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Grandma's Marathon Run
Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota

Mary Akor winner of a previous Grandma's Marathon Race
Women's champion Mary Akor heads for the finish line
in the Grandma's Marathon Duluth, Minnesota

(more race photos below)

Typically held the third weekend in June, Grandmas 2023 Marathon Run will celebrate its 47th race. As Dick Beardsley states in the official marathon website, the event is "more than a 26.2-mile race – it’s a celebration of running, live entertainment, fabulous food and activities for the whole family."

- See Photos and Race Results
from the 2017 Grandma's Marathon
grandmas marathon race

Duluth Lodging - Hotels, Motels, B&B

2022 Grandma's Marathon Schedule

June 16 - Health & Fitness Expo
June 17 - Spagetti Dinner, Music in the Big Top, Irvin 5K and Kids Race
June 18th - Full and Half Marathon,
Music in the Big Top

See Marathon Website Link lower down the page.

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Other Duluth & North Shore Festivals

I'm no expert on marathon runs but I would have trouble imaging a more beautiful site and day for a run than we experienced when we covered the 2008 race race. The race starts in just outside of downtown Two Harbors, Mn and then follows the North Shore Scenic Drive (old highway 61) along the lakeshore to the city of Duluth where the course continues near the lake until the Rose Garden where runners then go through downtown Duluth to the old railroad Depot cross the bridge and follow the course to Canal Park where the finish line is on Canal Park Drive by Little Angie Cantena. (see the interactive course map)

In 2008 over 12,000 runners participated in the full (7,103) and half-marathons (5,485). We didn't get a number on the spectators, yet 40,000 wouldn't surprise me at all. At every conceivable point along the 26.2 mile course crowds of people were camped out in lawn chairs, blankets, or just standing cheering on the competitors as they passed. In addition to the two traditional marathon races, there was also a wheelchair marathon that drew 46 entrants and 25 finishers. South Africans Krige Schabert and Ernst Van Dyk finished #1 and #2 with only 2 seconds separating them! Amanda McGrory of Palo Alto, CA was the winner in the women's wheelchair division.

Stoney Point Race Checkpoint

Marathon Race Spectators

Every intersection along the 26.2 mile marathon course drew crowds of spectators like this one near the Stoney Point community along the North Shore Scenic Drive. > > >

Wheelchair Racer Marcelo Ordaz-Cruz

< < < Wheelchair Racer Marcelo Ordaz-Cruz 10 miles out of Two Harbors. He finished #13 overall. Wheelchair racers started 5 minutes ahead of the runners and as they generally race at a faster pace, they have the course to themselves.

Wheelchair Marathon Racers


Wheelchair Racer Gary Debuhr (left) in a tight race at the 10 mile point.

Race Leaders
5 minutes later the pack of runner race leaders appeared. Two of the leaders here, #28 and #23, did not finish the race. #6 is Kenyan Lamech Mokono (running in second place here) who was the eventual overall marathon winner. Fellow Kenyans Benson Cheruiyot (#3) and Cyprian Kiogora (#24) finished third and ninth respectively.

Christopher Raabe of Washington, D.C
Running 35 seconds behind the race leaders at this point, top American finisher Christopher Raabe of Washington, D.C. finished 6th overall.

Ryan Holm of Walker, Michigan

Ryan Holm of Walker, Michigan ended up finishing 25th overall.

Canal Park Race Checkpoint - 26 mile marker

Cyprian Kiogora

One-quarter mile from the finish line, we caught up with Cyprian Kiogora (#9th overall) again as he approached the finish line.

John Mirth of Platteville, Wisconsin

A race official watches as John Mirth of Platteville, Wisconsin makes the turn towards the finish line. John, 46 years old, was the Senior Mens Champion and finished 24th overall.

Duluth Downtown Lakewalk

Wheelchair racer Jacqui Kapinowski finished #3 among female wheelchair racers.

Canal Park Finish Line - 26.2 milesGrandma's Marathon Finish Line Home Stretch

The Home Stretch on Canal Park Drive.

Grandma's Marathon Finish Line

Lots of excitement at the finish line.

Kathleen Monaghan
Duluth favorite daughter Kathleen Monaghan finished #11 overall among women racers and was #3 among women master runners (age 40 and over).

During and After the Race

Massage Tent

Volunteer therapists tend to racers aching muscles and joints in the Medical Tent.

Grandma's Marathon Festival

A festival atmosphere surrounds the race.

Beer Garden
Festival goers in the Beer and Food Garden can keep an eye on the finish line on the mammoth big screen TV.

John Beargrease Race

< < < Country music in the entertainment Tent.

- Go here for our Blog Post with Photos and Race Results
from the 2017 Grandma's Marathon

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