Grandma's Marathon Logo
|Date||June 20, 2020|
|Location||Two Harbors, Minnesota to Duluth, Minnesota|
|Primary sponsor||Grandma's Restaurant and others|
|Course records||Men: 2:09:06 (2014) |
Women: 2:24:28 (2018)
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 city 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.
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.
The men's record time for Grandma's is 2:09:06, set in 2014 by Dominic Ondoro of Kenya. 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 2:24:28, set in 2018 by Kellyn Taylor. 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.
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. Lifetime entries were offered in 1987 (for $100) and again in 1990 (for $125) to help increase the number of runners entering the race.
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.
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.
What started in 1977 as a single race has grown to a weekend of running events hosted by the Grandma's Marathon organization.
Thursday starts the health expo at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Races begin Friday, kicked off with Whipper Snapper races for kids at Bayfront Festival Park, followed by the William A. Irving 5K, which was first run in 1994. The race is named after the Great Lakes oar boat docked in the slip at the canal; the course starts at the stern, circles the canal area and finishes at the bow. Nearly 2,000 runners participate.
Early Saturday morning, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, kicks off, sending more than 7,000 runners south on Scenic Route 61 to Duluth. The half marathon was first run in 1991 and has since eclipsed the marathon in participation by a few hundred runners. The race starts near the Talmadge River. 
The full marathon begins an hour after the half marathon starts.
Throughout the rest of the year, the Grandma's Marathon organization runs other races, such as the Fitger's 5k, the Park Point 5 Miler, and the Grandma's Minnesota Mile.
Key: Course record American championship race
|1||1977-06-25||Garry Bjorklund (USA)||2:21:54||Wendy Hovland (USA)||3:23:39|
|2||1978-06-24||Barney Klecker (USA)||2:18:42||Cheryl Westrum (USA)||2:57:14|
|3||1979-06-23||Ricky Wilde (ENG)||2:14:44||Lorraine Moller (NZL)||2:37:37|
|4||1980-06-21||Garry Bjorklund (USA)||2:10:20||Lorraine Moller (NZL)||2:38:35|
|5||1981-06-20||Dick Beardsley (USA)||2:09:37||Lorraine Moller (NZL)||2:29:35.5|
|6||1982-06-19||Dick Beardsley (USA)||2:14:50||Janice Ettle (USA)||2:41:21|
|7||1983-06-11||Gerry Helme (ENG)||2:12:10||Jenny Spangler (USA)||2:33:52|
|8||1984-06-16||Derek Stevens (ENG)||2:12:41||Anne Hird (USA)||2:37:30|
|9||1985-06-15||Don Norman (USA)||2:11:08||Susan Stone (CAN)||2:39:45|
|10||1986-06-21||Joseph Kipsang (KEN)||2:12:53||Karlene Herrell (USA)||2:38:45|
|11||1987-06-20||Dan Schlesinger (USA)||2:16:00||Janis Klecker (USA)||2:36:12|
|12||1988-06-11||Armando Azocar (VEN)||2:20:07||Jacqueline Gareau (CAN)||2:43:27|
|13||1989-06-17||Doug Kurtis (USA)||2:16:49||Louise Mohanna (USA)||2:39:50|
|14||1990-06-23||Igor Braskavski (URS)||2:18:12||Jane Welzel (USA)||2:33:25|
|15||1991-06-22||Driss Dacha (MAR)||2:13:59||Janice Ettle (USA)||2:35:27|
|16||1992-06-20||Roy Dooney (IRL)||2:13:25||Jane Welzel (USA)||2:33:01|
|17||1993-06-19||Doug Kurtis (USA)||2:16:38||Lorraine Hochella (USA)||2:34:46|
