How do I register?

Registration is ONLY available online. Find out more about registration here.

Changing Races

The Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon allows registered participants to change races within the following guidelines:

  1. All race changes must be completed before August 29, 2016. You will need to provide your new predicted finish time if changing distances and include any required citizenship information if changing to an international event.
  2. Absolutely NO changes after this date. There will be NO changing of races at the Expo. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  3. There is a $30 processing fee to change races.
  4. Registrants moving to a lower-priced race do not receive a refund of the price differential. They also pay the $30 processing fee, in addition to any prior-paid registration fees.
  5. No changes are allowed once a race has reached its maximum capacity.
  6. The organizers and staff of the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon reserve the right to revise or cancel this policy at any time.

You can edit your registration here:

Is there an age requirement to run at any of the events?

All participants of the Marathon, International Half -Marathon, or U.S.-Only Half-Marathon must be at least 16 years of age. There is no age limit on the 5K or the Marathon Relay. Ages 4-12 are welcome for the Kids Fun Run.

Can I have someone else pick up my race Packet at the Health & fitness expo?

U.S.-Only race participants can have someone else pick up their packet. In order to do so, the person picking up the race packet must bring the runner’s confirmation email printed out. This can only be done for domestic races (excluding the full marathon and international half-marathon).

If I am injured and/or cannot attend the event can I get a refund or transfer my entry to someone else?

We do not offer a registration refund option. Please click here to read more.

You ARE able to switch events within the 2016 Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon (marathon to half-marathon, or vice versa) prior to August 29, 2016. You will be permitted to transfer your registration to someone else. But there are NO deferrals offered or transfers allowed to other years.

You are agreeing to the following when completing a transfer:
-You understand that you are transferring your event registration to an external, third party.
-You are sending an invitation to this third party to take over the position slot currently held with your completed registration.
-You understand that your registration will be deleted and your registration fee refunded (less any applicable online registration fees) upon acceptance, confirmation, and verification of the transfer by the third party.
-You acknowledge that any charitable donations made during your original registration transaction will not be transferred to the third party and you will not be issued a refund for any donations made.
-You acknowledge that all product or optional extras purchased via e-commerce options during your original or subsequent registration activities will not transfer to the third party.
-You understand that you will need to make arrangements directly with the race director or other race staff to pick up any items or receive fulfillment on any services purchased.
-You further acknowledge that the race director, race staff, or online registration provider will not be responsible for issuing a refund in the event that your transfer request is denied or if the third party accepting the transfer is unable to pay for the event registration.
-You understand that the third party being transferred your registration will be responsible for any additional transfer fees as determined by the race director.
-Please note, because of the international route, all participants must be approved by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and Canadian Customs. Failure to observe Homeland Security or Canadian Customs measures can result in criminal charges.

Cancellation Policy

Entry fees are generally non-refundable. That means that once we receive and accept your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate. You may not transfer your entry to another year. Since the events are international, it is a federal offense to cross borders illegally. Therefore, do not give your number to another person. It is each participant’s responsibility to provide proper documentation for picking up their packet. The Marathon, in accordance with management executives, city officials and local law enforcement has the authority to cancel any of the events for emergency purposes such as, but not limited to, inclement weather or threat of terrorism. If such emergency conditions force cancellation, refunds cannot be provided since funds will have been spent in preparation for Race Day. T-shirts will be distributed. *When you place your order for a t-shirt, we will make every effort to provide you the size requested. However, shirts are ordered months in advance of the event, based on estimates. Therefore, we may not have enough of every size available at the Expo, We advise you to arrive early in order to guarantee your size.


When is this year’s race? How about 2017?

The Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon will take place on Sunday, October 16, 2016 with the 5K and Kids Fun Run taking place on Saturday, October 15, 2016. Our event takes place on the third Sunday of October each year. Next year’s race will take place on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

When will the race start?

Saturday, October 15:
9:00 AM – 5K
10:30 AM – Kids Fun Run

Sunday, October 16:
6:58 AM – Disabilities Division
7:00 AM – Marathon, International Half-Marathon Run/Walk and Marathon Relay
10:30 AM – U.S.-Only Half-Marathon
NOTE: No participants will be allowed to start after the last wave crosses the Start Line.

Will this year’s course change from 2015?

The 2016 courses for the Marathon, Half-Marathons, Disabilities Division and Marathon Relay should relatively remain the same as last year (although events out of our control – such as construction – could force us to change the course to accommodate). The 5K and Kids Fun Run will still start and finish near the Detroit Riverfront as last year. For up-to-date information on the 2015 course maps and our start/finish line announcement, follow us on Facebook and Twitter throughout early 2016.

