Registration Questions 

Q: When are the registration deadlines? 

A: Registration for all in-person events (Full Marathon, Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay, 5K, Competitive 1-Mile, Kids Fun Run, and all Motor City Challenges) will remain open until sell-out or October 10, 2021, at 11:59 pm.  After October 10, registration will open for all events at the Health & Fitness Expo provided spots still remain and that distance is not sold out.  Registration for all virtual events will remain open until sell-out or October 1, 2021, at 11:59 pm. 

Q: When is the next price increase? 

A: The next price increase will be on August 23 at 11:59 pm ET. 

Q: Can I still run virtually? 

A: Yes, we will continue to have the option to complete any of our distances virtually. 

Q: I live in Canada and cannot travel to the United States. What are my options? 

A: We encourage you to participate virtually; however you also have the option to defer your registration to 2022. If you purchased the insurance protection plan and travel is still restricted on race day, your entry fee is refundable. More information on qualifying life events can be found here. 

Q: I registered for the traditional U.S.-only Half Marathon that starts at 10:30 am. What changes can I expect, and do I need to transfer to the new U.S.-only Half Marathon? 

A: The traditional U.S.-only Half Marathon will now start at 7:00 am and run the first half of the new U.S.-only course. You do not need to transfer. All registered runners will automatically be transferred by race staff.  

Q: I’m registered for the international full or half marathon. Do I need to transfer to the U.S-only race? 

A: You don’t need to do anything. We will take care of that for you. 

Q: I registered for a virtual race. Can I transfer to the in-person race now? 

A: Yes, you can transfer your virtual registration to one of our in-person events for a $15 fee plus the difference in price for the event.  Instructions and details on transferring your virtual registration can be found here.   

Q: I deferred from 2020 to 2021 but have not yet registered. How do I and is there a deadline? 

A: You will need to complete your online registration here.  When you reach the checkout page, enter your deferral code into the coupon box to apply the registration discount.  Keep in mind that you need to register for the same event you were registered for in 2020.  If you would like to change events, then you will need to complete a transfer once you finalize your 2021 registration.  Please double-check your email (including your spam folder) for your deferral code, which was sent in December 2020.  Instructions and details on transferring your registration can be found here.  The deadline to defer your registration is October 10, 2021, at 11:59 pm 

Q: I deferred from 2020 to 2022 but now I want to run in 2021. Can I do that and how? 

A:  Yes, but you will need to register and pay for 2021. Your deferral code for 2022 will be emailed to you in December 2021.  

Q: I don’t want to run the U.S.- only course if we can’t run internationally. Can I get a refund? Or defer? 

A: We are sorry that our international portion of the race did not work out this year and we hope you will continue to support the event. Our policy remains the same and we will not be offering refunds.  You will be able to defer your registration to 2022 for a $15 fee. After August 31, the deferral fee will increase to $30. Instructions and details on deferring your registration can be found here.   

Q: I signed up for the virtual race. Can I run the course on race day? 

A:  No.  The official Detroit Free Press Marathon course on October 16 and 17 is only for those registered for an in-person event.   

Q: I purchased the registration protection insurance. Can I use this to cancel my registration for this year and get a refund? 

A: The registration protection plan does not cover alterations to the event. If travel from another country is restricted on race day and you purchased the protection plan at the time you registered, your entry fee is refundable. More information on qualifying life events can be found here. 


Event Details Questions 

Q: Will I need a mask or show proof of vaccination to run? 

A: Based on the recent guidance from the CDC, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as well as the City of Detroit, we will not require proof of vaccination, negative Covid-19 test, or wearing a mask.  We will continue to work with our medical partner, Henry Ford Health System, to evaluate any changes to our current protocols.   

Q: Since the course is U.S.- only, may I have a friend or family member pick up my bib and participant bag at the Health & Fitness Expo? 

A: Yes. Similar to our current policy for the U.S.-Only events, we will allow another individual to pick up multiple packets.  In order to do so, the person picking up the race packet must bring the runner’s confirmation email printed out.  Packets will not be mailed out for in-person events.   

Q: Will you have pacers? 

A: Yes, our intention is to have pacers at varying paces for the Full and Half-Marathon.  Stay tuned for the specifics on exactly what pace times we will have pacers for.   

Q: What are you doing to keep me safe from Covid-19? 

A: We will continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, City of Detroit as well as at the consult of Henry Ford Health System to provide the safest experience possible.  As of June 22, Governor Whitmer has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions regarding face coverings and gatherings.   

Q: Will you still have fluid stations? 

A: Yes, we will continue to operate fluid stations as we have in the past.   

Q: Since all races are U.S.-only, can I now carry fluids and/or wear a Camelback or other type of hydration belt? 

A: Yes, you can.  

Q: I am registered for the Marathon Team Relay. What changes can I expect? 

A: We are currently working on the distances for the first 13.1 miles of the course. The last half of the course distances will remain the same.  

Q: I would like to volunteer. When will I be able to sign up? 

A: We are planning to have volunteer registration open on August 2. We will use all communication channels to signal volunteer registration is available.   

Q: Are the start times of the race affected now that the course is U.S.-only? 

A: The start times will remain the same with the exception of our traditional U.S.-only Half Marathon which typically starts at 10:30 am. This year we’ve combined both Half-Marathon races into one race that will start at 7:00 am. The scheduled start times are as follows:  


Competitive 1-Mile: 9 am 

5K: 9:30 am 

Meijer Kids Fun Run: 10:30am  


Disabilities Division: 6:58 am 

Full Marathon, Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay: 7 am 

*Please note that all start times are subject to change. 

Q: Will you still have the Motor City Challenge races? 

A: Yes, the Temptation (5K and 1-Mile), the Wonder (Half-Marathon, 5K and 1-Mile), and the Supreme (Full Marathon, 5K, and 1-Mile) will all take place on race weekend.  

Q: Will there be multiple locations for us to grab our race packets like there were last year? 

A: No, all packet pick-up will be conducted at the Health & Fitness Expo at TCF Center (formally COBO Center).  More information about the Expo can be found here. 

Q: When will the final official course maps be released? 

A: All preliminary course maps can be found here.  These will be updated as they receive final approval from the city and USATF certification, which will happen in the early Fall.   

Q: Is it possible to run part of a Motor City Challenge race virtual, and the other part in-person? (in-person for 5k/1 mile and virtual half/marathon) 

A: No, for the Motor City Challenge you either participate for all distances in-person or virtually.   

Q: Will there still be a kid’s fun run this year? 

A: Yes, the Meijer Kids Fun Run will be held on Saturday, October 16. 

Q: Now that the race is U.S.-only, do I still need to run with my passport or enhanced license? 

A: No, this is no longer a requirement for the 2021 race.  

Q: I reserved a hotel room that is close to the start and finish. Has the start and finish line changed? 

A: No. Our start and finish line has not changed locations. You are good to go. For more information about hotels, click here.

Q: Is the Full Marathon still a Boston Marathon qualifier? 

A: Yes. The new course has not been officially measured and certified by a USATF official and will be done prior to the event. Once that certification is complete, the Full Marathon will be recognized as a qualifying race by the Boston Marathon.