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Posted on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Ann Arbor Marathon returns: City leaders hope for less traffic disruption with new route

By Ryan J. Stanton


This maps shows the planned route for the 2013 Ann Arbor Marathon. Download larger maps.

Champions for Charity

The Ann Arbor Marathon returns June 9, and city officials remain cautiously optimistic the second annual event will go smoother than last year's inaugural run.

Last year's 26.2-mile trek shut down streets throughout the city on Father's Day, catching many residents and business owners off guard, disrupting traffic and causing Mayor John Hieftje to remark that changes would need to be made for the event to happen again this year.

Mike Highfield, founder of race sponsor Champions for Charity, said many of the major concerns from last year have been addressed with this year's new route.


Hundreds of runners make their way down Main Street during the first-ever Ann Arbor Marathon last June.

Jeffrey Smith |

The date also has been switched to avoid falling on Father's Day again.

Showing some confidence in the new plan, the Ann Arbor City Council this month approved closing several city streets from 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of the marathon, which is a Sunday.

"We were very proactive in making changes," Highfield said. "The most significant of those is we've removed completely Washtenaw Avenue from the course."

Highfield said the new route has been designed to minimize the impact on traffic and pedestrians, as well as bus services.

"I would say the bulk of the complaints we got from people who couldn't get to where they wanted to go that morning were from people who were living off of Washtenaw," he said.

"So we totally removed that, which not only significantly improves access through the community, it improves access to the hospital, and six churches are not impacted any longer."

Organizers also plan to do a better job notifying neighborhood associations, churches, apartment complexes and businesses, working closely with the city's communications office, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Improved training, including trial runs, also is planned so race marshals are well-versed with alternative routes and have alternate-route maps for the public.

The marathon, which costs $100 to enter, raises money for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Education Foundation. It is being supported by the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber, Ann Arbor Main Street BIZ, Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and many others.

For those who don't want to run the full 26.2 miles, there are options to run a half marathon, or a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. There also is a 1.2-mile kids run.

Registration fees are lower for the other runs: $80 for the half marathon, $32 for the 5K and $18 for the kids run.


Ann Arbor resident Jonathan Algor carries an American flag as he participates in the half marathon last year during the Ann Arbor Marathon on Washtenaw Avenue.

Jeffrey Smith |

The marathon starts at 6:30 a.m. and the half marathon and 5K both start at 7:30 a.m. The event is expected to end around 1 p.m.

City officials said all streets will be reopened as soon as safely possible after participants have cleared the affected areas.

Champions for Charity is being required to provide liability insurance and reimburse the city for all expenses related to the event.

Council Member Sally Hart Petersen, D-2nd Ward, said she applauds Champions for Charity for getting the inaugural marathon off the ground last year.

"I did run the half marathon last year and I had a great experience," she said. "I did hear some concerns about insufficient notice about street closings, it was Father's Day … but as a participant in the half marathon last year, I was very impressed with how well it went."

Petersen said it's understandable there will be mistakes made the first time around, and she thinks Champions for Charity is making a good-faith effort to improve the race this year. She said she's planning to register to run the full marathon on June 9.

All courses start on Main Street at the northwest corner of the Big House, winding through downtown and other parts of the city with a finish on the 50-yard line of Elbel Field.

The course is purposely designed to showcase many of the community's most beautiful and memorable areas, including scenic views along the Huron River.

Council Member Chuck Warpehoski, D-5th Ward, said he was excited about the marathon last year, but he heard a lot of complaints from residents about how it was handled. He noted he has run the Detroit Marathon several times and he's a fan of marathons.

"No matter what you do, you're going to have a significant part of the community that just doesn't know about the event," Highfield said, partly blaming last year's lack of notice about the marathon on the lack of a daily newspaper in Ann Arbor.

He's confident the word will spread farther this year, though. He guessed about 10 percent of the community knew about the race last year and about 80 percent will know about it this year.

Highfield noted this year's route takes advantage of the East Stadium Boulevard bridges being reopened. The route follows the northern sidewalk over the bridges and down to Main Street.


Marathon runners make their way from the start line on Main Street next to Michigan Stadium during the Ann Arbor Marathon last year.

Jeffrey Smith |

With the bridges closed last year, the course went down State Street to Briarwood Mall, and then up South Main Street to Ann Arbor-Saline Road, and through the Stadium/Main intersection.