How long do I have to finish the race?

You must be able to complete the Marathon in six and a half hours, the International Half in four hours, and the U.S. Half-Marathon in three and a half hours, from the time the “Last Chance Pacer” crosses the start line. We will close the Marathon and U.S.-Only Half-Marathon courses at 2:00 PM and the International Half-Marathon course at 11:30 AM. Participants in the 5K must complete their course in one hour and 10 minutes. A “Last Chance Pacer” will be provided for both events. These pacers will travel at the average pace needed to cross the finish line at six and a half hours for the Marathon and four hours for the Half-Marathons. To ensure your safety and to meet all time limits, we have established the following milestones: Marathon, Disabilities Division and Marathon Relay

Miles Kilometers Landmark Time
1.9 3.1 Bridge Entrance 7:58 AM
4.1 6.6 Bridge Exit 8:31 AM
6.9 11.1 Tunnel Entrance 9:09 AM
8.1 13.0 Tunnel Exit 9:30 AM
13.1 21.1 Half 10:41 AM
17 27.4 Indian Village 11:43 AM
22.6 36.4 Exit Belle Isle 1:06 PM
26.2 42.1 Finish Line 2:00 PM

International Half-Marathon

Miles Kilometers Landmark Time
1.9 3.1 Bridge Entrance 8:06 AM
4.1 6.6 Bridge Exit 8:47 AM
6.9 11.1 Tunnel Entrance 9:34 AM
8.1 13.0 Tunnel Exit 10:00 AM
10.8 17.4 Mexicantown 10:49 AM
13.1 21.1 Finish Line 11:32 AM

U.S.-Only Half-Marathon

Miles Kilometers Landmark Time
4.0 6.4 Indian Village 11:36 AM
6.0 9.7 Belle Isle Entry 12:08 AM
9.5 15.3 Belle Isle Exit 1:04 PM
10.9 17.5 Riverwalk Exit 1:26 PM
13.1 21.1 Finish Line 2:02 PM

NOTE: If at any time you fall behind these milestone times, you may be required to board a bus to be transported back to the Start/Finish area.

What is a Wave Start?

In a wave start, smaller groups of participants are sent off at 2 or 3-minute intervals. Groups are based on the projected pace indicated on the registration form. Since we will have short lull periods between groups, it will take twice as long for the entire field to cross the start line. Runners are not penalized for a slower start – except for elite runners, “chip time” is used for results. For a diagram of a wave start, click here.

Bridge Congestion:

The Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon start is broken into waves based on projected running time. This is to prevent pinch points and congestion throughout the course – and specifically on the bridge. We have calculated the flow of runners needed to prevent congestion on the bridge, but in order for it to work, we need you to be honest and realistic on your projected run time. The final factor in preventing bridge congestion is your time, so bear that in mind in order for the run to be successful and smooth for everyone involved. In addition, you must stay within the race course at all times, for safety and for timing and distance concerns – including on the bridge. If you are found to have deviated from the race course, you will be disqualified.

Can I run a leg of the MARATHON relay and still run another event?

It’s possible for an individual to participate in both the Marathon Relay and the Marathon or International Half-Marathon. Here are the steps and restrictions necessary to make this happen:

  1. The participant will register for both the Marathon Relay and the Marathon or International Half-Marathon. They are responsible for costs to enter both events.
  2. The participant must run the 1st leg of the Relay. No other Relay legs are available. This is the only way to participate in both events and to avoid difficult timing issues.
  3. We will issue two separate bib numbers – one for the Marathon Relay and one for the individual event. We will issue the additional Relay bib for the back of their shirt. Finally, we will also issue two different timing chips, one for each event.
  4. The participant will wear both bibs and both chips on race day. The participant will pin the Relay bib over the top of the Marathon or International Half-Marathon bib on the front of their shirt. They will pin the additional Relay bib to the back of their shirt. (Note: bib numbers must be displayed at all times)
  5. The participant will run the 1st leg of the Relay, and must cross the timing mat at the start of Relay Leg #2. Once they have crossed the mat and their second team member starts Leg #2, their Relay participation is over.
  6. The participant must remove their Relay timing chip and must discard it to avoid timing mat confusion later along the course. They must remove the Relay bib from the front of their shirt, and display the Marathon or International Half-Marathon bib.
  7. Finally, they should remove the Relay bib from the back of their shirt, if possible. The participant will receive a time for the 1st Leg of the Relay and for the individual event. They will receive all of the amenities for both events, including the event shirts and medals.

