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Posted on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Ann Arbor marathon set to take place in June

By Ryan J. Stanton

What's believed to be Ann Arbor's first-ever marathon is set to happen on June 17, and money raised from the event will support local schools.

The Ann Arbor City Council took action Tuesday night to support closing several streets for the event, which takes place on a Sunday and winds throughout the city.

The sponsor, Champions for Charity, is raising money through the 26-mile run for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation.

The race is scheduled to begin at 6:45 a.m. and end by 1 p.m. with setup and street closures starting at 6 a.m.

The event has support from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber, Ann Arbor Main Street BIZ and the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The marathon has a registration limit of 2,500 participants, while a corresponding half-marathon has a cap of 5,000 runners.

According to the plan approved by the city, marathoners will start on Main Street at Keech Avenue and head north toward downtown, turn right on Liberty Street, right on State Street, left on North University to the crosswalk by the bus station there, left to a pedestrian bridge, right on Observatory, left on Geddes and north on Huron Parkway to Plymouth Road.

From there, they'll turn around and head back south, turning right on Hubbard and left on Hayward toward Murfin Avenue before turning around and heading back east, turning right on Hubbard, right on Huron Parkway, right on Fuller Road, left into Gallup Park and then proceeding over a wooden bridge and turning left onto a trail heading east.

After continuing under the Huron Parkway bridge, runners will turn around on Gallup Park Road and head back west back under the Huron Parkway bridge and over a wooden bridge to Fuller Road. They'll head left on Fuller Road, left on Fuller Court behind the VA Hospital, left on Fuller Road again, left on East Medical Center Drive and then left on Nichols Drive to pass through Nichols Arboretum to the Ronald McDonald House and Washington Heights.

From there, they'll go left on the sidewalk along Observatory and back across the Central Campus Recreation Building bridge, turning left on North University and right on Washtenaw to Stadium Boulevard before turning around and heading back to South University.

After taking a left on South University, they'll turn left on State, left on Granger, right on Park Place, right on Henry, left on State, right on Eisenhower to Briarwood Mall, left on Market Place, right on Mall Drive, left on Briarwood Circle, left on Mall Drive, left on Marketplace, left on Eisenhower, right on South Main to the Main Street/Ann Arbor-Saline Road intersection, and then right on Main to Huron Street before turning around and heading back to Madison.

From there, they'll go left on Madison and right on Fifth Avenue to end up on the 50-yard line at Elbel Field, completing their 26-mile journey.

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.



Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Remind me to be out-of-town.


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

to be more constructive: - utilize more of the B2B on the course route. this is a small race, i've done others that run the course through parks and converted rail tracks. with few spectators, a scenic route is often all you have to keep you going. - if this is a fundraiser for A2 public schools, why not incorporate some schools along the route as aid stations - start at Pioneer, end at Huron High, but have people park their cars at Huron and bus them to the start at Pioneer - starting so early on a Sunday, utilize the low traffic and run the beginning miles from Pioneer through downtown, then to B2B with finish at Huron - along the Huron River is the flattest part of Ann Arbor, use as much as possible, with one or two "heartbreak hills" to get in or out of the Huron Valley surrounding the river - as many have commented, Briarwood should not be a part of this course at all - hold the race beginning of November. Yes, there's football to contend with, but the students are back, and a late race may appeal to those that don't/didn't get into the big three of Chicago/DC/NYC.


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

i agree with all - even with the improved course, no way would i choose to run this. hopefully, at least the idea sticks, and improvements with timing and course can be made with each race. i think it's a good first effort, but I'm already registered for Detroit, and honestly - the course looks dreary.


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

I agree with many of the others - bad timing (weather-wise and in relation to the Dexter/A2 run) and awful course. Run around Briarwood Mall?


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

The date is awfully close to the DXA2 run which I believe is 2 weeks prior to this. Might be better next year to move it to the fall, but not too close to the Detorit Marathon in October. Hope the weather doesn't get too hot for those participating.

sun runner

Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

This is a serious gamble, weather-wise. I'm apprehensive about the Dexter-Ann Arbor Half and that's two weeks earlier. The 2011 edition of Dx-A2 was uncomfortably warm and humid...what might happen two weeks further into June? I wanted to be excited about this race, I really did. But when I saw the course map, my first reaction was, "are you kidding me?" The trip around Briarwood Mall is the most pointless thing ever, especially at mile 22 when a lot of folks are going to be entering what I call "the pain cave." Plodding through the parking lot at the mall isn't going to do much for late-in-the-race motivation. I'm in no shape to run a full marathon right now, hence my running the Dx-A2 half on June 3. I might end up running the half marathon option at this race as final prep for a 200-mile relay race I'll be doing in Vermont a week later. Despite the wonky course, I think it would be fun to run around a city I know well.


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

Should have planned for the fall. There's barely enough time for people to train for this. Also, I must be a visual person because my head was spinning from the route description. I'm glad there's a map - much easier to understand the route.

Andrea Zastrow

Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

The route looks a lot like the Stadium Bridge detour.


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

There is already the a2-dexter race that month. Bad timing. Not to many runners will do both. Good luck though.

Lisa Dengiz

Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

What a fantastic way to support the fine efforts of the AAPS Foundation!


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

Good idea, but bad time of year, bad course, and bad timing compared to other local races. No thanks.


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

There is a reason most marathons are run in early spring and late autumn - heat. Good luck and good weather to those that choose to run it in June.


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

Now that is a good point!