|18||1994-06-18||Donald Johns (USA)||2:18:19||Linda Somers (USA)||2:33:42|
|19||1995-06-17||Mark Curp (USA)||2:15:23||Irina Bogachova (KGZ)||2:34:11|
|20||1996-06-22||Patrick Muturi (KEN)||2:13:43||Mary Alico (USA)||2:32:42|
|21||1997-06-21||Patrick Muturi (KEN)||2:15:44||Irina Bogachova (KGZ)||2:38:44|
|22||1998-06-20||Simon Peter (TAN)||2:12:47||Elena Plastinina (UKR)||2:35:46|
|23||1999-06-19||Andrew Musuva (KEN)||2:13:22||Elena Makalova (BLR)||2:29:13|
|24||2000-06-17||Pavel Andreyev (RUS)||2:14:31||Svetlana Şepelev-Tcaci (MDA)||2:33:53|
|25||2001-06-16||Benjamin Matolo (KEN)||2:14:25||Lyubov Belavina (RUS)||2:35:13|
|26||2002-06-22||Elly Rono (KEN)||2:10:57||Zinaida Semenova (RUS)||2:32:21|
|27||2003-06-21||Joseph Kamau (KEN)||2:11:22||Firiya Sultanova (RUS)||2:27:05|
|28||2004-06-19||Vladimir Tyamchik (BLR)||2:17:59||Firiya Sultanova (RUS)||2:35:08|
|29||2005-06-18||Wesley Ngetich (KEN)||2:13:18||Halina Karnatsevich (BLR) ||2:28:43|
|30||2006-06-17||Sergey Lukin (RUS)||2:14:30||Svetlana Nekhorosh (UKR)||2:37:33|
|31||2007-06-16||Wesley Ngetich (KEN)||2:15:55||Mary Akor (USA)||2:35:40|
|32||2008-06-21||Lamech Mokono (KEN)||2:13:39||Mary Akor (USA)||2:38:50|
|33||2009-06-20||Christopher Raabe (USA)||2:15:13||Mary Akor (USA)||2:36:52|
|34||2010-06-19||Philemon Kemboi (KEN)||2:15:44||Buzunesh Deba (ETH)||2:31:35|
|35||2011-06-19||Christopher Kipyego (KEN)||2:12:16||Yihunlish Delelecha (ETH)||2:30:39|
|36||2012-06-16||Berhanu Girma (ETH)||2:12:24||Everlyne Lagat (KEN)||2:33:13|
|37||2013-06-22||Bazu Worku (ETH)||2:11:12||Sarah Kiptoo (KEN)||2:26:32|
|38||2014-06-21||Dominic Ondoro (KEN)||2:09:06||Pasca Myers (KEN)||2:33:45|
|39||2015-06-20||Elisha Barno (KEN)||2:10:36||Jane Kibii (KEN)||2:32:06|
|40||2016-06-18||Elisha Barno (KEN)||2:11:26||Sarah Kiptoo (KEN)||2:33:28|
|41||2017-06-17||Elisha Barno (KEN)||2:12:06||Hellen Jepkurgat (KEN)||2:32:09|
|42||2018-06-16||Elisha Barno (KEN)||2:10:06||Kellyn Taylor (USA)||2:24:28|
|42||2019-06-22||Boniface Kongin (KEN)||2:11:56||Nell Rojas (USA)||2:28:06|
- "Grandma's Marathon :: Races - Grandma's Marathon". Archived from the original on 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
- "Grandma's Marathon :: Other Info - History". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
- "Grandma's Marathon Sees Decline In Participants". KBJR TV, Inc. May 28, 2009. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- "Grandma's runs short of entrants". Star Tribune. June 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- "For some, Grandma's Marathon is the deal of a lifetime".
- Gaffe at finish line leads to photo finish at Grandma's Marathon. InFormum (2011-06-19). Retrieved on 2011-06-19.
- "Trafeh, Nelson win USA Half Marathon championships". June 22, 2013.
- "Grandma's Marathon 2014 Registration Opens July 2, 2013".
- "Grandma's Marathon 2016 results".
- "Historical results for Grandma's Marathon".
- St. George, Louis (June 17, 2016). "40 years of history and counting: Grandma's Marathon has had plenty of notable moments during its long run". Sports: Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
- "Grandma's Marathon :: Races - Races for Kids". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
- Disqualified for post-race testing of an illegal substance.
- Jack Moran & Malcolm Heyworth (2010-06-20). Grandma's Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2011-06-19.