"This year we're not doing that," Highfield said. "The marathon is going out to Briarwood circle, but it's going out and back on State Street."

Runners are not big on "out and backs," he said, but that's what's being done — and that avoids routing the race past five large apartment complexes and a church, and it means runners also won't be crossing through the intersection of Stadium and Main again.

"So what we've got this year that we didn't have last year is we have Washtenaw completely open and we have Main and Stadium," Highfield said, suggesting traffic will be greatly improved from that.

Highfield said some of his running buddies last year suggested rerouting the course down Liberty and Miller west of downtown, but race organizers decided against that.

"What we didn't want to do is venture off into new parts of town and expose significant new areas of the community to this race that weren't impacted," he said.

Highfield acknowledged residents along Geddes Avenue will be affected. He said they're being encouraged to park on the south side of the street to make it easier to get out.

"Most of our marshals on Geddes are people who live on Geddes, so they know the neighborhood and we will be able to let people through," he added.

Council Member Marcia Higgins, D-4th Ward, said she had concerns about the impact on Hidden Valley Club Apartments on State Street. Highfield said those residents will be affected only by the marathon, not the half marathon this year, and the gaps between runners should be big enough at that point in the race that it won't be a problem for residents to pull out onto State Street.

"And on South State we are only using the southbound lanes, so northbound State Street is open all morning," he said.

Council Member Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward, said it would be smart to contact all of the churches that might be affected and encourage them to notify their congregation members.


Marathon winner Marco Capelli of Toledo holds his arms up in the air after crossing the finish line last year. Capelli finished with a time of 2:48:02.5

Jeffrey Smith |

"Because many people missed the fact that there was a marathon until they found that they couldn't travel," she said of last year's event.

Highfield said he did reach out to churches last year, and one church even moved its Sunday services to Saturday as a result. He said similar communication is happening this year. He said about seven churches in all have been removed from the course this year.

Council Member Jane Lumm, an Independent who represents the 2nd Ward, said she appreciates the changes being made, especially along Washtenaw Avenue.

"We're not going to please everybody — I recognize that," she said. "But your efforts to find a route that doesn't impact all these churches is sincerely appreciated."

Lumm said the city received letters of complaint from business owners who were not aware the marathon would shut down the streets around their businesses last year.

"That was a significant impact for some," she said.

Pointing out residents could hear loud music early in the morning last year, Council Member Mike Anglin, D-5th Ward, said he wants the city's noise ordinances obeyed this year.

"To me it didn't make any sense to have a band blasting with big speakers that are traveling five blocks into the neighborhoods," Anglin said.

Highfield said he knows the music woke up some people near the start line last year and that's an issue being addressed. He said music won't be played on the course before 7 a.m.

"The marathon starts at 6:30 and we will make sure that we will keep the sound system at the start line low, and we will not be playing music at that time," he said, adding race organizers also will be careful about music being played elsewhere along the course.

"If you analyze this course, there aren't many residential areas of significance that are on this course," Highfield said.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

I am stunned by the insensitivity to the community. This event should be canceled permanently. Who does the Ann Arbor City Council represent?


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:39 p.m.

It is too bad this race just won't go away. I am a marathoner but this is a race that should be boycotted. Champions for Cash has no respect for Ann Arbor running traditions by scheduling this so close to the Dexter-Ann Arbor run. And they have no respect for Ann Arbor residents as evidenced by " residentail areas of significance..." When are we going to see a breakdown of the revenue and expenses of this and other races put on by Champions for Cash?


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:41 p.m.

Make it a cross country marathon using Washtenaw County's back/country roads, and the only one you'd impact is a few cows who may come up to to the fence line to see what all the commotion is about.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

never happen. makes too much sense. besides, Oz want this all to herself.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

June 9th would seem to me to be too late in the spring for a marathon, as the chances of getting hot weather are too high. It's amazing they get so many people coming out for it. But, I hope the publicity campaign is really good, because last year it caught way too many people off guard. Those kind of street closures are highly disruptive for people not interested in the marathon.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

Which is 99.99% of the people.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

Has there been any though at all to the fact that there are two condo communities on Huron Parkway between Geddes and Glazier Way that have no alternative route out other than their Huron Parkway exit? I think it's absolutely ridiculous to expect us to be basically trapped. I live at Geddes Lake and think it would be nice to arrange having the gate unlocked on Lakehaven alongside Huron Hills church during the marathon just so we have the ability to live as we normally do on Sunday (church, grocery shop, breakfast out...) As for Heritage Ridge condos, they have no escape alternative and most of the people who live there are elderly and can't be expected to park at the high school which would be the closest possibility.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

@MRunner - thanks. Have a great run.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10 p.m.

