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Detroit Free Press Marathon verses Twins Cities Marathon (Read 124 times)


Driver, Runner, Bestie

    So after 5 years of running half marathons, I have decided to up my ambition to a marathon.  I am looking for a nice and friendly marathon for a slower plodder like me. ( I would be shooting for anything under 5 hours at this point)  My concerns are hills as I live in the flattest county in Illinois. I am also a little intimidated by a big venue atmosphere where it can be a challenge to run in a pack without tripping. I would love to hear opinions on the two marathons I am currently focusing on, or any other midwest race that might be a good fit for Fall 2013.    

    Jeff F


    Free Beer

      I don't know anything about Detroit, but the TCM remains one of my favorite events.  It is probably one of the most beautiful urban marathon courses.  No major hills but a slight incline in the last several miles that will get your attention.  It is well organized and does not feel like a big city marathon.

        For a "slow plodder", Detroit would be great. They have added a US only half marathon that starts at the half way point after all of the full marathoners have passed. There are about 1500 doing that part and it makes the back half not so lonely, but not crowded either.

        As far as hills, the bridge to Canada is a doosey as is the tunnel back. Other than that it is mostly flat. As far as crowds, it was very crowded at the start, although they have a good wave start going and I didn't feel I was tripping on people, until the bridge where there seems to be construction all of the time and it is a bit crowded getting on to it. I've done the international half, the full, and the US half. I'm doing the US half again this year, cause I do feel the start is more crowded than I would like.

        (You do need a passport or enhanced driver's license to do this race)


        Feeling the growl again

          Detroit is indeed very flat except for the bridge and tunnel.  IMHO the tunnel is worse.  But they are long, constant grinds not exceptionally steep in any way.  It was my first full and I've done the relay many times, a well-run event.

           

          I have not been to the race in a number of years now, the one negative thing I could add about the last time I ran it was they finished it on the 50-yard line of Ford Field.  All well and good, except that meant that the last 1/4 mile or whatever of your marathon was switchbacking down the steep ramps from the road to the bottom of the stadium -- if your quads are trashed I'm sure that would be unpleasant.  Then you had to climb the stairs all the way back up to get water/nourishment, and I saw some people who had done the full have problems navigating that.  But that was 2006-ish, it may be different now.

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

           

            spaniel - they don't finish at Ford field anymore. They were tired of having to wait for the football schedule to determine when they could have the marathon. So now it is always the third Sunday and they finish downtown.

            runlikeagirI


              TCM is a gorgeous course lined with lakes/$500k+ houses/the Mississippi river, no dead/industrial zones and 200,000-300,000 of the best spectators imaginable.  I did it last year and I'm going back again this year in an attempt to BQ.  My garmin had about 500 feet of elevation total for the course last year. Like Jeff F said, nothing huge or steep but a couple of miles around 21-23 with a steady uphill incline (about 45-50 feet worth per mile).   Here is my upload on garmin connect if you're interested.  The incline I mention starts right around that little bump right before the long straight stretch on Summit Avenue.

               

              http://connect.garmin.com/activity/231381300

                Detroit Free Press marathon is beautiful course, especially the first half with the sun coming up over the Dertoit River as you cross the Ambassador Bridge to Canada.  Back half can get a little lonely and Detroit can be a little run-down at points on the course, but it's a very friendly event and well-run.  Entry onto the bridge can be a bit crowded but if you're not worried about maintaining a certain pace at the beginning of the race, this shouldn't be a problem.

                 

                As soneone noted earlier, you do need a passport or a MI enhanced driver's license to register.


                Feeling the growl again

                  Detroit Free Press marathon is beautiful course, especially the first half with the sun coming up over the Dertoit River as you cross the Ambassador Bridge to Canada.  Back half can get a little lonely and Detroit can be a little run-down at points on the course, but it's a very friendly event and well-run.  Entry onto the bridge can be a bit crowded but if you're not worried about maintaining a certain pace at the beginning of the race, this shouldn't be a problem.

                   

                  As soneone noted earlier, you do need a passport or a MI enhanced driver's license to register.

