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Detroit Free Press Marathon

Quick facts

Distance Marathon

About Detroit Free Press Marathon

The Detroit Marathon better known as the Free Press Marathon is one of the few true International races in the US. Going from the heart of Detroit, runners cross over into Motor City Ontario, crossing international lines. The race is run across the river banks of the Detroit river with the view of a spectacular countryside that is like none other. A unique course, there is also a section of about a mile-long stretch that takes you underground through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. Twists and turns all along the course, it is a path that always leaves you guessing.

A mostly flat and fast run, it is the perfect event for beginners to advanced athletes trying to beat their personal best. Starting in the downtown city center, runners race around the city going over bridges and through tunnels. When crossing over into Ontario, participants get to get a glimpse of historic landmarks in Canada like the Campus of the Ontario’s University of Windsor and then back to Detroit they race.

A city that comes alive with celebration, there is no shortage of spectator participation and live music. Get caught up in the excitement alongside walkers and wheelchair participants as you all make your way to the finish line. A cool weather event, the race is held in October, which can have you facing anything from tepid 70s to snow. Unpredictability is the landmark of this awesome and challenging run.


Detroit Free Press Marathon

  • 42.195km

Detroit Free Press US Half Marathon

  • 21.097km


  • 5km

Detroit Free Press Marathon Route Map

Detroit Free Press Marathon Route Map






Our marathon course offers international appeal, traversing both downtown Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, crossing the border at both the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. You will run through historic neighborhoods, around beautiful Belle Isle, and along the spectacular RiverWalk.


The new start-finish line splits the difference between the locales. It is at Fort and Cass, two blocks east of the Free Press' former offices and two blocks west of its new offices. On one side of the street is the old Detroit Club, a four-story brick and stone building; on the other is the Fort Washington Plaza, a 16-story glass and concrete building. The new line will be used for the start and finish of the marathon, the international half marathon and the five-person marathon relay, plus the finish of the U.S. only half-marathon. The change to the start-finish line leads to a series of other relatively minor course changes. The course follows its traditional western path on Fort to the Ambassador Bridge. The distance to the bridge is two-tenths of a mile farther than past years. In fact, all the points on the course are two-tenths farther than last year (except the finish line, of course). The marathon course makes its final turn north from Larned to Fort on Griswold Street instead of Washington Boulevard. The marathon and half-marathon courses still separate at Griswold and Fort. The finish-line chute has been shortened from two blocks to one. After finishing, runners will walk for a block and then turn north on First Street, where the postrace amenities await.

Detroit Free Press Marathon Trivia

Due to its use of the tunnel, the race is able to boast that it has the only official underwater international mile in the world, as the tunnel runs underneath the Detroit River.

The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.