[Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank International Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!]
In what may be a once-and-done race, my friends and I ran the Detroit Free Press/TCF International Half Marathon.
Packet pick-up was smooth and easy. My friend Janet and I parked right on the TCF Center (formerly known as Cobo) roof. We (OK, really, Janet) had looked up our bib numbers, so we walked right in to registration and got our bibs and swag bags right away.
Everything went so well that we were able to make it to an early dinner with our friend Michelle at Slows Bar B Q in Midtown before heading to our hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton in Dearborn (wouldn’t recommend), for the night.
Unfortunately, the hotel didn’t have coffee available for us, but we were able to hunt some down at a Starbucks close to the start line (corral M). Crisis averted.
We joined the back of the pack and the race started right on time. It wasn’t long before we saw the Ambassador Bridge.
Thankfully, Janet let me know that it would be several miles *after* we saw the bridge before we would actually be on it. It still was cool to see it early in the race. The next few miles included a big loop right next to a highway. Meh.
Because we started in the back of the pack, we easily stopped for lots of pictures.
The weather was perfect for a race, with temperatures in the high 40s and low 50s, with no wind and, thankfully, completely dry.
The view was amazing. Even the long line of portable toilets was a welcome sight. Unfortunately, we were parched, but the aid station had run out of cups. Boo.
The Canadian side went straight into a neighborhood, with lots of trees, apartments and houses.
We didn’t see a lot of spectators by the time we came through, but the course continued to have good signage. We saw the sweeper bus a couple of times, but picked up the pace and left it behind.
I had heard about the “underwater mile” — the tunnel that connects Windsor and Detroit, but didn’t know what to expect. Well, it allowed us to run down a bit of an incline, so we liked that a lot, until we reached about halfway where we saw the U.S. and Canadian flags. Lots of people stopped to take pictures to commemorate the mid-way point.
Once we neared the end, we were greeted by customs officers who cheered us on and gave us high-fives.
The rest of the race was uneventful…until I tripped on a pothole and skinned my knee pretty badly. Kudos to the medical tent team at the finish line for hooking me up with some ice.
While I certainly enjoyed the race and recommend the experience, the timing in October means doing a half or a full just a month after my favorite race of the year (Run Woodstock 50K) and I just don’t think my body can handle the extended training schedule.
But if you want to be able to say you ran in two countries, and did an underwater mile, keep your eyes peeled for next year’s registration.
Have you run Detroit? Would you do it again? (You may have to click on “Continue Reading” to leave a comment.)