The more I view this route, the less I like it. I will run for free (no $$) that Sunday morning by heading out my own front door at my own house, at what ever time (early) and run a quiet route for as long as I want and not bother anybody.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

Last year there was all kinds of debris, empty cups and other trash along the route for several days after the race. This is unacceptable. Cleaning up the route is the responsibility of the race organizers, not the city of AA using taxpayer's money.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:25 p.m.

Why close the Huron Parkway at all? Totally unnecessary. The route should be out of town and back, like the AA Dexter Run. This for-profit run is total BS for AA. How much of the money actually goes to the schools? How about a full accounting of where the money went last year before committing to another one of these fiascos? There is NO need for live bands on a marathon route. Of all the legitimate runs in the country, how many have live bands? Or blaring speakers in residential areas at 6 or 7 am? This race is a disaster before it happens. It should be cancelled. If not, they pray for rain on June 9. Oh, and what a slam to those who live in residential areas of "no significance." Guess they don't matter. Maybe remind the city of that when tax bills are due......"I live in an area of no significance, therefore I am not paying my property taxes this year."


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

JRW; the live bands were playing at the Boston Marathon in the early 1980. I think the NYC Marathon got it all started in the mid 1970s. I always found it very distracting and would quicken my pace to get away from that non sense back in the day. In this day and age with the smart phones and a head jacks, one can listen to their own music for inspiration. Like you, I vote no on the needless stuff.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

Can't go by the boarded up homes on North Main. I am sure they will still be there. And the Georgetown shopping mall . Forget about it.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

When they start the Ann Arbor Blight Run, I'll be sure to make sure you're given proper credit for thinking of it first.

Seasoned Cit

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

Living west of State Street. I'm wondering how I'm going to be able to get to church on Washtenaw that morning. Will Stadium Blvd be open to traffic throughout the race..with runners only on the sidewalk over the new bridges? Am I also correct in assuming that runners will cross Washtenaw/Forest using the pedestrian bridge by the Palmer Field... thus not blocking traffic on B94 ?

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

From what I understand, Stadium will be open and runners will be using the pedestrian bridge across Washtenaw, so you're fine there.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Looking in detail at the routes. The Half is a fun route - including Gallup Park ,the Arb and the downtown and college highlights. The full just adds in tedious trip up Huron Parkway and North Campus and bizarre trek to (and around) Briarwood. Poor full route - but interesting half.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

I would agree. I regularly bike the areas the half marathon course goes through and it's pretty enjoyable and scenic. The full marathon just adds a lot of distance, including down State Street and back, and around the mall.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

1) The course snakes around the Ann Arbor area. An out and back route would work best. 2) Too much traffic control is needed with this planned route. 3) Entry fees are too high. Probably to pay for all of the extra police for traffic control. 4) June 9th is too late due to the risk of warmer weather. 5) Don't expect the hotels to get a big spike in business that weekend. Not that many out of towners coming. 6) No regard for the Dexter to Ann Arbor event a few weeks sooner.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

Ryan; 44 states times maybe 5 per state, rounding to about a few hundred. Add 6 countries times maybe 5 per is about 30 more. Double that and you might add 400 to 500 folks from out of town.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

I agree it could get hot on June 9. I'd personally rather run in mid-April like they do for the Boston Marathon. But what makes you think there won't be many people from out of town coming? Last year the marathon attracted 3,300 people from 44 states and six different countries, and there's arguably more exposure for the event this year.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

For those of you who want to get a better sense of the course, here's a good resource:

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

For those who prefer walking over running, I just read that you are able to walk either the marathon or the half marathon. Both courses are open for 6 hours. You can walk as slow as a 27-minute-per-mile pace and finish the half marathon within 6 hours. Those walking the marathon will need to average about 13:45 minutes per mile to finish in 6 hours.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

Let's hope the temperature remains in the 60s; so for the folks who plan on spending half a day out on the course won't suffer.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Regarding music, this is from the race FAQ: "How about entertainment out on the courses—what is planned? We expect to have 4 or 5 live bands located where runners will go by more than once. Also, we will have iPod music at many of the aid stations and a DJ at the finish."


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:20 p.m.

