Race overview

The next Detroit Free Press Marathon weekend will take place Oct. 14-16, 2022. The Full Marathon, International Half-Marathon, U.S.-Only Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay take place on Sunday.

2022 dates:

Friday, Oct. 14, 2022

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Sunday, October 16, 2022

2023 dates:

Friday, Oct. 13, 2023

Saturday, Oct.  14, 2023

Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023

Entry fees are non-refundable. That means that once we receive and accept your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate.

You may, however, transfer your entry to another year. Information about transfers can be found here.

Since the events are international, it is a federal offense to cross borders illegally. Therefore, do not give your number to another person. It is each participant’s responsibility to provide proper documentation for picking up their packet.

The Detroit Free Press Marathon, in accordance with management executives, city officials and local law enforcement, has the authority to cancel any of the events for emergency purposes, such as, but not limited to, inclement weather or threat of terrorism. If such emergency conditions force cancellation, refunds cannot be provided because funds will have been spent in preparation for the race.

T-shirts will be distributed. When you place your order for a t-shirt, we will make every effort to provide you the size requested. However, shirts are ordered months in advance of the event, based on estimates.

If you cannot participate in the event you signed up for, more information about transfers and deferrals can be found here.

Yes, the Detroit Free Press Marathon is certified by USA Track and Field (USATF) officials each year to an exact standard that guarantees event distances are correct.

We are not a USATF sanctioned event. This means that it is not possible to set an American record on our course, nor is it possible to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Yes, the Detroit Free Press Marathon is a Boston-qualifying race, and runners are eligible to apply if they run a qualifying time. The qualifying standard and the application process is covered at www.BAA.org.

Each year, we partner with charities for our Run for a Reason Program.

When you designate an official charity during registration, it does not mean that a portion of your registration fee goes to the designated charity; it instead means that you have the option to raise funds for your charity. In order to sign up with your chosen charity, check out the Official Charities section of our site.

Yes, finishers in all races receive a medal. They each have the same design, but varying sizes based on the distance of the race – smaller for 5K, larger for Marathon. Each medal also has a distinct ribbon based on the race distance.

The course records for our full marathon:

Male
Greg Meyer, Boston
2:13:07 (1980)

Female
Elena Orlova, Russia
2:34:16 (2004)

Runners who break a course record will win an additional $2,500.

Our mid-October date generally provides participants with ideal running weather. A cool morning start and cool to mild mid-race temperatures with  limited precipitation.

The full Marathon, the Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay and all three Motor City Challenge can be completed virtually.  Due to a lack of interest in the 2021 events, we will no longer be offering the 1-Mile or Kids Fun Run as a virtual option.

Registration

Registration is available online now through our registration partner, EnMotive. Sign up here.

The deadline to register for any international event is Aug. 22, 2022, and Oct. 10, 2022, for any U.S.-only events.

You may run the Marathon Relay as a team member, and run another individual, international event (Marathon or International Half Marathon) concurrently, as long as you register for and pay the entry fee for both events. You must run Leg #1 of the Marathon Relay to avoid difficult timing issues. For this reason, you may not run the Marathon Relay and the U.S.-Only Half-Marathon together.

Your steps to success:

  • You will be given two separate bib numbers – one for the Marathon Relay and one for your individual event. You must wear both. Each relay team, overall, will receive one timing bib on a belt. This bib will start with leg 1 and will be passed between each leg runner.
  • You will run the 1st leg of the Relay, and will cross the timing mat at the start of Relay Leg 2. Once you have crossed the mat and Relay Leg 2 Runner has started, your Relay participation is over.
  • Just remover your relay timing bib on the belt and give it to the next leg runner. Remove the Relay bib from the front of your shirt and display your individual event bib.

Registration opened on Jan. 1, 2022.  The opening price remained in effect until Feb. 28, 2022. After that, prices rise roughly every 1 -2 months.  To view pricing details, click here.

If you deferred in 2021, you are already registered for 2022.  If you are running internationally, you will be required to update your EnMotive registration with your proof of vaccination.  An email will be sent to all those individuals with instructions on how to update your registration. If you have any questions about this process, drop us a line at support@freepmarathon.zendesk.com.

You should have received an email on Jan. 1 with a direct link to our registration page. You do need to fill out your information again to complete your registration,  but payment will not be required. If you have any questions about this process, drop us a line at support@freepmarathon.zendesk.com.

Transfers to new participants and distances:

Participants are able to change distance, transfer or defer their registrations for a $15 fee. Instructions for how to change your registration to another distance and how to transfer to another person on EnMotive can be found below.

Transferring to a new participant:

  1. Log into your EnMotive account here. Click ‘Registrations’ and find your  2022 registration for the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
  2. In the right corner of your registration, click on the three dots.
  3. Select Actions Transfer registration.
  4. Please enter the email address of the person you wish to transfer your registration to. This will then send an email with transfer information to the new registrant.
  5. The new registrant will be able to use the custom link sent to them for 48 hours. They will be charged the transfer fee.
  6. If the person does not transfer their registration within 48 hours, you will need to follow steps 1-4 again to get a new custom link sent out.
  7. The new registrant does not have to participate in the same race as the original participant. When they sign up with the custom link, they will be able to also select a new event and just pay the difference in price between the two!

Note: EnMotive will not refund the registration fee for the original registration. Any compensation for the transferred registration needs to be handled outside of the platform.

Changing to a different distance:

  1. Log into your EnMotive account here.  Click ‘Registrations’ and find your current 2022 registration for the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
  2. In the right corner of your registration, click on the three dots.
  3. Select ‘View Registration’.
  4. Next to category click “edit.”
  5. Choose the event distance you would like to change to.
  6. You will need to answer all the necessary questions and pay the difference between the two events if you are upgrading as well as the $15 category change fee.

