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2009 Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon

Rebels BBQ and Bar-BBQ ran from Michigan to Ontario, Canada and back.

Read Barbara's account and see photos of an the 26.2 mile tour of Motown, including "the world's only underwater international mile." Unfortunately, the race would become infamous for the 3 runners who died of heart attacks on October 18, 2009.

Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon

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Barbara's Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon Race Report

Tony and I had a great weekend in Detroit. We stayed at a historical B&B and went to the Motown Museum and the Ford Museum on Friday and Saturday so we got to see some of Detroits highlights even before the race.

As for the race, we got downtown at 6:30 and the temperature was 33 degrees - cold for waiting around but perfect for running. They sang the national anthem for both the US and Canada at the start and we started right on time at 7:15. We were with the 3:55 pacer but he took off way too fast and by mile 2 we had lost him (while we were right on pace). At Mile 3 we crossed the bridge into Canada - it was a steep climb onto the bridge (the biggest hill of the race) but the view was gorgeous from up there. Running in Windsor Canada was very nice - some cute homes and shops, a sculpture park, and actually plenty of spectators out to cheer us on.

We ran 4 miles in Canada and at mile 7 went into the Tunnel to come back into the US. I spent most of the time in the tunnel trying to visualize anything but the fact that I was in a tunnel!!! I was very happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel (literally!!) and we crossed the 8 mile marker as we came out - our time for the "only International Underwater mile" was 8:52 (if you check our results, there is a line that says water). Since I was visualizing not being in the tunnel, I didn't realize how hot it was in there until we came outside - then it felt like the air was freezing!!

By mile 9 I knew I was going to have a hard time hitting 3:55 since my legs felt like lead (I think being sick last week took more out of me than I thought). Tony and I saw the casualties at mile 11 and 12 - we saw them trying to give CPR to one man on the stretcher - we could tell it didn't look good. The race continued thru different neighborhoods in Detroit and at mile 20 we crossed another smaller bridge onto Belle Island - a very nice park - and ran around the park for 2 miles. Tony moved ahead at mile 21 on the island while I lingered a little at a water stop. My pace had started to slow down and I was just shooting for 4 hours at that point. As I continued on, I could see Tony ahead of me pretty much for the next 2 miles.

The last miles were along the Detroit Riverfront - although the buildings were in bad shape, the water view was pretty. There was a hill at mile 25 which I cursed the race director for but I kept thinking "4 hours" so I trudged up it. I knew I was going to be very close so I pushed as hard as I could after crossing the 26 mile mark (which was also on a little hill) and was happy with my 4:00:20.

I collected my medal (AWESOME MEDAL) and milar blanket and then found Tony in the finishers shoot - he had finished about 2 minutes before me. We had our picture taken together and headed out to collect our check bag - unfortunately I started to feel "not so great" and ended up in the medical tent. After a short time in there, we were able to get back to the B&B. Luckily, after a nap and a shower, we were able to celebrate our finish with a few beers in downtown Detroit.

Overall, it was a great race. Very well organized, nice course, a good spread of spectators, and a fabulous medal.
We would certainly recommend it.

Visit Tony & Barbara's Race Medal Display site!
  Detroit Marathon
B & B we stayed at in Detroit

Detroit Marathon
Motown Museum

Detroit Marathon
Tony displays his race medal at B & B

Detroit Marathon
Relaxing after the race

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