There is absolutely NO need for live bands on a marathon course. This is totally ridiculous.

Robert Granville

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

Therein lies the problem. Runners at 6am... cool, get out and be active. PA music at 6am as well as live bands? Totally unwelcome in the AM.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

I'd like the city to allow me to put up a toll booth on Washtenaw and Huron Parkway for 6 hours on a Saturday. I won't actually close the roads and I will throw some money at the schools.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

Hey, that's not a bad idea!


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Unfortunately, I don't like the change in timing for the race. I always run the DXA2 1/2 marathon. Having back to back weekend races is not ideal for me. This is just one of the reasons I won't be running the AA Marathon (1/2) this year. While the route looks much better than last year, the other reason I won't be running is the cost. $80 is just too steep for me.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Why can't everything always be exactly the way I want it to be?

Homeland Conspiracy

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

I don't want the whole world, just your half

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

Love the Simpsons quotes, guys. Ha.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

"I want you to put all of my groceries in one bag, but I don't want the bag to be heavy." --Agnes Skinner and the commentariat


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

I used to be with it, then they changed what it was. Now what was it isn't it, and what is it is weird and scary to me. It'll happen to you too

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

I am hoping the Ann Arbor Marathon goes well this year! It's very cool to have a local marathon. I believe the race director will make the best efforts to best accommodate everyone that he (or she) can. Last year I was watching the end of the race on Main St. when the streets had to be reopened, and the volunteers were picking up the cones in the street and having to redirect the runners onto the sidewalk. Seeing them that dedicated to following the rules bodes well.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

this route sucks as bad as the last one , get rid of these "for profit " runs .if you need to run a marathon in A2 just run the dexter/a2 race twice.


Tue, Jun 11, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

There is no competition between Dexter Ann Arbor and the A2 Marathon, they are different events with different pros and cons! Lots of cities offer more than one running event!


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

Yes, DX to A2 is the weekend before this event and it is sad that the Champions for Charity folks are trying to out muscle the fine tradition of the DX to A2. Oh yes, the A2 marathon route is terrible. I see no real improvoement from the 2012 routse.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

Here Here!! and especially, as someone pointed out - back to back weekends?

Jim Osborn

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

This run is on a Sunday morning from very early until 1 PM during prime church going hours. It circles the downtown area completely, blocking access to our church that serves 2,500 members over several Masses, Including 4 that morning. We cannot move them to the evening as we have others then, and why should we? Why should people be blocked from church on a Sunday morning? The short answer is they should not. Walking is not an alternative since the 8:30 Mass has many elderly people and all has some who are physically unable to do so. The route needs to be changed so that no part of the city is blocked. It also will force people to go miles out of their way, as it severs the city from the Briarwood Mall to the Huron River. Must people get on the freeways to go from the east side to the west side? The organizers of this race appear to be selfish, only thinking of their wants or desires, and little else. They need to go back to the drawing board.


Tue, Jun 11, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

Every church on the route was called and notified of this weeks before the race.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

Selfish organizers are inconveniencing ME on one Sunday of the year. Pot, meet kettle.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 4:43 p.m.

I'd bet money this race is organized by pagans!

Sean Thomas

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.'s one day. Not even. It's one morning. A year. You will live.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Maybe they could run around the Pioneer track 105 times?


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

While I do agree about the organizer, he cannot do anything without the city's approval. They are the ones that are ultimately responsible, just like they were last year for that Fathers Day debacle. And what are they offering this year? "Hope".

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Hopefully, if the marathon is well planned, it will be a good boost for Ann Arbor businesses and hotels.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

There are always people eager to make that "businesses make a buck" versus "inconveniencing residents" tradeoff for us. I'm not necessarily living here to be a support system for the local businesses, at least not to that extent. Last year's planning was abysmal.

Pete Cunningham

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

Football: yes; Basketball: probably; Hockey: comparable. 3,300 people from 44 states and six different countries participated in the various races last year. That's much lower than capacities of the stadiums, but a higher percentage of out of towners come in for this event and racers' families and friends that don't run aren't counted toward that number. I would hope people weigh their inconveniences against the benefit of close to $100,000 being raised for local schools, thousands of people patronizing local businesses and those same people having a lasting memory of accomplishing a major life goal in Ann Arbor.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

The numbers of out of town folks for this event pales in comparison to Michigan football, basketball or hockey.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

so's hashbash... Anything that fills hotels/restaurants/bars is worthy, NOT

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

"The marathon, which costs $100 to enter, raises money for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Education Foundation. " how much money? How much of the $100 fee goes to charity? Is "Champions For Charity" actually a charity?