Deferrals

Participants are able to defer their registration to the 2023 event for a $15 fee. Instructions for how to defer your registration can be found below.

Deferring your registration:

NOTE: If you have a 2022 deferral code and wish to defer, you will first need to register with your 2022 deferral code, then you will follow the above steps to move that registration to 2023.

  1. Log into your EnMotive Account here.  Click ‘Registrations’ and find your current 2022 registration for our event.
  2. In the right corner of your registration, click on the three dots.
  3. Select “Defer to another event.”
  4. From the event dropdown menu, select “2023 Detroit Free Press Marathon,” then follow the prompts to complete the deferral.
  5. Once your self-deferral is complete*, you will receive an email with your 2023 event information. You will not need to re-register when 2023 registration opens.

NOTE: If you have a 2022 deferral code and wish to defer, you will first need to register with your 2022 deferral code, then you will follow the above steps to move that registration to 2023.

*For Challenge Series, you will only have to self-defer one (1) event in the series and pay the deferral fee at that time.  Then, you will need to reach out to request deferral of other event(s) in the challenge series at no cost.

Supreme:

Wonder:

Temptation:

If you registered for the 2022 event and unfortunately are unable to participate on race day, you have a few options:

1. Transfer your in-person registration to a virtual option.  This will allow you to remain a part of the event, receive the same great swag while completing your distance on the date, time and location of your choosing.             

2. Transfer your registration to another individual. 

3. Defer your registration to the 2023 event.  

Instructions on transferring or deferring your registration can be found here.

You can confirm your 2022 race registration by looking up your name here.

To confirm your information, race distance and more, follow the steps below:

  1. Login to your EnMotive account, here
  2. Click Registrations
  3. Find the “2022 Detroit Free Press Marathon” event
  4. Click “View Registration”

Participants are able to modify their shirt size until by following the below instructions:

  1. Login to your EnMotive account, here
  2. Click ‘‘My Account’’ in the upper right corner
  3. Scroll to the race registration that you need to update the size for (2022 Detroit Free Press Marathon)
  4. Click ‘‘View Registration’’
  5. Click ‘‘Change’’ next to the shirt size
  6. Update and save!

Any other registration details must be updated by race staff at this time. Please contact us if this is necessary.

Note: Any edits to your distance/chosen race is considered a transfer. Please visit our transfer page for all information regarding switching your distance/race.

Joining a relay team looks a bit different this year compared to our previous registration platform. Below are step-by-step instructions to join an established relay team.

  1. Visit here.
  2. Make sure there are no other registrations in your cart in the top right corner. If there are pending registrations in your cart, please complete them or remove them before moving forward with the next steps.
  3. Select in-person event, then Marathon Relay.
  4. Select the person participating from your EnMotive account profile and hit next.
  5. Select your team name from the drop-down question of ‘‘Create or join a team.”
  6. Select one of the legs still available.
  7. Once the leg is selected the correct questions for that leg will populate. You must answer those, click continue and it will take you to a billing/checkout page and show that you owe $0.00. You must answer all questions to bring the total down to $0.00.
  8. Finally, make sure you select “complete” from the billing page. You are all set once you see the banner that says “Congrats! You’re in!”

Individual registration insurance may be purchased for a nominal fee when registering for any of our events. All policy information can be found here. Individual Event Insurance typically covers approved medically related situations (see policy for details) but will not cover your registration fee if the event is canceled either by organizers or the government for incidents like COVID-19, inclement weather, etc.

Insurance cannot be purchased after registration and must be purchased while completing registration for any of our events.

Note: Participants who registered in 2020 on imATHELTE, purchased individual protection insurance, and deferred their registration to 2021 or 2022 during our selection period may be able to transfer their insurance to their deferred year. In order to do this, participants will need to visit this website to update the policy information with the 22022 race date.

COVID-19

According to both U.S. Custom and Border Protection Agency (CBP) and Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA), proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to cross international borders. Similar to the requirement of needing a WHTI-compliant document, we will be following the guidelines from the border agencies and will be requiring all international registrants to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. At this time, a vaccinated individual is considered to have received at least two doses of a vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of two accepted vaccines or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

All runners participating in an international event, which includes the Full Marathon, International Half-Marathon and the first two legs of the Marathon Relay, the Supreme Challenge and the Wonder Challenge, will need proof of vaccination. Our domestic races, which include the U.S.-Only Half-Marathon, legs 3-5 of the Marathon Relay, the Temptation Challenge, 5K, 1-Mile and Kids Fun Run, will not require proof of vaccination.

Please note that guidance and requirements continue to evolve at the local, state and federal level. We will continue to work closely with those public safety agencies as well as our medical provider, Henry Ford Health System, to provide a world-class experience while maintaining a safe environment for our participants, spectators, volunteers, staff and community. Any changes as we approach the event will be overly communicated via all channels.

The Detroit Free Press Marathon is following the guidelines of both U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency and Canada Border Service Agency. That means proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to cross international borders. Our policy will remain the same and we will not offer refunds. There are options to defer your registration to 2023, transfer to a U.S.-only race or transfer to another individual. Please note that deferring your registration to 2023 may also require proof of vaccination. 

Based on the current requirements of both U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency and Canada Border Service Agency, proof of vaccination is a requirement that cannot be offset by a negative COVID-19 test.

Proof of vaccination is a requirement at the time of registration. You will have to upload a picture of your vaccination record to complete the registration process.

No, at this time that is not a requirement.

Participant eligibility

All participants of the Marathon must be at least 16 years of age. All participants of the Marathon Relay, International Half-Marathon, or U.S.-Only Half-Marathon must be 14 years or older. There is no age limit on the 5K. Ages 4-12 are welcome for the Kids Fun Run. Racers must be older than 13 in the Competitive 1-Mile.

