Joanne Blatchley (HF14845)
Half #53 and State #21
This was my yearly St Jude race so of course I was in costume.
I headed to Michigan this weekend for the Detroit Freepress Half Marathon. Packet pick up was fairly easy once you found it at the back of the venue. There was no clear path to it. instead they made you walk through race apparel section which was already crowded, but I get it.
I was a little concerned with the international part on what I had to do but as long as I carry my enhanced driver’s license, I was good to go.
The expo was decent but nothing out of the ordinary. I did however appreciate the “FREE” photo opportunity with green screen for runners. They offered 3 different background options.
They held a warm up party at Central Kitchen on Friday night and tickets were $40 and all you can eat and open bar and so worth it. Waiters/waitresses walked around with trays of french fries, chicken sliders, burger sliders, chicken wings and vegetarian tacos. You just stopped them and grabbed from off their trays. They also had a pasta station with penne and options of meat marinara or pesto. Along with that they had a walking lobster station (lays chips in the bag and slaw and topping were added on top). Interesting but tasty.
The 1 mile and 5K were held on Saturday and the half marathon and marathon on Sunday.
Weather was chilly and windy for Friday and Saturday but we lucked out on race day because the wind died down quite a bit.
The announcer was none other than half of Team Noisy, Fitz Koehler. If you’ve never been at a race she has announced, you are truly missing out!
I personally loved the course. There were some inclines but the bridge and tunnel were the only “real” hills. On the half marathon course, water stops were positioned about every 1.5 miles. They had water and Gatorade and there were some snacks on the course too.
The course started in Downtown Detroit, ran across the Ambassador Bridge (about a mile or so) to Windsor, Ontario CANADA 🇨🇦
Since it was right at sunrise, we had spectacular views from the bridge and yes, I stopped to take a ton of photos. The people in Windsor, Canada were so friendly and had funny race signs to cheer us on. Some spectators even dressed in costume.🍁
There were border patrol agents all along the course and they were encouraging the runners.
We ran the only underwater mile through the Windsor Tunnel under Lake Detroit back into the USA 🇺🇸.
A real fun photo opportunity was in the middle of the tunnel with the Canadian and US flags on the wall. The tunnel was a bit warm but a great experience running through it. As you left the tunnel, there was a welcome back to the USA.
Then it was back downtown and into some neighborhoods and back to the start/finish line where Fitz cheered you onto the finish line.
You were then greeted with a mylar blanket and water bottle and as you kept walking, your finisher’s medal. After grabbing your banana, they handed you a snack bag with a granola bar, peanut butter crackers, a fruit cup (and spoon)
A great part of the race was the free photos by En Motive. Not only were there plenty of photo opportunities along the course but it also included a finisher photo. Both the race results and photos were posted by 5pm race day. I wish all races would do this instead of waiting days.
There were also some food trucks set up after the finisher photo station. They did have an after party set up with a dj but there was no sun in the area so I didn’t stay for it.
I’d like to tell you Detroit is a fun city to
hang around in but I didn’t find it to be the case. A lot of places close early on some days and many places to visit were closed on the days I had available.
The course itself I would highly recommend but not so much for the City of Detroit.
Photo and Post Credit Joanne Blatchley