Grandma’s Goal: Record field in 2011

I wanted to share this story from the Duluth News Tribune. It talks about next year’s race, which sounds pretty exciting if they can attract runners back. They’ll be going for a record number of marathoners for the race’s 35th anniversary.

Grandma’s has big plans for 2011
By Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune

Executive director Scott Keenan isn’t making any predictions, but he’d like to see a record field of 10,000 runners for the 35th Grandma’s Marathon on June 18, 2011.

Although the 2010 race was less than 24 hours old Sunday morning, Keenan already was looking toward next year’s anniversary run from Two Harbors to Canal Park. Registration begins in 11 days on July 1, when the organization unveils a new website design at

“We’re going to do our best to make it a celebration and people are going to want to be part of this race,” Keenan said.

In 2008, Grandma’s Marathon had a record number of entries with 9,888. That dropped to 8,377 in 2009 and 7,387 on Saturday. Fewer runners were due, in part, to three straight warm-weather races.

It was in the 60s for much of Saturday with significant cloud cover. Gusty westerly winds were the only drawback.

“The weather was favorable and that helped everything else go pretty good all the way around,” Keenan said. “There is such tremendous hospitality in this community from the race volunteers and the fans, that I’m hoping runners will be back in bigger numbers next year.”

Grandma’s Marathon will be offering carrying bags and water bottles to entrants for 2011. The entry fee is $80 through Sept. 30, with increases through May 31, 2011.

The accompanying Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon will choose 5,000 entries from a lottery Feb. 26, 2011. Registration for the lottery is online Feb. 14-25. With the addition of elite runners, the half-marathon had 6,876 entries this year, while another 2,400 applications didn’t get into the lottery. Keenan expects to have about 7,000 runners in the 2011 half-marathon.

3 thoughts on “Grandma’s Goal: Record field in 2011

  1. Would be nice to run, but it’s a total ripoff for what the hotels are charging. I can run races in bigger cities and not be ripped off there because in Duluth, you have a few hotel choices and they totally rip you off. Not doing Grandma’s ever again.

  2. I’d run it again – did it back in 2001. The thing keeping me away is the steep increase in the hotel pricing that weekend. If the race/city/hotels could get together and offer a fair rate I’d be back in a hearbeat.

  3. I love Grandma’s. I didn’t run this year because of family commitments – my son’s graduation party! I ran my 2nd fastest marathon there, a 3:39, back in 2002 when I was 41-years-old.

    Most years since have been very warm, and frankly, I’m tired of the high hotel costs. Now that there are other options nearby for late spring/early summer marathons Duluth will have to re-think the gouging of their marathoning visitors or they will not be filling the field any time soon.

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