One parent/guardian is allowed to participate with a child in the (untimed) Kids Fun Run without a bib or registration. However, only those registered for the (timed) Competitive 1-Mile will be allowed on the course.

If you are not a citizen of the U.S. or Canada, it is strongly recommended that you verify the specific document requirements of both your country of residence and the countries you will be visiting. For additional information, click here.

An Enhanced Driver’s License (“EDL”) serves as both a driver’s license and border-crossing card. It is available through the Michigan Secretary of State’s office to Michigan residents who are also U.S. citizens. EDLs are also available in several other states and provinces, including Ontario. This optional card is convenient, affordable and the most flexible option for travelers to meet the tougher federal document requirements. (NOTE: an EDL does not replace a passport for air travel or travel outside of Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.) To apply, residents may visit any Michigan Secretary of State branch office. The application process is relatively easy for those who already have a current driver’s license. Residents need only present proof of a valid Social Security number and U.S. citizenship in addition to their driver’s license. The process takes about four weeks. For more information on obtaining a Michigan EDL click here. If you are picking up your bib with an EDL, you need to present the actual license – the application with a receipt is not sufficient. When you are applying for an EDL, you must allow sufficient time to receive the proper license from the State of Michigan.

Most likely, yes. But you should be aware of your admissibility to Canada. In general, people are considered to be criminally inadmissible to Canada if they were convicted of an offense in Canada or were convicted of an offense outside of Canada that is considered a crime in Canada, such as a DUI. In order to enter Canada, these people must obtain Approval of Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit at a Canadian Consulate or Embassy. You can find more information here.

Race preparation

All international (Marathon, International Half-Marathon, and Marathon Relay Legs 1 & 2) race packets MUST be picked up in person at the Health & Fitness Expo on either Friday or Saturday. Packets for the U.S.-Only Half-Marathon, the 5K, 1-Mile or the Kids Fun Run may be picked up in person at the expo, or may be picked up by someone else if they have a copy of your confirmation email, printed out. Finally, participants in the 5K, 1-Mile or the Kids Fun Run may pick up their packets on Saturday morning near the Start/Finish Line.

NOTE: Those running The Wonder or The Supreme MUST pick up their packets on Friday, October 15th at the Health & Fitness Expo. Saturday pickup will not be allowed. Those running only The Temptation can pick up their packets on Friday at the Expo or Saturday before the races.

Participants competing in an event conducted solely in the United States (U.S.-Only Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay Legs 3, 4 or 5, 5K, 1-Mile or  Kids Fun Run) may have someone else pick up their race packet. The person picking up the packet must bring with them a printed copy of the participant’s confirmation email to show to our volunteers at the Health & Fitness Expo.

All other participants competing in an event that crosses the U.S./Canadian border (Marathon, International Half-Marathon, or Marathon Relay Legs 1 or 2), regardless of citizenship, must bring their international credentials and show up in person in order to pick up their packet. NO EXCEPTIONS and NO DAY-OF PACKET PICK-UP.

NOTE: Those running The Wonder or The Supreme MUST pick up their packets on Friday, October 16th at the Health & Fitness Expo. Saturday pickup will not be allowed. Those running only The Temptation can pick up their packets on Friday at the Expo or Saturday before the races.

Most of the Downtown Detroit hotels are located within walking distance of our start and finish lines.

You can reserve a hotel room through our official housing provider TriMar USA. We encourage all participants to book reservations through the link below and ONLY use these hotels that support our event.

Reserve A Room Now

We offer a long-sleeve technical shirt to all participants. Please note that our tech shirts do tend to run small. When you place your order for a shirt, we will make every effort to provide you the size requested. However, shirts are ordered months in advance of the event, based on estimates. Therefore, we may not have enough of every size available at the Health & Fitness Expo. We advise you to arrive early in order to guarantee your size.

Race weekend details

Parking

More parking information will be available closer to race day.

Pro Parking Tips: When choosing a location, we strongly recommend parking outside the course route for easier egress after the race. Also, because of the congestion, we suggest you are in your parking spot as early as possible as race crews will start to close streets beginning at 4:00 AM.

City and municipal parking lots

The City of Detroit has multiple parking lots and garages available for use. Olympia Development of Michigan also has many parking lots available for use, which can be viewed here.

We work hard to ensure a pleasant parking experience for all participants. However, we cannot control all parking situations within the City of Detroit on race day! Many of the lots and garages available for parking are managed by individual companies. Our best advice: The earlier you park, the better!

Transit

The People Mover

The Detroit People Mover recently opened with limited hours following its is COVID-19 closure. Look for details here.

QLINE Detroit

Check here for QLINE details.

Road closures

There will be multiple road closures downtown throughout the weekend and race day as we prepare the course. We strongly recommend early arrival on race day to ensure you don’t experience difficulties with our 4 a.m. closures for the course. To be safe, we suggest you park outside the course perimeter. Plan ahead!

The current start times for all events are as follows:  

Saturday, Oct. 15

Competitive 1-Mile: 9 a.m.

5K: 9:30 a.m.

Meijer Kids Fun Run: 10:30 a.m. 

Sunday, Oct. 16

Disabilities Division: 6:58 a.m.

Full Marathon, Marathon Relay and International Half-Marathon: 7 a.m.

U.S.-Only Half-Marathon: 10:30 a.m. 

Note: All start times are subject to change.

The U.S. Half Marathon will start at 10:30am. 

The current start times for all events are as follows:  

Saturday, Oct. 15

Competitive 1-Mile: 9 a.m.

5K: 9:30 a.m.

Meijer Kids Fun Run: 10:30 a.m. 

