Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon, Goals for 2021, Running

Reviving a tradition.

On January 1, 2021 at midnight instead of popping a bottle of champagne, I will be logging onto my computer to register for the Detroit Free Press Marathon.

Over the last weeks, Detroit Free Press Marathon has been releasing information about their 2021 plan. Up until these announcements, I had sworn off signing up for ANY races in 2021 until the last minute for many reasons – the number one reason being the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are my reasons why I’ve changed my mind:

  • Detroit is my favorite race, period. The atmosphere, the swag, the course – amazing.
  • They are offering tier 1 pricing January 1-March 1, which is so wonderful after what has been a tough financial year for so many.
  • This year they are offering both an in person and virtual option from the get go.
  • They have options for transfers and deferrals clearly laid out that I think are reasonably priced.
  • The fact that you can defer (for a cost) for ANY reason up until race weekend (on race weekend it must be done in person at the expo) is amazing.
  • If they are unable to do the international race, but are able to still do the race in person, there will be a U.S. only route. This race has been international including the Detroit-Windsor tunnel for all but two years of its existence. I wouldn’t mind being part of the 3rd, if that happens.

The deferral and transfer options for me make this a no brainer. After the year I have had, I need something to look forward to… even if it ends up being delayed. Signing up on New Year’s will bring back a tradition that I’ve actually only participated in one time, and it’ll start the year off with a bang.

In 2016, I registered for my first ever marathon in Detroit on the very last possible day I could register. I didn’t even know about the New Year’s tradition until after I ran the marathon. On January 1st, 2016 I had zero intentions of ever running a marathon in my life. I was still debating running my first half.

After crossing the finish in 2016, I swore I’d never run another marathon. But on New Year’s Eve, there I was with a few friends, drinking adult beverages and handing them my credit card to register me for the marathon again in 2017.

In 2018 I applied to be a race ambassador and decided to wait to sign up until after finding out if I had been chosen. I was one of the lucky ones and that year received my marathon registration for free as a perk of being an ambassador.

The following year I waited to sign up again. I was an ambassador for Glass City that year and wasn’t sure if I would run Detroit. Eventually a couple of friends and I decided we would run the half so we signed up.

This year I was waiting again. A friend of mine was debating running another marathon and I wanted to run it with her. We weren’t sure which marathon we wanted to do, Detroit was one of the options. Then the pandemic happened. So I waited longer. I wasn’t sure about a virtual option. Lots of crazy things happened this year – isn’t that an understatement? – and then finally when I made up my mind, the option I wanted had sold out.

So this time I’m not waiting, and I will have high hopes that on October 17, 2021 I will be standing with my fellow runners on Fort Street in downtown Detroit waiting to start my 26.2 mile journey at the Detroit Free Press Marathon.

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