Grandma's Marathon

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The official race logo

Grandma's Marathon is an annual road race held each June in Duluth, Minnesota, in the United States. The course runs point-to-point from the town of Two Harbors on Scenic Route 61 and continues along Lake Superior into the city of Duluth. The finish is located in Canal Park, near Grandma's Restaurant, which is next to the highly visible Aerial Lift Bridge.[1]

Race history[edit]

Grandma's was first run in 1977 with only 150 participants; the first race was won by Minnesotan and 1976 Olympic 10000m runner Garry Bjorklund. The newly opened Grandma's Restaurant was the only local business that would sponsor the then-fledgling event, for the fee of $600. Race organizers then named the new race after the restaurant. Grandma's Marathon is now run by almost 10,000 runners every year, has nearly a $2 million operating budget and is credited with bringing tens of millions of tourist money into the city of Duluth.[2]

The men's record time for Grandma's is 2:09:06, set in 2014 by Dominic Ondoro of Kenya.[3] [4] The previous record of 2:09:37, set in 1981 by Wayzata, Minnesota native Dick Beardsley stood for 33 years before being broken. The women's record time is 2:26:31, set in 2013 by Sarah Kiptoo.[5] In 2005, Halina Karnatsevich was the first finisher with a time of 2:33:39 but she was later disqualified for failing her post-race doping test.

Grandma's includes several other running events in addition to the full marathon. These include the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, the William A. Irvin 5k, the Fitger's 5k, the Park Point 5 Miler, and the Grandma's Minnesota Mile, as well as several "whipper snapper" races for kids.[6]

2009 was the first time in 15 years that all of the 9,500 available spots were not filled, leading to a deficit in the race budget. Executive director Scott Keenan suggested that the economy was the main reason for the downturn in participants.[7][8] Lifetime entries were offered in 1987 (for $100) and again in 1990 (for $125) to help increase the number of runners entering the race.[9]

The 35th edition of the marathon in 2011 had its first photo-finish: eventual winner Christopher Kipyego mistook the electronic timing mat for the finish point and prematurely stopped, leading to an impromptu sprint finish against Teklu Deneke. Just two tenths of a second ended up separating the pair.[10]

The 37th running of the race in 2013 saw the first time that more people registered for the Bjorklund Half Marathon than Grandma's Marathon. There were 7,835 registered for the Bjorklund Half Marathon but only 7,338 people registered for Grandma's Marathon.[11][12]

Past winners[edit]

Key:       Course record       American championship race

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Edition Date Men's Winner Time
(h:m:s)
Women's Winner Time
(h:m:s)
1st 25-06-1977  Garry Bjorklund (USA) 2:21:54  Wendy Hovland (USA) 3:23:39
2nd 24-06-1978  Barney Klecker (USA) 2:18:42  Cheryl Westrum (USA) 2:57:14
3rd 23-06-1979  Ricky Wilde (ENG) 2:14:44  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:37:37
4th 21-06-1980  Garry Bjorklund (USA) 2:10:20  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:38:35
5th 20-06-1981  Dick Beardsley (USA) 2:09:37  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:29:35.5
6th 19-06-1982  Dick Beardsley (USA) 2:14:50  Janice Ettle (USA) 2:41:21
7th 11-06-1983  Gerry Helme (ENG) 2:12:10  Jenni Spangler (USA) 2:33:52
8th 16-06-1984  Derek Stevens (ENG) 2:12:41  Anne Hird (USA) 2:37:30
9th 15-06-1985  Don Norman (USA) 2:11:08  Susan Stone (CAN) 2:39:45
10th 21-06-1986  Joseph Kipsang (KEN) 2:12:53  Karlene Herrell (USA) 2:38:45
11th 20-06-1987  Dan Schlesinger (USA) 2:16:00  Janis Klecker (USA) 2:36:12
12th 11-06-1988  Armando Azocar (VEN) 2:20:07  Jacqueline Gareau (CAN) 2:43:27
13th 17-06-1989  Doug Kurtis (USA) 2:16:49  Louise Mohanna (USA) 2:39:50
14th 23-06-1990  Igor Braskavski (URS) 2:18:12  Jane Welzel (USA) 2:33:25
15th 22-06-1991  Driss Dacha (MAR) 2:13:59  Janice Ettle (USA) 2:35:27
16th 20-06-1992  Roy Dooney (IRL) 2:13:25  Jane Welzel (USA) 2:33:01
17th 19-06-1993  Doug Kurtis (USA) 2:16:38  Lorraine Hochella (USA) 2:34:46
18th 18-06-1994  Donald Johns (USA) 2:18:19  Linda Somers (USA) 2:33:42
19th 17-06-1995  Mark Curp (USA) 2:15:23  Irina Bogachova (KGZ) 2:34:11
20th 22-06-1996  Patrick Muturi (KEN) 2:13:43  Mary Alico (USA) 2:32:42
21st 21-06-1997  Patrick Muturi (KEN) 2:15:44  Irina Bogachova (KGZ) 2:38:44
22nd 20-06-1998  Simon Peter (TAN) 2:12:47  Elena Plastinina (UKR) 2:35:46
23rd 19-06-1999  Andrew Musuva (KEN) 2:13:22  Elena Makalova (BLR) 2:29:13
24th 17-06-2000  Pavel Andreyev (RUS) 2:14:31  Svetlana Şepelev-Tcaci (MDA) 2:33:53
25th 16-06-2001  Benjamin Matolo (KEN) 2:14:25  Lyubov Belavina (RUS) 2:35:13
26th 22-06-2002  Elly Rono (KEN) 2:10:57  Zinaida Semenova (RUS) 2:32:21
27th 21-06-2003  Joseph Kamau (KEN) 2:11:22  Firiya Sultanova (RUS) 2:27:05
28th 19-06-2004  Vladimir Tyamchik (BLR) 2:17:59  Firiya Sultanova (RUS) 2:35:08
29th 18-06-2005  Wesley Ngetich (KEN) 2:13:18  Halina Karnatsevich (BLR) [13] 2:28:43
30th 17-06-2006  Sergey Lukin (RUS) 2:14:30  Svetlana Nekhorosh (UKR) 2:37:33
31st 16-06-2007  Wesley Ngetich (KEN) 2:15:55  Mary Akor (USA) 2:35:40
32nd 21-06-2008  Lamech Mokono (KEN) 2:13:39  Mary Akor (USA) 2:38:50
33rd 20-06-2009  Christopher Raabe (USA) 2:15:13  Mary Akor (USA) 2:36:52
34th 19-06-2010  Philemon Kemboi (KEN) 2:15:44  Buzunesh Deba (ETH) 2:31:35
35th 19-06-2011  Christopher Kipyego (KEN) 2:12:16  Yihunlish Delelecha (ETH) 2:30:39
36th 16-06-2012  Berhanu Girma (ETH) 2:12:24  Everlyne Lagat (KEN) 2:33:13
37th 22-06-2013  Bazu Worku (ETH) 2:11:12  Sarah Kiptoo (KEN) 2:26:32
38th 21-06-2014  Dominic Ondoro (KEN) 2:09:06  Pasca Myers (KEN) 2:33:45