Sunday, Oct. 16

Disabilities Division: 6:58 a.m.

Full Marathon, Marathon Relay and International Half-Marathon: 7 a.m.

U.S.-Only Half-Marathon: 10:30 a.m. 

Note: All start times are subject to change.

Yes. One parent or guardian may run with their child during the Kids Fun Run.

We must begin closing the Lodge (M-10) at the I-75 Interchange at about 4 a.m. on race day. We encourage drivers to take I-75 or avoid this freeway when commuting on race day.

The entrance to the Ambassador Bridge is approximately 2 miles after the start. We run in just over just one and a half lanes, which are closed to vehicle traffic that morning. There is a buffer lane that we use for operations, safety vehicles. One lane remains open to vehicle traffic in both directions, much like a construction zone. Our narrow running passage may become congested. We use a wave start, and we have carefully calculated the flow of runners to help minimize the impact. We ask that you be honest about your projected time, and that you start in your assigned wave. You must stay within the boundaries of the course as marked for your own safety, as well as for those around you.

We also ask you refrain from taking pictures or selfies while on the bridge. Sudden stops from participants impacts other runners and can slow everyone down. Be mindful of where and how often you stop along the course. If you need to slow down, please move to the side of the course.

The Ambassador Bridge will have restricted traffic on Sunday, Oct. 16. It will not fully close on race day.

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel will close on Sunday’s race day. Check back here soon for the exact time.

A wave start is a technique that we use to send participants off in smaller groups (called “waves”), with a short time delay between each group. We currently place approximately 1,500 participants into 15 waves lettered A thru O, with two minutes in between. It takes 30 minutes to get everyone across the start line on Sunday. The idea is to stretch the field out over time, so that you will be able to get off to a better start, and so that you won’t be delayed at any possible bottlenecks along the way.

We will group you according to the projected time that you turned in when you registered. Since you will be wearing a timing computer chip, you are not penalized for a delayed start. Your net time (the time you finished minus the time that you crossed the start line) is your official event time and is used for all results and for Boston qualifying, except for cash awards. Participants competing for cash prizes will be placed in Wave A at the front of the line.

We do have two timing clocks out on the marathon course – at mile 13.1 and mile 20 of the full Marathon. These clocks are set to the event’s gun time –or the start of Wave A-B. Other than those two, we do not have additional timing clocks out on the course, by design.

We have used a wave start technique since 2009, when we moved the start line to West Fort Street. We send each wave off at 2-minute intervals, meaning that each wave has its own unique start time, as well as a unique event running time. Therefore, we only have two choices when setting the timing clocks – the clock time of day, which is applicable to everyone, but does not reflect your individual race running time; or the event gun time, which is the correct running time for the start of Wave A-B only.

In the long run, we figure that neither of these times are beneficial to the vast majority of participants. We trust that most participants are keeping their own personal time and pace using any number of technological devices available.

We use a wave technique to send off participants on race day. We currently place approximately 1,500 participants into 15 waves or corrals lettered A thru O, with two minutes in between. It takes 30 minutes to get everyone across the start line on Sunday. The idea is to stretch the field out over time, so that you will be able to get off to a better start, and so that you won’t be delayed at any possible bottlenecks along the way.

Your corral assignment can be found in the bottom right corner of your bib. It is assigned based off of your predicted pace. If you are unhappy with your corral assignment, you can head over to the Problems and Solutions Booth at the Health &Fitness Expo and request a change. Please bring proof of pace with you to make any changes.

Your corral assignment also tells you where to enter the start/finish area. Someone will be checking corral assignments at each entrance.

Yes!

We have strategically placed fluid stations throughout our course for your hydration and enjoyment. It’s our goal to set up each station consistently so that you know what to expect.

We ask that you crush your cups after you have finished, and if possible, place them in the waste receptacles as you exit the fluid station. Be sure to thank the hundreds of volunteers at our 19 fluid stations along the course who are there to serve you and to cheer you on!

We strongly discourage the wearing of music devices. Participants must be alert to their surroundings and able to hear medical emergency vehicles, motorcycles, buses and official marathon vehicles. For your safety and the safety of those around you, we strongly urge you to run headphone-free.

For the safety of all of our participants, strollers, bicycles, pets or animals of any kind, rollerblades and skateboards are not permitted in any of our events, including the 5K and Kids Fun Run.

Unofficial support bikers are not allowed on the course.

We conduct our events under USA Track & Field (USATF) guidelines. We will use a qualified referee to help us settle any results concerns. We may exclude from competition anyone who has previously discredited themselves and the sport of running, or we may disqualify anyone who knowingly exhibits unsportsmanlike conduct.

Most GPS systems will continue over the Ambassador Bridge, but drop out upon entering the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and resume on the other side.

The following explanation is from the USA Track & Field Road Running Technical Council, which certified the course:

“GPS devices work by receiving signals from satellites. The quality of different GPS units can vary, but all of them can be affected by conditions such as buildings in urban environments or heavy overhead tree cover that interfere with reception of the satellite signals and can cause them to be inaccurate.

Race courses Certified by USATF are measured by a proven method that incorporates the calibration of measuring devices against a steel tape and are verified by multiple measurements.

Race courses are measured along a well-defined path called the “SPR”—the Shortest Possible Route that a runner can possibly run. Most runners don’t actually run the SPR, so the distance recorded by their GPS device will usually be longer than the certified length of the course, even though the course was properly measured along the SPR according to USATF rules.”

We share in the joy of your accomplishment as you near the finish line. But for your safety and the safety of fellow participants, we ask that you refrain from running in with others who are not part of the race.

