Detroit and ready for 35th running of Free Press Marathon

Detroit and ready for 35th running of Free Press Marathon

by staff

DETROIT -- It all started back in 1978 with Robert McComber (2:17:37) and Erma Tranter (2:55:51) taking home the male and female titles. This of course was the Free Press sponsored version of Detroit's Marathon. A marathon in Detroit can be traced back to 1963 with the running of the Motor City Marathon, which involved multiple laps of Belle Isle Park.

The fastest men's time ever run at the Free Press Marathon was 2:13:07 by Michigan's own Greg Meyer in 1980 while the best time for the women was by Russian Elena Orlova in 2:34:16. One of the best women's performances ever though was turned in by Detroit native Ella Willis, who ran 2:38:22 in 1989. Willis was a three-time overall champion in the women's division at the Free Press Marathon.

Probably though the most notable runner in the history of the Free Press Marathon was Northville's Doug Kurtis, winning the overall title six years in a row from 1987-1992.

Overall marathon winners in 2011 were Kitchener, Ontario's Derek Nakluski in a time of 2:28:22 for the men and for the women it was Wioletta Kryza of Poland in a time of 2:44:09

This year, the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon offers up a great variety of races. In addition to Marathon, Marathon Relays and 5K events, there will be two separate half marathons. New this year will be a U.S. only Half Marathon. The main half marathon will still be run, heading over the Ambassador Bridge, traveling through Windsor and returning through the tunnel. will be on hand again at this year's event for full race coverage. For more information, you can visit our coverage page after the race at

Or you can check out some results, photos and interviews from the 2011 Detroit Free Press Marathon here:

Also, be sure to visit the Facebook site and let us know if you are running.

Best of luck to all runners this weekend!