Detroit, Michigan - Aug. 12 - The Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Bank Marathon
will again be run across international borders. The announcement was made
today by Heath Meriwether, Publisher of the Detroit Free Press. The
Marathon, scheduled to be run on Sunday, October 6, 2002, is celebrating
its 25th anniversary this year. The official racecourse for the 26.2-mile
event was also released today. The course incorporates both the Ambassador
Bridge and the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, allowing participants to cross
borders for the twenty-third time in the race's twenty-five year history.
As announced earlier, the race will finish inside Ford Field, new home for
the Detroit Lions.
"This is not only a historic event in the life of this marathon but also
for the two countries and for the cities of Detroit and Windsor," said
Meriwether. "After the events of September 11th, having this racecourse
cross our international borders with Canada, not once but twice during the
event, is symbolic of both countries' commitment to free and open borders
and the economic and cultural partnership between the cities of Detroit and
Last year's marathon was originally scheduled to run this course but was
changed to an all Detroit course due to border security concerns following
the September 11th terrorist attacks.
"The city of Detroit is happy to be a part of the 25th Annual Free Press
Marathon. We celebrate our friendship with Canada -- and open borders --
even in times like this," said Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
"The return of the Marathon to its international roots, using both the
Bridge and Tunnel between Detroit and Windsor, is a sign to the world that
nothing can lessen the warm friendship between our two cities and nations,"
said Mayor Michael D. Hurst of Windsor. "The City of Windsor welcomes the
quick return of the Marathon to its cross border traditions and we're
confident in yet another enjoyable and successful run."
"The Michigan INS office is proud to open its arms in support of the 25th
Anniversary Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Bank Marathon. INS stands
committed to border security, community partnership, health and safety and
traffic management," stated Carol Jenifer, District Director for U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Services.
Race organizers have been working for several months with community and
civic leaders and various government organizations to plan this year's
"The process of making this race international once again has been a
tremendous joint effort between the two countries. Those in leadership
positions in the cities of Detroit and Windsor and other organizations
involved, such as the Ambassador Bridge, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the
U.S. and Canadian offices of Immigration and Naturalization Services and
Customs, really turned this into reality," said marathon race director
Patricia Ball. "It took an extraordinary effort on everyone's part to make
this happen again in 2002."
Race organizers expect this international course, along with the finish
inside the soon-to-be opened Ford Field, will attract thousands of runners
from all over the United States and Canada to participate in the 25th
anniversary running of the event. This marathon will be one of only three
road races that will cross U.S. and Canadian borders in 2002. The other
two races will utilize the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan and
the Freedom Bridge in Niagara Falls, New York.
"The U.S. and Canada, through the cities and communities of Detroit and
Windsor have enjoyed an international partnership for years, not only for
this marathon but also in trade, commerce and tourism," said Gary Burkart,
Vice President/National Advertising for Flagstar Bank, title sponsor.
"This course is meant to not only showcase the two countries' beautiful
riverfronts but also encourage citizens in both communities to take
advantage of what the other city has to offer in shopping, restaurants and
The Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Bank Marathon, presented by Greektown
Casino is an annual 26.2-mile road race, certified each year by the U.S.
Track and Field Association. The Marathon is owned by the Detroit Free
Press. Flagstar Bank is the title sponsor and has been affiliated with the
race since 1998. The race is a sanctioned qualifying race for entry into
the Boston Marathon. The 2002 event marks the Marathon's 25th anniversary
and is expected to attract over 5,000 participants. The Marathon features
five race divisions: marathon (26.2 miles), Wright & Filippis Wheelchair
Competition (26.2 miles), Competitive Race Walking (26.2 miles), Reebok
Team Relays (2- person and 5-person teams) and a Compuware 5k Fun Run and
Fitness Walk (3.2 miles). Prize money is awarded in each of these
divisions (with the exception of the 5K run) and totals over $28,000. In
conjunction with the Marathon, both the Whole Foods Market Health & Fitness
Expo, on Friday and Saturday, October 4 - 5, 2002 and the annual Pasta
Dinner, on Saturday evening, October 5, 2002 will be held at Detroit
Marriott Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.
For more information, visit our website at http://www.freep.com/marathon..
The 25th Annual Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Bank Marathon, presented by
Greektown Casino: An Extraordinary Experience for the Ordinary Person.