Below are the time limits:

  • Marathon or Marathon Relay: 6.5 hours
  • Half-Marathon: 4 hours
  • 5K: 1 hour 10 minutes

Race overview

The next Detroit Free Press Marathon weekend will take place Oct. 14-16, 2022. The Full Marathon, International Half-Marathon, U.S.-Only Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay take place on Sunday.

2022 dates:

Friday, Oct. 14, 2022

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Sunday, October 16, 2022

2023 dates:

Friday, Oct. 13, 2023

Saturday, Oct.  14, 2023

Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023

Entry fees are non-refundable. That means that once we receive and accept your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate.

You may, however, transfer your entry to another year. Information about transfers can be found here.

Since the events are international, it is a federal offense to cross borders illegally. Therefore, do not give your number to another person. It is each participant’s responsibility to provide proper documentation for picking up their packet.

The Detroit Free Press Marathon, in accordance with management executives, city officials and local law enforcement, has the authority to cancel any of the events for emergency purposes, such as, but not limited to, inclement weather or threat of terrorism. If such emergency conditions force cancellation, refunds cannot be provided because funds will have been spent in preparation for the race.

T-shirts will be distributed. When you place your order for a t-shirt, we will make every effort to provide you the size requested. However, shirts are ordered months in advance of the event, based on estimates.

If you cannot participate in the event you signed up for, more information about transfers and deferrals can be found here.

Yes, the Detroit Free Press Marathon is certified by USA Track and Field (USATF) officials each year to an exact standard that guarantees event distances are correct.

We are not a USATF sanctioned event. This means that it is not possible to set an American record on our course, nor is it possible to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Yes, the Detroit Free Press Marathon is a Boston-qualifying race, and runners are eligible to apply if they run a qualifying time. The qualifying standard and the application process is covered at www.BAA.org.

Each year, we partner with charities for our Run for a Reason Program.

When you designate an official charity during registration, it does not mean that a portion of your registration fee goes to the designated charity; it instead means that you have the option to raise funds for your charity. In order to sign up with your chosen charity, check out the Official Charities section of our site.

Yes, finishers in all races receive a medal. They each have the same design, but varying sizes based on the distance of the race – smaller for 5K, larger for Marathon. Each medal also has a distinct ribbon based on the race distance.

The course records for our full marathon:

Male
Greg Meyer, Boston
2:13:07 (1980)

Female
Elena Orlova, Russia
2:34:16 (2004)

Runners who break a course record will win an additional $2,500.

Our mid-October date generally provides participants with ideal running weather. A cool morning start and cool to mild mid-race temperatures with  limited precipitation.

The full Marathon, the Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay and all three Motor City Challenge can be completed virtually.  Due to a lack of interest in the 2021 events, we will no longer be offering the 1-Mile or Kids Fun Run as a virtual option.

Registration

Registration is available online now through our registration partner, EnMotive. Sign up here.

The deadline to register for any international event is Aug. 22, 2022, and Oct. 10, 2022, for any U.S.-only events.

You may run the Marathon Relay as a team member, and run another individual, international event (Marathon or International Half Marathon) concurrently, as long as you register for and pay the entry fee for both events. You must run Leg #1 of the Marathon Relay to avoid difficult timing issues. For this reason, you may not run the Marathon Relay and the U.S.-Only Half-Marathon together.

Your steps to success:

  • You will be given two separate bib numbers – one for the Marathon Relay and one for your individual event. You must wear both. Each relay team, overall, will receive one timing bib on a belt. This bib will start with leg 1 and will be passed between each leg runner.
  • You will run the 1st leg of the Relay, and will cross the timing mat at the start of Relay Leg 2. Once you have crossed the mat and Relay Leg 2 Runner has started, your Relay participation is over.
  • Just remover your relay timing bib on the belt and give it to the next leg runner. Remove the Relay bib from the front of your shirt and display your individual event bib.

Registration opened on Jan. 1, 2022.  The opening price remained in effect until Feb. 28, 2022. After that, prices rise roughly every 1 -2 months.  To view pricing details, click here.

If you deferred in 2021, you are already registered for 2022.  If you are running internationally, you will be required to update your EnMotive registration with your proof of vaccination.  An email will be sent to all those individuals with instructions on how to update your registration. If you have any questions about this process, drop us a line at support@freepmarathon.zendesk.com.

You should have received an email on Jan. 1 with a direct link to our registration page. You do need to fill out your information again to complete your registration,  but payment will not be required. If you have any questions about this process, drop us a line at support@freepmarathon.zendesk.com.

Transfers to new participants and distances:

Participants are able to change distance, transfer or defer their registrations for a $15 fee. Instructions for how to change your registration to another distance and how to transfer to another person on EnMotive can be found below.

Transferring to a new participant:

  1. Log into your EnMotive account here. Click ‘Registrations’ and find your  2022 registration for the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
  2. In the right corner of your registration, click on the three dots.
  3. Select Actions Transfer registration.
  4. Please enter the email address of the person you wish to transfer your registration to. This will then send an email with transfer information to the new registrant.
  5. The new registrant will be able to use the custom link sent to them for 48 hours. They will be charged the transfer fee.
  6. If the person does not transfer their registration within 48 hours, you will need to follow steps 1-4 again to get a new custom link sent out.
  7. The new registrant does not have to participate in the same race as the original participant. When they sign up with the custom link, they will be able to also select a new event and just pay the difference in price between the two!

Note: EnMotive will not refund the registration fee for the original registration. Any compensation for the transferred registration needs to be handled outside of the platform.

Changing to a different distance:

  1. Log into your EnMotive account here.  Click ‘Registrations’ and find your current 2022 registration for the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
  2. In the right corner of your registration, click on the three dots.
  3. Select ‘View Registration’.
  4. Next to category click “edit.”
  5. Choose the event distance you would like to change to.
  6. You will need to answer all the necessary questions and pay the difference between the two events if you are upgrading as well as the $15 category change fee.

