Runners, spectators overtake Detroit streets
They came. They ran. They limped away.
Over 27,000 runners and thousands of spectators paid little attention to frigid temperatures as they overtook downtown Detroit for the 38th Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon Sunday.
Zachary Ornelas, 24, of Ann Arbor was the overall winner of the 26.2-mile race, which began at 7 a.m.
Lyubov Denisova, 44, of Gainesville, Florida, was the top female finisher.
The race also features half marathons in the United States and Windsor, a disability division and a relay.
Husband and wife Carlo and Lisa Emanuele of Grosse Ile ran the half-marathon together. She is training for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January.
Carlo Emanuele, who ran his second Detroit marathon Sunday, had a piece of advice for first-timers: "Don't overthink it. Just have fun."
Faithy Leong traveled across the country to run the half-marathon. The San Francisco resident said her time of 2:04 would have been shorter, but she stopped along the route.
"I snapped pictures of the (Ambassador) bridge and tunnel (to Canada)," she said. "The weather was interesting. I saw snow flurries. And I've never been anywhere where the clouds change so much."
The first wave of finishers limped through downtown, bundled up, many covered in silver wraps meant to hold body heat -- a welcome feature in temperatures that hovered in the 30s and low 40s.
As the first group of runners finished the race, there were no major problems reported Detroit Police Officer Jennifer Moreno said.
"Everything's been pretty smooth so far," Moreno said.
Downtown was gridlocked with people and drivers trying to navigate the barriers and detours along the race route -- and the situation will likely get worse as thousands of Detroit Lions fans pour into downtown to attend the 1 p.m. game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field.
"We don't anticipate any problems, other than the normal Sunday traffic during football games," Moreno said.