                   

                  Yes.  I know Detroit gets a bad rap, but most of the marathon course is along the river and on Belle Isle.  It is actually pretty scenic for a big city marathon, certainly better than Chicago in terms of water/greenery.  The Canadian side was quite a nice view, specifically.  I almost got up close and personal with an 8-point buck on Belle Isle and by that point in the race I was a bit disappointed he didn't take me out. Big grin

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   

                    I am a TCM fan.  Have run the race twice.  It is reasonably flat and fast, but I will disagree slightly with a couple of the previous posters.  Around the 20-21 mile point where you climb up out of the Mississippi River valley up onto Summit Avenue you gain about 50' in about 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile.  Coming at that point in the race, I'd definitely call that a "real" hill; it definitely gets your attention.  Making matters worse, once you get up on Summit it's really a false flat because you continue to gradually climb for at least another mile or more until you finally are on "the top" and then finally it turns flat and then downhill to the finish.  Don't get me wrong, I love TCM, but it's good to be ready to run a hill late in the race.

                    - Joe

                    all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                    Anonymous Guest


                    Batgirl!

                      From the responses so far, it sounds like either one would be great.

                       

                      I ran Detroit last year and I thought it was a wonderful race. Big PR and a BQ helped form that opinion, I'm sure, but it was a very pretty course and very well supported. I will say I did not like the tunnel, but the other 25 miles were great.

                       

                      I haven't run TCM, but I've heard good things about it as well.

                      Since everyone else is blogging: http://karenrunsfar.blogspot.com/
                      Upcoming Races: 8/3 Fort Ritchie Duathlon, 9/14 Erie Marathon, 10/11 Hartford Marathon, 10/12 Newport Marathon,10/18 Baltimore Marathon, 12/6 Rehoboth Beach Marathon, 1/17 Charleston Marathon


                      Driver, Runner, Bestie

                        I want to thank everyone for all their helpful opinions.  I am leaning towards TCM because of how pretty it sounds, but haven't ruled out Detroit either.  So I guess no decision yet. It keeps me dreaming.

                         

                        The bigger decision is if I even have a marathon in me.  I guess it would probably take about twice what I have done to get ready for the half marathons, plus lose some weight, plus eat better.  To quote National Treasure, yes I know, total geek here,  "I dont mean to be Johnnie Downer, but that aint happening"....or I am not sure I can make that happen.  I love cheeseburgers!

                        DoppleBock


                          TCM is a beautiful course - Many spectators.

                           

                          Grand Rapids has a very nice smaller marathon 1500-2000 people

                          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                           

                             I guess it would probably take about twice what I have done to get ready for the half marathons, plus lose some weight, plus eat better.  

                             

                            More like a square function.  Think 4x what it takes to get ready for a HM.  When friends and co-workers (marathon virgins) tell me that they would "maybe like to do a marathon", I tell them that they need to really want to do a marathon or else it is going to be a miserable experience.  You need to be fully motivated, all in, not on the fence.

                            - Joe

                            all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

                              Too bad you're not ready next weekend, you could run the Illinois Marathon in Champaign, which sounds like it would be a lot closer. And having gone to school there, I can only imagine the course is pancake flat.

                               

                              As far as Detroit - I have not run it, so no insight the course, but I am looking to run it this fall. The suggestion I will make is to not wait until the last minute. Registration closes on 8/26, nearly 2 months before the race. And that's assuming they don't fill up first, which is a good possibility. Their website tells you how close they are getting - at this writing there are 4387 registered, with a cap of 5440. I bet a lot of marathons will fill up quicker this year, with all the people motivated by Boston.

                               

                              I was looking at it last year as my first, but dithered about too long because I wasn't sure if I was ready, and it ended up filling up. So I ended up running Grand Rapids which is the same day. As noted above, a very nice one, you can also consider that as something that could be more of a last-minute option. Culver's frozen custard at the finish! It remains one of my great sadnesses that I was unable to eat any, because I felt like I was going to puke.

                               

                              MTA: As far as being ready - if you are ready for a half, you have a good base to start on a 16-18 week program. Start now, what are you waiting for??

                              <---- And there's me at Grand Rapids

                              Dave

                                <---- And there's me at Grand Rapids

                                 

                                And I must say, lookin' good, Dave.  Your last avatar always kinda freaked me out.

                                - Joe

                                all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

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