Will I be able to check my gear on race day?

Gear Check Service opens at 5:30AM and is provided for all events on Sunday, October 16th. Runners MUST use the clear bag provided as a goodie bag for gear check. No exceptions. These bags will be marked and stored by race number. Your bib includes a removable tag to be attached to your gear bag for this purpose. The Marathon will not be responsible for lost or stolen items, so PLEASE do not pack ANYTHING of value – especially car keys and/or wallets. Any bags left over will be donated to charity if not claimed within one week at the Marathon office. With a combined Start/Finish line, there will be no need to transport gear. You will be able to pick up your gear in the same location where you leave it before the races start. Gear Check will be located at an area to be finalized in the next few months.

How far is my hotel from the Start and Finish lines?

Most of the Downtown Detroit hotels are located within walking distance of our start and finish lines. Check out our list of suggested hotels on our page here, and stay tuned for more details on our new 2015 start/finish line location once finalized.

Can I wear headphones?

The Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon strongly discourages the wearing of music devices. Participants must be alert to their surroundings and able to hear medical emergency vehicles, motorcycles, buses and official marathon vehicles. For your safety and the safety of those around you, we strongly urge you to run headphone-free.

Will changing rooms and showers be available after the race?

The Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon does not provide changing nor shower facilities after the race. Some of the downtown hotels allow a late check-out on race day. Check with your hotel, if you are a registered guest.

The Boll Family YMCA located in Downtown Detroit will be offering access to their facilities for runners for a $5 donation. The $5 donation will give you full access to the facility, including showers.They provide towels, lockers and body wash; a lock will be needed to secure items in a locker. On Sunday the Boll Family YMCA will be open from 10am-5pm, located at 1401 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226.

will my gps tracker work over the bridge or under the tunnel?

Most GPS systems will continue over the bridge, but drop out upon entering the tunnel and resume on the other side.

Are strollers or joggers allowed?

Because of safety concerns strollers, bicycles, pets, rollerblades and skateboards are not permitted in any of our events, including the 5K and Kids Fun Run.

Why aren’t there any timing clocks out on the course?

We do have two timing clocks out on the marathon course… one at the marathon “half way” point and another at the marathon 20 Mile Marker…”The Wall”! These clocks are set to the event “gun time”…or, the start of Wave A-B. Otherwise, we do not have additional timing clocks out on the course, by design. We have used a wave start technique since 2009 when we moved the start line to W. Fort St. We send each wave off at 2-minute intervals, meaning that each wave has its own unique start time of day as well as a unique event running time. Therefore, we only have two choices when setting the timing clocks… the clock time of day which is applicable to everyone, but does not reflect your individual “race” running time, OR…the event “gun time”, which is race running time for the start of Wave A-B only.

In the long run, we figure that neither of these times are beneficial to the vast majority of participants. We trust that most participants are keeping their own personal time and pace using any number of technological devices available.

What’s the weather like?

With its mid-October date, the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon takes advantage of Michigan’s fine autumn weather, allowing for cool starts and pleasant highs.

What types of refreshments will be available along the course? Can I carry my own?

Lemon-Lime Gatorade Endurance Formula and Absopure water will be available at every fluid station throughout the course. We will also energy gel available near our planned mile markers. Bridge and Tunnel policy is to prohibit liquids. Runners are discouraged from carrying items on these portions of the course as they may be asked to either inspect or drop them. However, at the end of the day it is up to the runner’s discretion.

Do all finishers receive a medal?

Yes, finishers in all races receive a medal. They each have the same design, but varying sizes based on the distance of the race – smaller for 5K, larger for Marathon. Each medal also has a distinct ribbon based on the race distance.

International Requirements

Do I really need a passport?

