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Here’s what you need to know for the Detroit Marathon 2017

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Runners take to the streets Sunday morning

Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

Note: This article was originally published on October 10 and has been updated with the latest information.

The Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon will take over Detroit this weekend, October 13-15. While the big event is Sunday morning, many smaller events will take place leading up to it. Here’s what to expect as runners hit the road in Detroit. We’ll update with more info throughout the week. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments or on the tip line.


Packet pick-up and a Health & Fitness Expo will be at Cobo Center on October 13 and 14, so expect more traffic in that area. The expo starts at 2 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Saturday, October 14 at 9:00 a.m. is the 5K along the riverfront. It starts at the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center and goes along the Riverfront. If you do a normal Saturday morning walk or run, be advised. Parking will be tight in that area as well. They’re advising runners and visitors to park at the Chene Park lot.

Sunday, October 15 is the Marathon, International Half, and Half Marathon. The Marathon and International Half start at 7:00 a.m. The U.S.-only Half starts at 10:30 a.m.


The marathon events span from West Grand Boulevard in Southwest all the way to Burns in Indian Village. Routes run along Michigan Avenue, downtown, down Lafayette, and around Belle Isle. The Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel will also be part of the earlier international races.

Detroit Free Press Marathon

If you’re looking for great places to cheer on the runners, Michigan Avenue in Corktown is always fun, Indian Village has tons of parties, and cheering along Lafayette and the Riverfront will help runners finish those last few miles.

Parking and Street Closures

Runners, spectators, and volunteers should park north of the race route. There should be parking in the arena district, the casinos, and just south of 75 in Corktown. Signs are up already on many impacted streets; FYI, don’t park on the street Saturday night. There is an app available if you need to reserve a parking spot.

The People Mover will start running at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Streets impacted by the race will start closing early Sunday morning. Expected closures this weekend also include:

  • The Ambassador Bridge, with restricted traffic from 5:45 AM to 9:00 AM.
  • The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, which will close between 6:45 AM to 10:00 AM.
  • The Lodge, which will begin to close around 3:00 AM at the I-75 Interchange.


It’s been an unseasonably warm fall, and as of October 13, it looks like runners could have some relief this weekend. Saturday morning events could be in the 60s and cloudy with a chance of rain, while it looks like Sunday’s big race could be in the high 60s with rain and storm chances increasing throughout the morning. Prepare for precipitation if you’re running, cheering, or volunteering that day.