The route for the 45th annual race will spotlight some of Detroit’s most beloved features – many for the first time in the Marathon’s history
DETROIT (June 9, 2022)– The newly designed Detroit Free Press Marathon course unveiled today represents the race’s most dramatic updating since the event’s founding in 1978.
The changes were made to spotlight some of Detroit’s signature neighborhoods and features, improve the runner experience and make activities more enjoyable and accessible for spectators.
Here are some of the key developments for this year’s race weekend, which arrives Oct. 14-16, 2022:
The return to an international race after a two-year absence due to COVID-19. This will include the traditional border crossings via the Ambassador Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
A significantly updated route through greater downtown Detroit, including passage through District Detroit, Midtown and Woodbridge.
The addition of Eastern Market to the course for the first time in the race’s history, including a run down Russell Street.
The new inclusion of the Dequindre Cut, the popular greenway that connects Eastern Market and the eastern Detroit Riverfront.
A new finish line on Woodward Avenue at the foot of Campus Martius. Post-race activities, including the Conquered afterparty, will be held at Campus Martius and the adjoining Cadillac Square.
“The Detroit Free Press Marathon has always been a tremendous showcase of the beauty and activity within the city of Detroit to our participants, who come from all over the world,” said Aaron Velthoven, vice president and executive producer of the Detroit Free Press Marathon. “Our new course was designed to highlight our thriving and iconic historical communities, with a great finish line in the city center at Campus Martius.”
In addition to improving the course for runners, organizers expect the changes will make the race more accessible – and more fun – for the tens of thousands of spectators who head to the city to cheer on friends and loved ones.
“We’ve opened many of the major roadways into the downtown area with this new course. Spectators and runners heading into the city on race morning will be able to access areas of our course like never before,” said Aaron Velthoven.
More than 20,000 runners are expected to hit the streets of Detroit and Windsor during race weekend. The three days of events will include the full Marathon, the International Half-Marathon, the U.S. Half-Marathon, the 5-person Marathon Relay and several other races, plus the annual Health & Fitness Expo at Huntington Place.
A few more noteworthy updates related to this year’s activities:
The International Half-Marathon is also back after its pandemic-related cancellation in 2020 and 2021. Runners will head to Canada via the Ambassador Bridge and return to the U.S. by the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. By registration numbers, it is the weekend’s most popular race.
The U.S. Half-Marathon route is also significantly updated, and now features the District Detroit, Midtown, Woodbridge, Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut and a finish near Campus Martius.
The full Marathon and both Half-Marathons will start in Downtown Detroit on Fort Street near Second Avenue.
Belle Isle is no longer part of the course, a change made following runner and community feedback, and in hopes of making the entire course more accessible for spectators.
Registration for all races is currently open. Register here. More information can be found at freepmarathon.com.
About the Detroit Free Press Marathon:
The Detroit Free Press Marathon is Michigan’s largest road race and the only race to cross international borders twice. From the new runner to the more seasoned marathoner, there is a race for everyone. Participants can join the Competitive 1-Mile, 5K or Meijer Kids Fun Run on Saturday, Oct. 15, or the Full Marathon, Half-Marathon, U.S.-Only Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay on Sunday, Oct. 16. This is the 45th year of the event.
The Detroit Free Press Marathon is owned and produced by Michigan.com. Michigan.com also produces a number of premier events in metro Detroit, including Freep Film Festival, the Wine & Food Experience, Detroit Free Press Top 10 Takeover, The Detroit News Dish & Design Series, Top Workplaces and The Detroit Free Press High School Sports Awards. Michigan.com also manages the business operations of The Detroit News under the terms of a federal Joint Operating Agreement