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 dollars 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]

The 40th annual race in 2016 set a record for the largest number of finishers at 7,522.[13] 2016 also saw a record number of female finishers at 3,742, just short of the men's total at 3,780.[14]

Past winners[edit]

Key:   Course record   American championship race

Edition Date Men's Winner Time
Women's Winner Time
1st 1977-06-25  Garry Bjorklund (USA) 2:21:54  Wendy Hovland (USA) 3:23:39
2nd 1978-06-24  Barney Klecker (USA) 2:18:42  Cheryl Westrum (USA) 2:57:14
3rd 1979-06-23  Ricky Wilde (ENG) 2:14:44  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:37:37
4th 1980-06-21  Garry Bjorklund (USA) 2:10:20  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:38:35
5th 1981-06-20  Dick Beardsley (USA) 2:09:37  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:29:35.5
6th 1982-06-19  Dick Beardsley (USA) 2:14:50  Janice Ettle (USA) 2:41:21
7th 1983-06-11  Gerry Helme (ENG) 2:12:10  Jenny Spangler (USA) 2:33:52
8th 1984-06-16  Derek Stevens (ENG) 2:12:41  Anne Hird (USA) 2:37:30
9th 1985-06-15  Don Norman (USA) 2:11:08  Susan Stone (CAN) 2:39:45
10th 1986-06-21  Joseph Kipsang (KEN) 2:12:53  Karlene Herrell (USA) 2:38:45
11th 1987-06-20  Dan Schlesinger (USA) 2:16:00  Janis Klecker (USA) 2:36:12
12th 1988-06-11  Armando Azocar (VEN) 2:20:07  Jacqueline Gareau (CAN) 2:43:27
13th 1989-06-17  Doug Kurtis (USA) 2:16:49  Louise Mohanna (USA) 2:39:50
14th 1990-06-23  Igor Braskavski (URS) 2:18:12  Jane Welzel (USA) 2:33:25
15th 1991-06-22  Driss Dacha (MAR) 2:13:59  Janice Ettle (USA) 2:35:27
16th 1992-06-20  Roy Dooney (IRL) 2:13:25  Jane Welzel (USA) 2:33:01
17th 1993-06-19  Doug Kurtis (USA) 2:16:38  Lorraine Hochella (USA) 2:34:46
18th 1994-06-18  Donald Johns (USA) 2:18:19  Linda Somers (USA) 2:33:42
19th 1995-06-17  Mark Curp (USA) 2:15:23  Irina Bogachova (KGZ) 2:34:11
20th 1996-06-22  Patrick Muturi (KEN) 2:13:43  Mary Alico (USA) 2:32:42
21st 1997-06-21  Patrick Muturi (KEN) 2:15:44  Irina Bogachova (KGZ) 2:38:44
22nd 1998-06-20  Simon Peter (TAN) 2:12:47  Elena Plastinina (UKR) 2:35:46
23rd 1999-06-19  Andrew Musuva (KEN) 2:13:22  Elena Makalova (BLR) 2:29:13
24th 2000-06-17  Pavel Andreyev (RUS) 2:14:31  Svetlana Şepelev-Tcaci (MDA) 2:33:53
25th 2001-06-16  Benjamin Matolo (KEN) 2:14:25  Lyubov Belavina (RUS) 2:35:13
26th 2002-06-22  Elly Rono (KEN) 2:10:57  Zinaida Semenova (RUS) 2:32:21
27th 2003-06-21  Joseph Kamau (KEN) 2:11:22  Firiya Sultanova (RUS) 2:27:05
28th 2004-06-19  Vladimir Tyamchik (BLR) 2:17:59  Firiya Sultanova (RUS) 2:35:08
29th 2005-06-18  Wesley Ngetich (KEN) 2:13:18  Halina Karnatsevich (BLR) [15] 2:28:43
30th 2006-06-17  Sergey Lukin (RUS) 2:14:30  Svetlana Nekhorosh (UKR) 2:37:33
31st 2007-06-16  Wesley Ngetich (KEN) 2:15:55  Mary Akor (USA) 2:35:40
32nd 2008-06-21  Lamech Mokono (KEN) 2:13:39  Mary Akor (USA) 2:38:50
33rd 2009-06-20  Christopher Raabe (USA) 2:15:13  Mary Akor (USA) 2:36:52
34th 2010-06-19  Philemon Kemboi (KEN) 2:15:44  Buzunesh Deba (ETH) 2:31:35
35th 2011-06-19  Christopher Kipyego (KEN) 2:12:16  Yihunlish Delelecha (ETH) 2:30:39
36th 2012-06-16  Berhanu Girma (ETH) 2:12:24  Everlyne Lagat (KEN) 2:33:13
37th 2013-06-22  Bazu Worku (ETH) 2:11:12  Sarah Kiptoo (KEN) 2:26:32
38th 2014-06-21  Dominic Ondoro (KEN) 2:09:06  Pasca Myers (KEN) 2:33:45
39th 2015-06-20  Elisha Barno (KEN) 2:10:36  Jane Kibii (KEN) 2:32:06
40th 2016-06-18  Elisha Barno (KEN) 2:11:26  Sarah Kiptoo (KEN) 2:33:28
41st 2017-06-17  Elisha Barno (KEN) 2:12:06  Hellen Jepkurgat (KEN) 2:32:09
42nd 2018-06-16  Elisha Barno (KEN) 2:10:06  Kellyn Taylor (USA) 2:24:28

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grandma's Marathon :: Races - Grandma's Marathon
  2. ^ Grandma's Marathon :: Other Info - History
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^
  6. ^ Grandma's Marathon :: Races - Races for Kids
  7. ^ "Grandma's Marathon Sees Decline In Participants". KBJR TV, Inc. May 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
  8. ^ "Grandma's runs short of entrants". Star Tribune. June 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
  9. ^ "For some, Grandma's Marathon is the deal of a lifetime".
  10. ^ Gaffe at finish line leads to photo finish at Grandma's Marathon. InFormum (2011-06-19). Retrieved on 2011-06-19.
  11. ^ "Trafeh, Nelson win USA Half Marathon championships". June 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "Grandma's Marathon 2014 Registration Opens July 2, 2013".
  13. ^ "Grandma's Marathon 2016 results".
  14. ^ "Historical results for Grandma's Marathon".
  15. ^ Disqualified for post-race testing of an illegal substance.

External links[edit]