Rick Stevens

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

6% according to Ryan. Lip service to my mind. The Dx-A2 donates a lot more...

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

Thanks Ryan. But I have lots-o-questions. It appears from the Champions web site that other charities raise money on there own using the event as a venue? How much do those charities pay "Champions For Charity" for the right to use the event as a fund raiser? Anything?

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

From our story last year: "Champions for Charity put on the event that saw roughly 3,300 people from 44 states and six different countries participate in the various races. For every participant, $6 was donated to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Education Foundation, and much more money was raised for other education-based non-profits."


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

there aren't many residential areas of significance , Thanks Mr. Highfield


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Very supportive of local runs - but very curious for timing. One week after the Dexter Ann Arbor. I appreciate there is a difference between a marathon and a half - but surely locals might want to run both - but thats not possible when there is no recovery time between them?


Tue, Jun 11, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

It had to do with the U of M timing requirements, and quite a few people actually did run both! Kudos to them!


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

$80 for the half is pretty daggone expensive. I might as well get my monies worth and run the whole thing for $20 more!


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

I am running DXA2 and plan on getting that award!


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

if you run the dexter?a2 run you get a really nice hand made pottery mug for an award

sun runner

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

I see the route still includes the march down State St and around the mall parking lot. I can't understand why someone thought that was worth keeping.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:23 p.m.

You mean you don't find the student ghetto and uom fences along State St. , as they say "...the community's most beautiful and memorable areas..."? It might be memorable due to foot and ankle injuries on the busted up pavement, though.

sun runner

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

You're correct...I am. A long out and back trudge like that, especially from miles 18-23, will be a morale-killer. I can't run the marathon this year (I'm running a 50-mile ultra on June 15, so I'll be tapering for that) but even if I *could* I wouldn't do it because of that ridiculous trip to the mall and back. This town has many features that are more appealing than a pothole-filled road encircling a shopping mall.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

I'm assuming you're speaking from a runner's perspective here. Although I'm not a long distance runner (bum knee) and won't be attempting a marathon anytime soon I was a bit perplexed at the loop around Briarwood. That loop down State St seems like it would be a pretty dull scene so close to the end of the run. Question for readers: Looking at the map, I'm wondering, what changes to this route do you think would improve the marathon for both runners and residents?


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

$100??!?!?!?! I take it this is a FOR PROFIT organization? A lot of these sketchy companies throw a bone to some charity so they can come off all high and mighty, when in reality they are making a quite a bit of money. $80 for the half marathon? By comparison the Dexter to AA run is $50. For a difference of $30/entry Let's do some math here: Last year, 3300 people entered. 3300*30 = $99,000 - for the schools I'm sure. $99,000 unaccounted for? Ryan; How much is ACTUALLY going to the schools? .... and how much to the company? THIS is why UM dumped the big house run.


Tue, Jun 11, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

CFC never claimed to be non profit, most events don't donate ANYTHING to charity!


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

mmmm $20k? Better than nothing I guess, but it seems to me that if the Ann Arbor Track Club was putting this on, there would be another $80k to donate to somebody, other than the race organizer. Honestly? I really don't have a problem with somebody providing a service and getting paid for it. I DO have a little problem when somebody is disingenuous. This seems to fall into that category.

Ryan J. Stanton

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

From our story last year: "Champions for Charity put on the event that saw roughly 3,300 people from 44 states and six different countries participate in the various races. For every participant, $6 was donated to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Education Foundation, and much more money was raised for other education-based non-profits."


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

EyeheartA2, this is so ironic. Let's not forget who approved this thing to begin with, the Democrat-controlled City Council many of whom I am sure are quick to point out the evils of Corporate, capitalistic greed against people who can barely make ends meet. Yet, what do we have here? A $100 fee which many people would point out is a bit steep and maybe a complete rip-off, i.e., they are practicing pure capitalism. What? In Ann Arbor? But ah yes, it is for the children. Really?

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

They need to cancel this thing all together. Last year's was so poorly organized and in my opinion extremely selfish to shut down almost all the major arteries of this city that I cannot trust the organizers to do a good job with this years or any in the future.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

Do any of these complainers , vcomplain on U of M home football days? They are probably standing there with their hands out charging people to park.

