2021 Registration Opening Announcement

Published On: December 10th, 2020Categories: COVID-19

Hello Detroit Free Press Marathon Family,

While we all adapted to producing and participating in events virtually, we are hopeful and excited to bring athletes of all abilities back to the streets of Detroit and Windsor for the 2021 Detroit Free Press Marathon weekend, scheduled for October 16 and 17.  Marathon weekend has always been filled with an unmatched energy from the community, volunteers and participants, which we look forward to feeling again next October.  Registration will open on January 1 for all distances both in-person and virtually.

Given the popularity surrounding the virtual race and positive feedback that we have received from our participants, we have decided to add a virtual option to our weekend of race events. Each participant will now have the choice whether they would like to participate in our race weekend downtown in Detroit or in their own backyard, on their own schedule. Virtual participants will receive the traditional shirt, medal, event bag.


Although the pandemic continues to grip the country, the promise of vaccines and strides in public health give us confidence that we will be able to resume an in-person event this fall.  We understand there may be hesitation about the future and therefore we will offer all registered participants an option for a free deferral in the event we move to a virtual-only race due to COVID-19. Safety is our number one priority and the marathon staff will continue to work with city and state health departments as well as our outstanding Official Medical and Emergency Services Provider, Henry Ford Health System, to ensure a safe race in 2021. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep our registered participants and followers up to date on a monthly basis.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event converted to a virtual event. Participants who registered for the 2020 race had the option to participate in the virtual event or defer and apply their registration fee to the 2021 or 2022 race. For those who chose to defer to 2021, an email will be sent with registration instructions before the January 1 opening.  In addition, we have listed answers to a number of frequently asked questions here. If we haven’t answered one of your questions, please reach out to us at support@freepmarathon.zendesk.com.  We look forward to seeing you at the finish line and celebrating your accomplishment with you!

Registration and Race Weekend Schedule

Registration for the 2021 race will open on January 1, 2021 at 12:01am and will remain open with Tier 1 pricing until March 1.

Friday, October 15 and Saturday, October 16

  • Health and Fitness Expo at TCF Center
    • Friday: 2pm – 8pm
    • Saturday: 10am – 7pm

Saturday, October 16

  • 9am: 5K, 1-Mile and Meijer Kids Fun Run

Sunday, October 17

  • 6:58am: Marathon disabilities division
  • 7am: Marathon, international half marathon and relay
  • 10:30am: U.S. Only Half-Marathon