Deferrals

Participants are able to defer their registration to the 2023 event for a $15 fee. Instructions for how to defer your registration can be found below.

Deferring your registration:

NOTE: If you have a 2022 deferral code and wish to defer, you will first need to register with your 2022 deferral code, then you will follow the above steps to move that registration to 2023.

  1. Log into your EnMotive Account here.  Click ‘Registrations’ and find your current 2022 registration for our event.
  2. In the right corner of your registration, click on the three dots.
  3. Select “Defer to another event.”
  4. From the event dropdown menu, select “2023 Detroit Free Press Marathon,” then follow the prompts to complete the deferral.
  5. Once your self-deferral is complete*, you will receive an email with your 2023 event information. You will not need to re-register when 2023 registration opens.

NOTE: If you have a 2022 deferral code and wish to defer, you will first need to register with your 2022 deferral code, then you will follow the above steps to move that registration to 2023.

*For Challenge Series, you will only have to self-defer one (1) event in the series and pay the deferral fee at that time.  Then, you will need to reach out to request deferral of other event(s) in the challenge series at no cost.

Supreme:

Wonder:

Temptation:

If you registered for the 2022 event and unfortunately are unable to participate on race day, you have a few options:

1. Transfer your in-person registration to a virtual option.  This will allow you to remain a part of the event, receive the same great swag while completing your distance on the date, time and location of your choosing.             

2. Transfer your registration to another individual. 

3. Defer your registration to the 2023 event.  

Instructions on transferring or deferring your registration can be found here.

You can confirm your 2022 race registration by looking up your name here.

To confirm your information, race distance and more, follow the steps below:

  1. Login to your EnMotive account, here
  2. Click Registrations
  3. Find the “2022 Detroit Free Press Marathon” event
  4. Click “View Registration”

Participants are able to modify their shirt size until by following the below instructions:

  1. Login to your EnMotive account, here
  2. Click ‘‘My Account’’ in the upper right corner
  3. Scroll to the race registration that you need to update the size for (2022 Detroit Free Press Marathon)
  4. Click ‘‘View Registration’’
  5. Click ‘‘Change’’ next to the shirt size
  6. Update and save!

Any other registration details must be updated by race staff at this time. Please contact us if this is necessary.

Note: Any edits to your distance/chosen race is considered a transfer. Please visit our transfer page for all information regarding switching your distance/race.

Joining a relay team looks a bit different this year compared to our previous registration platform. Below are step-by-step instructions to join an established relay team.

  1. Visit here.
  2. Make sure there are no other registrations in your cart in the top right corner. If there are pending registrations in your cart, please complete them or remove them before moving forward with the next steps.
  3. Select in-person event, then Marathon Relay.
  4. Select the person participating from your EnMotive account profile and hit next.
  5. Select your team name from the drop-down question of ‘‘Create or join a team.”
  6. Select one of the legs still available.
  7. Once the leg is selected the correct questions for that leg will populate. You must answer those, click continue and it will take you to a billing/checkout page and show that you owe $0.00. You must answer all questions to bring the total down to $0.00.
  8. Finally, make sure you select “complete” from the billing page. You are all set once you see the banner that says “Congrats! You’re in!”

Individual registration insurance may be purchased for a nominal fee when registering for any of our events. All policy information can be found here. Individual Event Insurance typically covers approved medically related situations (see policy for details) but will not cover your registration fee if the event is canceled either by organizers or the government for incidents like COVID-19, inclement weather, etc.

Insurance cannot be purchased after registration and must be purchased while completing registration for any of our events.

Note: Participants who registered in 2020 on imATHELTE, purchased individual protection insurance, and deferred their registration to 2021 or 2022 during our selection period may be able to transfer their insurance to their deferred year. In order to do this, participants will need to visit this website to update the policy information with the 22022 race date.

COVID-19

According to both U.S. Custom and Border Protection Agency (CBP) and Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA), proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to cross international borders. Similar to the requirement of needing a WHTI-compliant document, we will be following the guidelines from the border agencies and will be requiring all international registrants to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. At this time, a vaccinated individual is considered to have received at least two doses of a vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of two accepted vaccines or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

All runners participating in an international event, which includes the Full Marathon, International Half-Marathon and the first two legs of the Marathon Relay, the Supreme Challenge and the Wonder Challenge, will need proof of vaccination. Our domestic races, which include the U.S.-Only Half-Marathon, legs 3-5 of the Marathon Relay, the Temptation Challenge, 5K, 1-Mile and Kids Fun Run, will not require proof of vaccination.

Please note that guidance and requirements continue to evolve at the local, state and federal level. We will continue to work closely with those public safety agencies as well as our medical provider, Henry Ford Health System, to provide a world-class experience while maintaining a safe environment for our participants, spectators, volunteers, staff and community. Any changes as we approach the event will be overly communicated via all channels.

The Detroit Free Press Marathon is following the guidelines of both U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency and Canada Border Service Agency. That means proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to cross international borders. Our policy will remain the same and we will not offer refunds. There are options to defer your registration to 2023, transfer to a U.S.-only race or transfer to another individual. Please note that deferring your registration to 2023 may also require proof of vaccination. 

Based on the current requirements of both U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency and Canada Border Service Agency, proof of vaccination is a requirement that cannot be offset by a negative COVID-19 test.

Proof of vaccination is a requirement at the time of registration. You will have to upload a picture of your vaccination record to complete the registration process.

No, at this time that is not a requirement.

Participant eligibility

All participants of the Marathon must be at least 16 years of age. All participants of the Marathon Relay, International Half-Marathon, or U.S.-Only Half-Marathon must be 14 years or older. There is no age limit on the 5K. Ages 4-12 are welcome for the Kids Fun Run. Racers must be older than 13 in the Competitive 1-Mile.