Irwin Daniels

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:25 p.m.

I live on Geddes Ave - near the Arb I would love to change for football parking; however I have not found anyone yet to pay that far out.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

In fairness to football it happens at one intersection in town. And travel for the most part is really only impacted for an hour before the game and an hour after. During the game you can get around just fine and you can monitor the progress toward the end on your car radio.

Robert Granville

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

U of M football games don't create the kind of noise I experienced during last year's race. The early morning noise is my only real concern. The students who generate the bulk of the football Saturday noise aren't even awake as early as the race begins.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Yes, i complain about f-ball crowds & no i don't park their intrusive vehicles. Instead I do my level best to get as many towed as possible or at least ticketed.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

"If you analyze this course, there aren't many residential areas of significance that are on this course," Highfield said. Thank you, Mr. Highfield for voicing your opinion that I pay my mortgage and taxes to live in an area of residential insignificance. Way to drum up support for your marathon, Sir. For the second time they have turned my neighborhood of residential insignificance into an island, leaving us stuck for the day. I will be emailing my complaint to both Mayor Hieftje and the pompous Mr. Highfield.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

... and they will first laugh at it and then throw it away.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

Before all the naysayers roll in let me just say I talked to the mayor last night and he assured me this event will bring 169.4 million dollars in to the economy and as a reward race officials have been given free parking for life in any downtown parking lot.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

evidently I need a new writer. ;)


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

thats total crap . the city will be lucky if they make 169 dollars


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

Plus they have a new plan for handling the disruption - hope. I thought that was last year's "plan" as well.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:29 a.m.

"We're not going to please everybody — I recognize that," Great. Then how about we please the people who actually live here instead of out-of-town organizers? Ann Arbor - still for rent.


Tue, Jun 11, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

The organizers are from Ann Arbor. Do your homework.

mike gatti

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:14 a.m.

It is really nice to see the community coming together to embrace this race. Some of us will be potentially inconvenienced for up to 5 waking hours. Such a sacrifice deserves acknowledgment. Is there something the race organizers can give out? Perhaps some kind of medal akin to those given out to the race finishers?


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

And they won't be any less healthy or get less exercise if they do it somewhere else. What other "exercisers" think they should get to shut down parts of the city to accomodate them? How does that make the exercise healthier or better? It doesn't. It just makes the participants feel entitled and special.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

This is a story about healthy people who exercise. Of course the futon-anchored commenters on this site are going to hate the entire concept. It also has the added benefit of possibly causing a slight inconvenience on the roads they never leave the house to use.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

What's to "embrace"? It's a foot race. Like all the other ones. It's swell that people want to do it, but I don't see why they like it better if it inconveniences people who aren't involved. Why don't they run outside of town? I know it isn't because of the quality of the streets in the city.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:47 a.m.

At least it looks like I can get out of my house that day. Still not a fan of this, but at least some thought has been put into it.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:25 a.m.

Well, for the second year in a row, I can't get out of mine.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:33 a.m.

" He said music won't be played on the course before 7 a.m." Why do you need music at all? And 7 am is still VERY early. But, like most of Ann Arborites, there is an attitude of whatever event YOU are involved in, or whatever event YOU are organizing, is the most important thing.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:17 a.m.

I'm hoping they've changed their policy on allowing these inconsiderate people to blare music at max volume out of 4-foot-tall speakers aimed directly at houses, starting around 4:30 AM. That was some seriously ridiculous and enraging crap.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:42 a.m.

It takes a special kind of person to even consider amplified sound in a city at 4:30 am. A very, very special kind of person. I propose these people consider reconfiguring their event as the Seney Stretch Marathon.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:22 a.m.

...he said, not reading all the way through the article. However, it's enforcement that's key here; I'm POSITIVE that whatever permission these people had, it was not to do what they were actually doing in several places. There's noise and then there's you gotta be kidding me noise, and last marathon was of the 2nd variety. But the police basically ignored calls, saying "they've got a permit." Let's hope the police are a little more responsive to calls this time around if any are made.

Robert Granville

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:15 a.m.

Thanks Highfield. Good to know the area immediately surrounding my house isn't a residential area of significance. Pretty sure there are some well to do folk across Packard in LBP that would wholeheartedly disagree.... as do I. Here's to hoping that the runner's guests are respectful of sleeping residents this time. Can't say I'm optimistic about it.