Detroit Marathon Course Report
You get to run in the US and Canada, eh?!?
Like most urban marathons, there are lots of twists and turns. Start in the back of your corral, positioned in the center. Plan to stay in the center for as long as possible, you have a lot of turns ahead and don’t want to waste energy darting from one side of the street to the other. This doesn’t save time, it wastes energy and kills your ankles. You have 2 dogleg turns before you hit mile 2, then a big loop-de-loop to get up on the Ambassador Bridge. Hold your horses, lock your cage and sit into the uphill then use the downhill for recovery as you coast into Canada. Now is NOT the time to take water or pick up the pace, you have a hairpin turn coming followed by a dogleg. Find your stride, grab water if you need to after the 10k point since you’ll be slowing down for the pretzel turns that lead you into the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Oh, and there’s another pretzel that greets you at the end of the tunnel, WELCOME TO AMERICA.
Find your stride at Mile 9, the toughest part of the course is here with multiple sharp turns each mile until you finally reach mile 14. By now, you should be mostly passing people since they all flamed out on #alltheturns 3 miles ago. Find your stride again and enjoy the unbroken stretch until mile 17, when you hit a dogleg into a residential area where people will offer you beer. I strongly advise against drinking the beer at this time.
As you approach the water and the 30k mark you will be greeted by wind. Brace yourself mentally and go into beast mode- if you’ve conserved well you should have plenty in the tank and still feel like you could pick up the pace (but we won’t just yet). Duck behind someone and use them as a windshield as you cross the MacArthur Bridge onto Belle Isle, take all turns nice and wide, then grab some water between miles 21 and 22 (see that big curve where you’ll have to slow down? Might as well grab a drink if you need one).
Cross the bridge back into Detroit and you’re cooking with Crisco. Gather speed, when you see the 23 mile mark all bets are off; negative splits to the finish. Then take an uber back to Indian Village and SHOW THEM how runners drink beer1
MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she trains runners for $29 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her most popular Marathon plan, Tenacious AF, free!