On June 1, 2009 more stringent requirements for border crossings in North America were implemented. All participants crossing the U.S./Canada border, and 16 years of age or older will need a passport, passport card or enhanced drivers license (“EDL”). U.S. and Canadian children under the age of 16 participating in the Marathon Relay will be able to present the original or copy of their birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization or citizenship card. Please note, all participants of the Full Marathon, the International Half-Marathon and U.S.-Only Half-Marathon, must be 16 years of age or older. All entries are submitted to the Bureau of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and the Canadian Border Services Agency (“CBSA”), for clearance before the race. If your clearance requires additional information than what was provided during registration or you are deemed inadmissible, one of these agencies may reach out to you via email or telephone for more details. If you are not a citizen of the U.S. or Canada, other documentation may be needed. ALL participants must show up in person at the Health & Fitness Expo, and present a passport or enhanced drivers license in order to pick up your race packet. Those participants running only on U.S. soil (U.S.-Only Half-Marathon, Relay Legs 3-5, 5K and the Kids Fun Run) need only present photo identification when picking up their packets. If for any reason (for example, emergency, carrying backpack) you are asked by CBP to identify yourself when crossing the border, you will be expected to present proper identification (passport or EDL). CBP actions may delay your re-entry into the U.S. Please note, it is not the intention of CBP to actively or randomly pull runners out of the race to review their documentation. Please note that this is not a decision that is made by our staff and can’t be resolved through our organization. All questions and concerns need to be directed to the Canadian Border Services Agency. In order to enter Canada, you must obtain Approval of rehabilitation or Temporary Resident Permit at a Canadian Consulate or Embassy. If you do not, you will be unable to pick up your bib at the Expo.

What is an Enhanced Driver’s License?

An Enhanced Driver’s License (“EDL”) serves as both a driver’s license and border-crossing card. It is available through the Michigan Secretary of State’s office to Michigan residents who are also U.S. citizens. EDLs are also available in several other states. This optional card is convenient, affordable and the most flexible option for travelers to meet the tougher federal document requirements. (NOTE: an EDL does not replace a passport for air travel or travel outside of Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.) To apply, residents may visit any Michigan Secretary of State branch office. The application process is relatively easy for those who already have a current driver’s license. Residents need only present proof of a valid Social Security number and U.S. citizenship in addition to their driver’s license. The process takes about four weeks. For more information on obtaining an EDL click here. If you are picking up your bib with an EDL, you need to present the actual license – the application with a receipt is not sufficient. When you are applying for an EDL, you must allow sufficient time to receive the proper license from the State of Michigan.

As long as I have approved documentation, I’m all set, right?

Most likely, yes. But you should be aware of your admissibility to Canada. In general, people are considered to be criminally inadmissible to Canada if they were convicted of an offense in Canada or were convicted of an offense outside of Canada that is considered a crime in Canada, such as a DUI. In order to enter Canada, these people must obtain Approval of Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit at a Canadian Consulate or Embassy. You can find more information here.

What if I’m not a citizen of U.S. or Canada? What documents do I need?

If you are not a citizen of the U.S. or Canada, it is strongly recommended that all travelers verify the specific documentary requirements of both your country of residence and the countries you will be visiting. For additional information, click here.

What if my passport is in my maiden name?

As long as you bring your passport and marriage certification, you will be ok. You can pick up your packet and participate.

Packet Pick Up

How do I get my race packet?

Marathon, International Half-Marathon, U.S.-Only Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay race packets MUST be picked up in person at the Health & Fitness Expo on either Friday or Saturday. Packets for the 5K and Kids Fun Run ONLY may also be picked up at the Expo or on race morning at the 5K/Kids Fun Run Start line.


Official Charities:

Each year, we partner with charities for our Run for a Reason Program. When you designate an official charity, it does not mean that a portion of your registration fee goes to the designated charity; it instead means that you have the option to raise funds for your charity. In order to sign up with your chosen charity, check out the Official Charities section of our site.

Shirt Sizing:

Please note that tech shirts do tend to run small. When you place your order for a shirt, we will make every effort to provide you the size requested. However, shirts are ordered months in advance of the event, based on estimates. Therefore, we may not have enough of every size available at the Expo. We advise you to arrive early in order to guarantee your size.

Course Records

Male – 1980 Greg Meyer, Boston 2:13:07 Female – 2004 Elena Orlova, Russia 2:34:16 Runners who break a course record will win an additional $2,500.

Rules of Fair Play

We conduct our events under USA Track & Field (USATF) guidelines. We will use a qualified referee to help us settle any results concerns. We may exclude from competition anyone who has previously discredited themselves and the sport of running, or we may disqualify anyone who knowingly exhibits unsportsmanlike conduct.

IS THIS RACE Certified?

Yes, the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon is certified each year. However, please note we are NOT a sanctioned race.

Is this race a qualifier for the boston marathon?

Yes, the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon is a Boston qualifying race and a runner is eligible to apply if they run a qualifying time. The qualifying standard is covered on