Another year for the books!
What a year it’s been! As our 41st running and 2018 comes to a close, we want to take a moment to look back at everything that’s happened this year. But first, a thank you! Thank you to our sponsors and partners who work with us year-round to make this race possible. A HUGE thank you to our 4,000 volunteers who came out early, stayed late, worked hard and bundled up in the cold to make sure every participant was taken care of. And finally, thank you to our runners and walkers, our participants, for choosing us. We know that there are many races to choose from and we are continually honored you choose us. You inspire us every day!
2018 By The Numbers
13.8 Million dollars estimated economic impact.
2 Million dollars raised for charity.
30,000 units of Haribo Sour Vampire Bats.
25,393 participants in 8 total races.
109 vendors at the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Health & Fitness Expo.
50 MPH max speed by wheelers coming down the Ambassador Bridge.
42.9 miles walked by the Marathon Staff member who had the most steps all weekend (congrats U.S.-Only Half-Marathon Director, Adam Korrick).
11 MPH speed maintained by our fastest runner, Christopher Chipsiya, for a marathon finish time of 2:20:59 (that’s a pace of 5:23)!
We did our first “I do”!
For the first time ever we had a marriage on our course! Not a marriage proposal, but a real life marriage! At mile 13.1 , halfway through their marathon journey, Whitney Black and Steven Phillips tied the knot. Their ceremony lasted about 7 minutes and the new Mr. and Mrs. were on their way to the finish hand in hand (it was Whitney’s first marathon and Steve’s 14th)!
To watch the wedding, click here. Word of caution: after reading their story, you will cry. Don’t lie and say you didn’t, you’ll for sure tear up.
Looking back for our staff means blood, sweat and tears. And more sweat.
Our team took a moment to look back at our favorite memories. For some, their favorite moments were back in the Summer.
“One of my favorite moments was taking in the beautiful view while marking the course!” -Danielle Marlett, Course Section Captain
“My favorite had to be painting the mile markers on the Ambassador Bridge at 6:00am with the course set up crew. It took longer than it does to cross the bridge when running and was a fun way to watch the city wake up.” -Katie Lakin, Course Set-Up Director
But for many of our staff, the highlight was Detroit’s Marathon Weekend.
“I loved being on the social team, talking with runners, sharing their race day excitement, getting teary eyed as they set off across the start line, and seeing their happy faces when they crossed the finish. As someone who has run the race numerous times, I know the hard work they put in, the dedication they have, and it was truly amazing to watch all of our runners and walkers.” -Jennifer Dingle, Social Media Manager
“One of my favorites memories of this year was attending the Love Runs Pasta Party on Thursday before the marathon. It was electric to see the group of over 400 runners and their families tell their stories and share their passion for doing what they are doing. Sex trafficking is a real thing in our backyard and Love Runs is committed to breaking those walls and saving lives! It was very inspiring to be a part of it all.” -Bryan “Cous” Lively, Charity Director
“Being my first marathon, my favorite part was the start and the prayer before the race. It was the perfect words to motivate and inspire the runners to finish. It also lifted my spirits and made me realize that this marathon is helping people accomplish something rather it is a physical, mental or emotional goal. All three play a part in it. Makes me proud to be a part of it.” -Kevin Heard, Entertainment Director
“The 2018 memory that stands out the most for me is helping the Facebook Group. There were so many inspirational stories! People were overcoming injuries and other setbacks, including self doubt that they would be able to finish their race – to not only cross the finish line, but set personal bests with the finish time or set a distance personal best.” – Jeff MacBane, Social Media Manager
“I recruit my family every year to help with the Marathon Relay. This year my boyfriend was decked out in Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon apparel and my mom rocked a vuvuzela to cheer on the relay runners.” -Lauren Johnson, Marathon Relay Director
“My favorite memory was arming my fiancé and my future mother-in-law with saran wrap to cover parking meters in the Downtown area around 9:00pm on Friday Night. Teamwork makes the dream work!” – Rachel Kern, Conquered AfterParty Director
No matter the distance, we are truly inspired by every finisher of every race.
“My favorite memory is watching the 5K runners cross the finish line. You can go from a couch potato to running a 5K in just a few weeks. It is attainable for most people and seeing the proud smiles and family members there to cheer them on is such great gratification. I love the 5K – it brings all kinds of people together.” -Heather Pacheco, Saturday Events Manager
“One of our younger 5K runners came to the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Health & Fitness Expo with his mom Friday afternoon for packet pick-up. He absolutely lost his mind when he saw there was a “Happy Birthday” button attached to his bib. He repeatedly asked his mom, “how did they know it was my birthday!?” It was really cute.” -Adam Korrick, U.S.-Only Half-Marathon Director
“Watching Sister Beth cross the finish line was my favorite marathon moment. Witnessing her perseverance and the support she received from the people around her was really special. I was lucky enough to have a moment to speak with Sister Beth as I drove her back to her car. I was once again amazed by her but, at this point, it was for her humor and humility. I hope I have that much energy and enthusiasm when I’m nearly 90 years old!” -Nicky Heins, Volunteer Services Director
“Seeing Sister Beth finish was so amazing. Every year I just happen to catch her and it’s always inspiring. I can’t believe she does this every year. Makes me realize what I can do if I just try.” -Mari Anzicek, Start-Finish Director
No matter the time of day, we’re lucky to do what we do with the people we do it with.
“My favorite view of the Finish Line from the back of a golf cart as I finished up my day with some awesome staff members. It’s such a rewarding experience working for this race. That said, Thai food and bed never felt so good on Sunday night.” -Lauren Johnson, Marathon Relay Director
“After the race had ended Nicky Heins and myself were driving around taking down the last of the no parking signs in the area and an older man had just finished the Full Marathon (an hour after the course had closed). We both made sure that he received his medal, water, a heat sheet and some food, as we rode over to the office building where Nicky was grabbing his gear check bag I handed him my phone to call his wife (he wanted to make sure that she knew he was okay and just finished the marathon and that two nice young people were helping him out and giving him a ride back to the car). We never got the chance to catch his name but he did tell me that he has been running this race for 30+ years in a row!” -Joey Lipman, Finish Line Manager
“One of my favorite moments was from around 3:00pm on Sunday. Katie Lakin, God bless her, golf-carted me and Ed (pictured) to wrap up the lead vehicles in the Wayne County Community College District Parking Lot. It was our last task of the day and it was finally over!” -Deb Scola, Lead Vehicles Manager
(…we take a lot of rides in golf carts)
“My favorite memory is crossing the finish line with Joey. After working since January to make sure others could cross the Finish Line, it was so much fun to run across it as a staff member. This race was my first half-marathon back in 2014 and it’s always so special to see everyone cross the Finish Line, no matter if it’s their first or fiftieth race.” -Leah Yanuszeski, Digital, Health & Fitness Expo Director
“It was particularly satisfying to see an entirely new course crew, under the direction of the Course Set-Up Director and the Course Security Director, perform at a high level. They successfully set every barricade, cone, sign and feather banner and checked and double checked…so that our race course was set flawlessly. Finally, we didn’t need to transport a single person to a hospital for treatment. All added up to a safe and successful day operations wise!” -Bill Ewing, Operations Director
Make sure to mark your calendars for our 42nd running on October 19-20, 2019. Registration will open on January 1st!