First-Ever Wedding Ceremony Will Occur at the 2018 Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon 10/21

First-Ever Wedding Ceremony Will Occur at the 2018 Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon 10/21

What: For the first time ever, the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon will be the site of a wedding. The engaged couple will stop halfway through their full 26.2 mile marathon race (at mile marker 13.1) where family, friends and other marathon runners will gather as they exchange their wedding vows prior to finishing the marathon.

Who: Grand Rapids area residents Whitney Black, 31, and Steven Phillips, 33, began their journey to the Detroit Marathon as the culmination of healing after Whitney’s 20 surgeries following a car accident 14 years ago where she was told she wouldn’t walk again. After years of physical therapy and learning to walk again she met Steven who encouraged her to begin training. Then while training for a race, Whitney was hit again by an automobile which required another surgery to heal. By the time the first accident happened, Whitney had just a few months prior suffered the loss of her brother; then just last week her father, an avid cheerleader of his daughter’s running and recovery, passed away suddenly. In addition, just 8 years ago Steven weighed over 300 pounds and found that running helped him get his health on track and has since become physically fit. This will be his 14th marathon race.

Why: After the proposal, the couple decided they didn’t want a traditional wedding and since they share a passion for running they decided the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon would make a perfect destination wedding.

How: Whitney and Steve have written their vows for a ceremony that will be approximately 5 – 7 mins long (to keep muscles ready for the remainder of the marathon). The wedding will be complete with a ring bearer, witnesses, an officiant and members of the Grand Rapids Gazelle Sports Run Camp. The bride-to-be will wear a visor with a wedding veil, along with an athletic shirt that reads “Something Borrowed Something Blue at Mile 13.1 We’ll Say I Do”. The groom-to-be will wear a tuxedo shirt.

When: Sunday, October 21, 2018 at approximately 9:55 a.m., depending upon when they start their race and their overall pace.

Where: The couple will marry just past the 13.1 mile marker point, near Congress and Woodward Ave.

About the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon:

The Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon is Michigan’s largest road race and the only race to cross international borders twice. From the new runner to the more seasoned marathoner, there is a race for everyone. Participants can join the competitive 1-Mile, 5K or Meijer Kids Fun Run on Saturday, October 20, or the Full Marathon, International Half-Marathon, U.S.-Only Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay on Sunday, October 21. This year is the 41st running of the event. Visit us to learn more about the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon.


The Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon is owned and produced by produces a number of premier events in Metro Detroit, including the Freep Film Festival, the Wine & Food Experience, Detroit Free Press/Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Top 10 Takeover, The Detroit News Dish & Design Series, Top Workplaces and The Detroit Free Press High School Sports Awards. also manages the business operations of The Detroit News under the terms of a federal Joint Operating Agreement.

Lindsey Jenn

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