Martian Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Saturday, April 9, 2016 • Dearborn, MI • Course Map

Dearborn’s Martian Invasion of Races — which features a full marathon, 10K and 5K in addition to its half marathon — may not have the absolute oddest or strangest inspiration for a road race out there, but it’s certainly got one of the most “interesting” stories around its genesis of any race we’ve ever heard of.

Set to mark its 14th annual running this year, the race has already become one of the state’s most popular races, drawing nearly 4,000 runners and walkers to the full, half and kids’ marathons in each of the last few years — including more than 1,800 runners in the half marathon alone in the last couple of years.

The race gets its name — including a pair of races called the Meteor 10K and 5K — from observing the movements of the planets in the solar system. As the timing of planetary orbiting would have it, Earth passes Mars in its orbit around the sun within two hours of the official starting time for the race, in every other year.

So as our planet makes its way around the sun over 12 months, we lap our closest neighbor Mars every two years, which of course is reason enough to organize a marathon running around, isn’t it?!

The race has certainly garnered the attention of spectators and participants, who come decked out for the occasion with “Martian” clothes and toys, and no doubt enjoy the big green Martian-style mile markers spread throughout the out-and-back course, which features a mix of hills and flat stretches that begin in Ford Park, near the edge of the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus.

From there, the course takes runners on a loop around the university grounds and on an out-and-back trek along Edward Hines Drive, following through the tree-lined roads and pathways of Lower and Middle Rouge Parkway as well as Warrendale Park, and just past Dearborn’s Warren Valley Golf Club.

The turnaround point is near the intersection with North Inkster Road, where runners (and walkers) will then begin the second half of the route back to the campus.

Race Weather & Climate

Located in southern Michigan in the western suburbs of the Detroit metro area, Dearborn Heights tends to see occasionally mild but often still quite cold weather conditions in the mid-spring, with fairly plentiful rain.

On race day (April 9), the average low is 38ºF and the average high is 61ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Martian Invasion of Races Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 7:15 AM – full marathon
  • 8:00 AM – 10K, 5K
  • 8:45 AM – half marathon


  • $54 for the half marathon, if registered by February 24, 2016
  • $54 between February 25 – April 7 at noon
  • $75 after noon April 7


Registration for the Martian Invasion of Races is not yet open. To reserve your spot in any of the race distances at the 2016 running of Dearborn Heights’s Martian Invasion of Races, check the event website here.

Official Race Website

Facebook Conversations

Ever run in the Martian Invasion of Races? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: April, Michigan

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