One parent/guardian is allowed to participate with a child in the (untimed) Kids Fun Run without a bib or registration. However, only those registered for the (timed) Competitive 1-Mile will be allowed on the course.

If you are not a citizen of the U.S. or Canada, it is strongly recommended that you verify the specific document requirements of both your country of residence and the countries you will be visiting. For additional information, click here.

An Enhanced Driver’s License (“EDL”) serves as both a driver’s license and border-crossing card. It is available through the Michigan Secretary of State’s office to Michigan residents who are also U.S. citizens. EDLs are also available in several other states and provinces, including Ontario. This optional card is convenient, affordable and the most flexible option for travelers to meet the tougher federal document requirements. (NOTE: an EDL does not replace a passport for air travel or travel outside of Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.) To apply, residents may visit any Michigan Secretary of State branch office. The application process is relatively easy for those who already have a current driver’s license. Residents need only present proof of a valid Social Security number and U.S. citizenship in addition to their driver’s license. The process takes about four weeks. For more information on obtaining a Michigan EDL click here. If you are picking up your bib with an EDL, you need to present the actual license – the application with a receipt is not sufficient. When you are applying for an EDL, you must allow sufficient time to receive the proper license from the State of Michigan.

Most likely, yes. But you should be aware of your admissibility to Canada. In general, people are considered to be criminally inadmissible to Canada if they were convicted of an offense in Canada or were convicted of an offense outside of Canada that is considered a crime in Canada, such as a DUI. In order to enter Canada, these people must obtain Approval of Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit at a Canadian Consulate or Embassy. You can find more information here.

Race preparation

All international (Marathon, International Half-Marathon, and Marathon Relay Legs 1 & 2) race packets MUST be picked up in person at the Health & Fitness Expo on either Friday or Saturday. Packets for the U.S.-Only Half-Marathon, the 5K, 1-Mile or the Kids Fun Run may be picked up in person at the expo, or may be picked up by someone else if they have a copy of your confirmation email, printed out. Finally, participants in the 5K, 1-Mile or the Kids Fun Run may pick up their packets on Saturday morning near the Start/Finish Line.

NOTE: Those running The Wonder or The Supreme MUST pick up their packets on Friday, October 15th at the Health & Fitness Expo. Saturday pickup will not be allowed. Those running only The Temptation can pick up their packets on Friday at the Expo or Saturday before the races.

Participants competing in an event conducted solely in the United States (U.S.-Only Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay Legs 3, 4 or 5, 5K, 1-Mile or  Kids Fun Run) may have someone else pick up their race packet. The person picking up the packet must bring with them a printed copy of the participant’s confirmation email to show to our volunteers at the Health & Fitness Expo.

All other participants competing in an event that crosses the U.S./Canadian border (Marathon, International Half-Marathon, or Marathon Relay Legs 1 or 2), regardless of citizenship, must bring their international credentials and show up in person in order to pick up their packet. NO EXCEPTIONS and NO DAY-OF PACKET PICK-UP.

NOTE: Those running The Wonder or The Supreme MUST pick up their packets on Friday, October 16th at the Health & Fitness Expo. Saturday pickup will not be allowed. Those running only The Temptation can pick up their packets on Friday at the Expo or Saturday before the races.

Most of the Downtown Detroit hotels are located within walking distance of our start and finish lines.

You can reserve a hotel room through our official housing provider TriMar USA. We encourage all participants to book reservations through the link below and ONLY use these hotels that support our event.

Reserve A Room Now

We offer a long-sleeve technical shirt to all participants. Please note that our tech shirts do tend to run small. When you place your order for a shirt, we will make every effort to provide you the size requested. However, shirts are ordered months in advance of the event, based on estimates. Therefore, we may not have enough of every size available at the Health & Fitness Expo. We advise you to arrive early in order to guarantee your size.

Race weekend details

Parking

More parking information will be available closer to race day.

Pro Parking Tips: When choosing a location, we strongly recommend parking outside the course route for easier egress after the race. Also, because of the congestion, we suggest you are in your parking spot as early as possible as race crews will start to close streets beginning at 4:00 AM.

City and municipal parking lots

The City of Detroit has multiple parking lots and garages available for use. Olympia Development of Michigan also has many parking lots available for use, which can be viewed here.

We work hard to ensure a pleasant parking experience for all participants. However, we cannot control all parking situations within the City of Detroit on race day! Many of the lots and garages available for parking are managed by individual companies. Our best advice: The earlier you park, the better!

Transit

The People Mover

The Detroit People Mover recently opened with limited hours following its is COVID-19 closure. Look for details here.

QLINE Detroit

Check here for QLINE details.

Road closures

There will be multiple road closures downtown throughout the weekend and race day as we prepare the course. We strongly recommend early arrival on race day to ensure you don’t experience difficulties with our 4 a.m. closures for the course. To be safe, we suggest you park outside the course perimeter. Plan ahead!

The current start times for all events are as follows:  

Saturday, Oct. 15

Competitive 1-Mile: 9 a.m.

5K: 9:30 a.m.

Meijer Kids Fun Run: 10:30 a.m. 

Sunday, Oct. 16

Disabilities Division: 6:58 a.m.

Full Marathon, Marathon Relay and International Half-Marathon: 7 a.m.

U.S.-Only Half-Marathon: 10:30 a.m. 

Note: All start times are subject to change.

The U.S. Half Marathon will start at 10:30am. 

The current start times for all events are as follows:  

Saturday, Oct. 15

Competitive 1-Mile: 9 a.m.

5K: 9:30 a.m.

Meijer Kids Fun Run: 10:30 a.m. 

