Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Registration is now open – learn more about registration here.

On-site registration at our Health & Fitness Expo will not be available for this event.

Age Restriction

All participants of the Detroit Free Press Marathon must be 16 years of age or older by race day to participate.

The Course

Our marathon course offers all Detroit has to offer. You will run through historic neighborhoods, around beautiful Belle Isle, and along the spectacular RiverWalk.

With a wave start, smaller groups of participants are sent off at two-minute intervals beginning at 7:00 AM, which eases congestion in those early miles. Groups are based on the projected pace indicated on the registration form, so an accurate response is necessary.

View our full marathon course map below, or click here to view more course and event maps.

PLEASE NOTE: In the event of road closures due to construction, we have detours planned and ready to go. Stay tuned to our website, Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Time Requirements

You must be able to complete the marathon in 6.5 hours from the time the “Last Chance Pacer” crosses the start line. We will close the marathon finish line at 2:00 PM, with roads incrementally opening along the course up to the 2:00 PM cutoff.

A “Last Chance Pacer” will be provided for your event. These pacers will travel at the average pace needed to cross the finish line at six and a half hours. Your progress will be monitored throughout the race. If you fall significantly behind the “Last Chance Pacer”, you will be given fair warning to pick up the pace. If you can’t keep pace, you will be required to board a bus following the pacers to be transported back to the Start/Finish area.

To ensure your safety and to meet all time limits, we have established the following milestones:


Milestone Mile Marker Kilometer Marker Time of Day You Must Pass The Milestone
Start (W Fort St, west of Cass Ave) 0.0 0.0 7:24 AM
WSU Football Stadium (Merrick & Trumbull) 3.2 5.2 8:08 AM
Motown Museum (Grand & Rosa Parks) 4.4 7.1 8:28 AM
Boston-Edison (LaSalle St & Edison St.) 6.1 9.8 8:55 AM
Henry Ford Center for Athletic Medicine (3rd St & Amsterdam) 9.0 14.5 9:42 AM
Halfway (E Congress St & Bates St) 13.1 21.1 10:46 AM
Indian Village (Goethe St & Iroquois St) 17.3 27.8 11:41 AM
Belle Isle Entrance (at E Jefferson Ave) 19.1 30.7 12:00 PM
Belle Isle Exit (at E Jefferson Ave) 22.7 36.5 12:54 PM
End of Detroit Riverfront (Atwater St & Rivard St) 25.0 40.2 1:27 PM
Finish (W Fort St, west of Cass Ave) 26.2 42.2 1:46 PM

NOTE: If at any time you fall behind these milestone times, you may be required to board a bus to be transported back to the start-finish area.

Marathon Pace Teams

We are currently in the process of organizing our pace teams for the 2021 event.  More details coming soon.


Prizing below is for Full Marathon Runners. All individual cash prizes are based on “clock time” (not chip time). We invite walkers to participate in this event, however no prizes will be awarded specifically for walkers.

Place Open Male/Female Masters Male/Female
1st $4,000 $2,000
2nd $2,000 $1,000
3rd $1,000 $500

NOTE: In the event that a Masters runner also places in the Overall division, they will receive both the Masters and the Overall cash awards.

Additional Marathon Prize Incentives:
First male to break race record of 2:13:07 (Greg Meyer, 1980) wins an additional $2,500
First female to break race record of 2:34:16 (Elena Orlova, 2004) wins an additional $2,500