts will be a cotton blend).
  • Shirts are gender-specific sizing.
  • The Men’s shirts will have a crew neck and a straight across bottom hem; the women’s shirts will have a V-neck and a rounded bottom hem.
  • The shirts will be black.

Motor City Challenge Design

This year anyone completing the Motor City Challenge will receive this premium dry-fit pullover. Made from a slightly thicker technical material than the participant shirts, this is the perfect thing to throw on after your run. The Motor City Challenge pullover design channels the Motown spirit. The back of the quarter zip features a record player with the name and distance for each event. But that’s not all…

We heard you! This year, in addition to receiving this great wearable, Motor City Challenge Participants will be acquiring a participant shirt too! Each participant will receive a shirt for the highest distance they completed. This means The Temptation participants will receive the 5k shirt, The Wonder participants will receive the 13.1 shirt and The Supreme participants will receive the 26.2 shirt.


Let us guess what you’ll say next…

These shirts are awesome! I can’t wait to get mine!
Thanks! We’ve been working on them since February and are so excited to share them with you! Special shout-out to our designer, Kevin, who worked tirelessly on them.

How’s the sizing?
Great question! The women’s shirts run a little bigger and the men’s shirts run true to size. Click here for our size chart.

Who gets a shirt?

Everyone who is participating in any of our virtual events will get a shirt. More information about the virtual race packets will be available on Thursday, July 30, 2020.


2020 Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon

Detroit’s Marathon Weekend is not just any weekend. It’s a celebration of athleticism, perseverance, community and the best Detroit has to offer. In March when our world as we knew it seemed to change, we were hopeful that we would be able to run together in October.  As time has gone on, it has become clear to us that this will not be the case.  It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing we will not be gathering together at the start line this year. (more…)

10 Tips to Keep your Fundraising on Track

Tip #1: Post regular updates. Reached 50% of your fundraising target? Smashed your training run today? Use your online fundraising page alongside your social media accounts as your diary and keep friends, family and colleagues involved with your fundraising journey.


Tip #2: Show donors what their support will achieve by asking your chosen charity about the work they do. What could your charity achieve with a $10 donation? How could $50 change a life? Let donors know the impact their giving will have in a specific and understandable way.


Tip#3: Think outside the box. Why not commit to a dare if you meet your fundraising goal? Whether you agree to dye your hair or wear your pajamas to work, donors love it when you put your pride on the line for a good cause!


Tip #4: Get your workplace involved. Find out if your organization will match employees’ charitable donations – many do! Or simply let your colleagues know what good deeds you’re up to by posting on your internal channels.


Tip #5: Step outside your direct network. It may feel weird to ask for support outside your group of friends, but tons of people out there share your passion. So go ahead, post your fundraising project on that local community Facebook group!


Tip #6: Take your fundraising offline by downloading your project’s QR code and printing it in brochures, flyers and posters. And of course, there’s the most personal and powerful offline method of all – asking in person.


Tip #7: Enjoy baking, singing or dog walking? Put your hobbies to work for charity as your fundraising challenge! Everybody wins.


Tip #8: Be persistent. Don’t be afraid to ask twice. People often mean to donate but forget to do so. It usually takes more than one request to nudge someone into action, so don’t feel embarrassed to ask again.


Tip #9: A simple thank you can go a long way. Showing your gratitude to donors isn’t just a nice thing to do, it can encourage them to spread positive word of mouth about your fundraising – and maybe even donate again.


Tip #10: Your fundraising journey doesn’t end when you cross the finish line. Up to 20% of donations come in after race day, so make sure you keep pushing!

Runner of the Week is back in 2020!

We are so excited to announce the return of our Michelob ULTRA Runner of the Week program! Starting on April 24, we’ll be highlighting our runners and walkers up until race day and sharing their stories with you.


At Home Core Workout

Can’t make it to our live workout? Here is a downloadable PDF to do it on your own!

core workout

Home Workout for Runners

We have been working at home for a full week now and like all of you, we are starting to get stir crazy. With gyms being closed, working out can be difficult but we are here to help with an at-home workout built with runners in mind. This workout will take about 30 minutes followed by some stretches to keep you moving through this period of social distancing. Under this downloadable PDF, you will find examples for each workout and modifications if needed.


Bring Your Dog to Work Day: Race Staff Edition

Hi everyone! We have some exciting news over at HQ- our Downtown Detroit office is now dog friendly!

Since our staff has grown by 32 paws, we have thought it’s only fair that we introduce you to all of them too!

First: You’ve seen him before but have you seen him looking this stylish?