Sunday, Oct. 16

Disabilities Division: 6:58 a.m.

Full Marathon, Marathon Relay and International Half-Marathon: 7 a.m.

U.S.-Only Half-Marathon: 10:30 a.m. 

Note: All start times are subject to change.

Yes. One parent or guardian may run with their child during the Kids Fun Run.

We must begin closing the Lodge (M-10) at the I-75 Interchange at about 4 a.m. on race day. We encourage drivers to take I-75 or avoid this freeway when commuting on race day.

The entrance to the Ambassador Bridge is approximately 2 miles after the start. We run in just over just one and a half lanes, which are closed to vehicle traffic that morning. There is a buffer lane that we use for operations, safety vehicles. One lane remains open to vehicle traffic in both directions, much like a construction zone. Our narrow running passage may become congested. We use a wave start, and we have carefully calculated the flow of runners to help minimize the impact. We ask that you be honest about your projected time, and that you start in your assigned wave. You must stay within the boundaries of the course as marked for your own safety, as well as for those around you.

We also ask you refrain from taking pictures or selfies while on the bridge. Sudden stops from participants impacts other runners and can slow everyone down. Be mindful of where and how often you stop along the course. If you need to slow down, please move to the side of the course.

The Ambassador Bridge will have restricted traffic on Sunday, Oct. 16. It will not fully close on race day.

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel will close on Sunday’s race day. Check back here soon for the exact time.

A wave start is a technique that we use to send participants off in smaller groups (called “waves”), with a short time delay between each group. We currently place approximately 1,500 participants into 15 waves lettered A thru O, with two minutes in between. It takes 30 minutes to get everyone across the start line on Sunday. The idea is to stretch the field out over time, so that you will be able to get off to a better start, and so that you won’t be delayed at any possible bottlenecks along the way.

We will group you according to the projected time that you turned in when you registered. Since you will be wearing a timing computer chip, you are not penalized for a delayed start. Your net time (the time you finished minus the time that you crossed the start line) is your official event time and is used for all results and for Boston qualifying, except for cash awards. Participants competing for cash prizes will be placed in Wave A at the front of the line.

We do have two timing clocks out on the marathon course – at mile 13.1 and mile 20 of the full Marathon. These clocks are set to the event’s gun time –or the start of Wave A-B. Other than those two, we do not have additional timing clocks out on the course, by design.

We have used a wave start technique since 2009, when we moved the start line to West Fort Street. We send each wave off at 2-minute intervals, meaning that each wave has its own unique start time, as well as a unique event running time. Therefore, we only have two choices when setting the timing clocks – the clock time of day, which is applicable to everyone, but does not reflect your individual race running time; or the event gun time, which is the correct running time for the start of Wave A-B only.

In the long run, we figure that neither of these times are beneficial to the vast majority of participants. We trust that most participants are keeping their own personal time and pace using any number of technological devices available.

We use a wave technique to send off participants on race day. We currently place approximately 1,500 participants into 15 waves or corrals lettered A thru O, with two minutes in between. It takes 30 minutes to get everyone across the start line on Sunday. The idea is to stretch the field out over time, so that you will be able to get off to a better start, and so that you won’t be delayed at any possible bottlenecks along the way.

Your corral assignment can be found in the bottom right corner of your bib. It is assigned based off of your predicted pace. If you are unhappy with your corral assignment, you can head over to the Problems and Solutions Booth at the Health &Fitness Expo and request a change. Please bring proof of pace with you to make any changes.

Your corral assignment also tells you where to enter the start/finish area. Someone will be checking corral assignments at each entrance.

Yes!

We have strategically placed fluid stations throughout our course for your hydration and enjoyment. It’s our goal to set up each station consistently so that you know what to expect.

We ask that you crush your cups after you have finished, and if possible, place them in the waste receptacles as you exit the fluid station. Be sure to thank the hundreds of volunteers at our 19 fluid stations along the course who are there to serve you and to cheer you on!

We strongly discourage the wearing of music devices. Participants must be alert to their surroundings and able to hear medical emergency vehicles, motorcycles, buses and official marathon vehicles. For your safety and the safety of those around you, we strongly urge you to run headphone-free.

For the safety of all of our participants, strollers, bicycles, pets or animals of any kind, rollerblades and skateboards are not permitted in any of our events, including the 5K and Kids Fun Run.

Unofficial support bikers are not allowed on the course.

We conduct our events under USA Track & Field (USATF) guidelines. We will use a qualified referee to help us settle any results concerns. We may exclude from competition anyone who has previously discredited themselves and the sport of running, or we may disqualify anyone who knowingly exhibits unsportsmanlike conduct.

Most GPS systems will continue over the Ambassador Bridge, but drop out upon entering the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and resume on the other side.

The following explanation is from the USA Track & Field Road Running Technical Council, which certified the course:

“GPS devices work by receiving signals from satellites. The quality of different GPS units can vary, but all of them can be affected by conditions such as buildings in urban environments or heavy overhead tree cover that interfere with reception of the satellite signals and can cause them to be inaccurate.

Race courses Certified by USATF are measured by a proven method that incorporates the calibration of measuring devices against a steel tape and are verified by multiple measurements.

Race courses are measured along a well-defined path called the “SPR”—the Shortest Possible Route that a runner can possibly run. Most runners don’t actually run the SPR, so the distance recorded by their GPS device will usually be longer than the certified length of the course, even though the course was properly measured along the SPR according to USATF rules.”

We share in the joy of your accomplishment as you near the finish line. But for your safety and the safety of fellow participants, we ask that you refrain from running in with others who are not part of the race.

Below are the time limits:

  • Marathon or Marathon Relay: 6.5 hours
  • Half-Marathon: 4 hours
  • 5K: 1 hour 10 minutes