Detroit Free Press Marathon 2021: What to know

The Detroit Free Press Marathon is running this weekend and the celebrations begin on Friday. Here’s what racers and contestants need to know before heading out.

The weekend activities:

  • Friday: The marathon celebration begins at 2 p.m. with the Health and Fitness Expo. This is where vendors, including the race’s brand partner New Balance, meet to sell products for a healthy lifestyle. The fair takes place in Hall C of the TCF Center and is also the place where the marathon participants pick up their racing equipment and information after registering. While registration is currently closed, new entries will be accepted at the Friday event. It picks up again on Saturday at 10 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: Before the expo starts again, the smaller races begin. Three events are held at Milliken Park on the Detroit riverside:
    • 9:00 a.m .: competition over a mile
    • 9:30 a.m .: 5 km run
    • 10:30 a.m .: Meijer Fun Run for children aged 4-12
  • Sunday: Major marathon events begin early Sunday morning and all start on Fort Street between First Street and Cass Avenue. The events are expected to end around 2:30 p.m.
    • 6:58 am: Full marathon for the disabled department
    • 07:00 a.m .: Half and full marathons as well as the five-man relay run begin.

COVID-19 restrictions will apply.

Although vaccination rates have increased and public gatherings are less restricted, precautions will be taken throughout the weekend to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For the Indoor Health and Fitness Expo, all participants must wear a mask. This is also a requirement for relay runners when boarding the bus that commutes to various pick-up points.

For outdoor activities, social distancing guidelines are followed for the convenience of all participants. Although they are not required for these events, attendees are welcome to wear masks.


There are various transport options for runners and participants.

The Q-Line will continue to operate during the weekend’s activities, but the stops are limited. Due to the Sunday races on the tram route, the Q-Line will not travel the entire length of the route.

The city bus system is also affected by the marathon. There is a rerouting plan for buses that normally go through the place where the race is taking place, but they will run during the marathon.

In addition, there will be transport specially designed for runners traveling between the marathon routes. The Detroit Free Press has set up busses for relay runners to take participants to different parts of the competition.

More: The annual Detroit Free Press Marathon has been redesigned due to ongoing restrictions on the Canadian border


Parking is hard to come by in downtown Detroit, especially when large events are happening in town. Runners and participants are advised to seek spots as early as possible.

While no parking spaces were reserved for guests during the marathon, previous participants used the various structures around the city center.

So you’re ready to run!

For more information, visit the Detroit Free Press Marathon official website.

Comments are closed.