Detroit Free Press Marathon raises $1.2M for charity as Canada reopens to runners

Shannon Anderson, left, and Amanda Kuchenberg pause for a photo as they make their way through the Ambassador Bridge at sunrise during the 45th Annual Detroit Free Press Marathon in Detroit on Oct. 16, 2022.
Shannon Anderson, left, and Amanda Kuchenberg pause for a photo as they make their way through the Ambassador Bridge at sunrise during the 45th Annual Detroit Free Press Marathon in Detroit on Oct. 16, 2022.

When it comes to the many great cultural and sporting activities that populate metro Detroit’s entertainment landscape, the Detroit Free Press is probably best known for its coverage of them.

But we are also deeply committed to producing events that help shape life in southeast Michigan. In partnership with our business arm Michigan.com, we present offerings like the Detroit Free Press Marathon, Freep Film Festival and the Top 10 Takeover dining series, all of which have become signature happenings.

Here’s a rundown of some of our key efforts from the past year:

Detroit Free Press Marathon

The marathon once again was an international race, following a two-year absence due to the pandemic.

The trip along the Ambassador Bridge on the way to Canada and the return to the U.S. via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel have long been among the most beloved features of the race. So after the COVID-19 pandemic made race-connected border crossings untenable in 2020 and 2021, it was big news for the running community when we added Canada back to the course for 2022.

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We unveiled an all-new course, designed to spotlight some of Detroit’s most notable attractions, including Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut and a finish line at the foot of Campus Martius.

The marathon’s 45th edition drew more than 18,000 registrants across the race weekend, which includes two half-marathons, a 5k, a competitive 1-mile and more. As always, the marathon included a robust charity component, with more than $1.2 million generated for 24 official fundraising partners. Over the event's history, runners have raised upward of $25 million for marathon-connected charities.

The 2023 race weekend arrives Oct. 13-15, with the marathon itself happening on Oct. 15. Registration for races opens on Jan. 1, with discounted pricing in the early-bird period.

Freep Film Festival

(From left) Ike McKinnon, former deputy mayor and police chief for the city of Detroit, local activist with Detroit Will Breathe and one of the lead organizers of Detroit's anti-police brutality protests Tristan Taylor and Ira Todd, a former Detroit homicide detective, participate in a discussion led by Bill McGraw, former Detroit Free Press columnist, after the film "Riotsville,USA" during Freep Film Festival at the Detroit Film Theatre on Sat., April 30, 2022.
(From left) Ike McKinnon, former deputy mayor and police chief for the city of Detroit, local activist with Detroit Will Breathe and one of the lead organizers of Detroit's anti-police brutality protests Tristan Taylor and Ira Todd, a former Detroit homicide detective, participate in a discussion led by Bill McGraw, former Detroit Free Press columnist, after the film "Riotsville,USA" during Freep Film Festival at the Detroit Film Theatre on Sat., April 30, 2022.

The documentary-focused festival continued its return to theaters in 2022, following a virtual-only festival in 2020 and a downsized event in 2021.

A highlight was the local premiere of “Gradually, Then Suddenly: The Bankruptcy of Detroit,” a recounting and recontextualizing of Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy. In a break with proceeding years, the film’s Opening Night screenings at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Detroit Film Theatre and Michigan Science Center were presented free of charge. Thanks to the support of the Kresge Foundation, the film was also available for free at-home streaming for several thousand viewers.

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As always, the festival was heavy on films with strong local connections, including “Bad Axe,” a family story set in the small Michigan town of the same name; “America You Kill Me,” about the crusading Detroit gay rights activist Jeffrey Montgomery; and “The Pez Outlaw,” about a Michigan farmer who gains fortune by smuggling collectible versions of the popular candy dispensers.

The festival also hosted numerous free education events geared to the local filmmaking community, all presented with the support of the Ford Foundation.

Top 10 Takeover

It’s a longstanding tradition for the Detroit Free Press each year to honor the best in metro Detroit restaurants. In 2015, it founded the Top 10 Takeover series, which presents special dining events at venues honored in the Free Press coverage.

This year, 13 restaurants were featured in partnership with Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers. With each ticket sold, $3 went to Forgotten Harvest, the Detroit organization that rescues unused food and distributes it to those in need.

Other events the Free Press produces include:

  • Top Workplaces

  • Detroit High School Sports Awards

  • Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards

Contact us

For information related to any of the Free Press’ events, contact Aaron Velthoven, vice president of marketing, communications and events for Michigan.com, at avelthoven@michigan.com.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Free Press Marathon raises $1.2 million for charity