To organize, promote and deliver annual events and programs that cultivate running, educational, social and charitable opportunities in our communities.
Grandma’s Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. Grandma’s Marathon is now a self-governed nonprofit organization with a 17-member board of directors. Grandma’s Marathon weekend draws more than 18,000 participants for its three-race event each June.
The race got its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma’s Restaurants, the first major sponsor of the Marathon. Over time, the level of sponsorship with the restaurants changed, but the name stayed the same. Grandma’s Marathon-Duluth, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization with a 17-member Board of Directors and a small, nine-person staff.
The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon runs the same day as Grandma’s Marathon starts on edge of the city limits of all the way to the heart of Duluth. Over 7,500 runners run this popular event each year. Meb Keflezighi holds the men’s course record- 1 hour, 1 minutes, 22 seconds, set in 2013 and Duluth native, Kara Goucher holds the women’s course record- 1 hour, 9 minutes, 46 seconds, set in 2012.