Welcome to spring everyone! 

Like many parts of the country, Duluth had an unusually tame winter, and it is refreshing to see so many runners outdoors this early training for their upcoming racing season.


We officially kicked off our year with our pre-race training seminar, Gearing Up for Grandma's, on March 10 at Essentia Health. Our keynote speaker was Andrew Carlson, who finished sixth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials at the beginning of the year in Houston. Runners received inspiration and training advice from Andrew, local elite runner Katie Koski and other experts in the running field. Topic covered including nutrition tips, race-day medical awareness and shoe advice. I thank everyone who attended and participated, with a special thanks to Essentia Health and the Duluth News Tribune for their continued sponsorship support.


Our racing schedule gets underway when we host the Fitger's 5K on Saturday, April 21. A record field of more than 1,800 will take to the streets of Duluth's downtown and Canal Park, all in support of the Young Athletes Foundation.

Then two short months later, Duluth opens its arms to more than 16,000 runners for the 36th Grandma's Marathon weekend. An exciting new element both this year and next is the USA Half Marathon Championships, which will be decided right here in Duluth. We cannot wait to host the country's top male and female half marathoners here in the Twin Ports contending for national championships.


For now, I wish you safe and successful training and we'll see you on June 16!


Scott Keenan
Executive Director
Grandma's Marathon







If you're planning to run in the 36th edition of Grandma's Marathon and you haven't yet registered, sign up soon to secure your spot in the race and save money on your entry fee. Beginning April 1 (no foolin'), the current fee of $90 will increase to $100.


More than 6,000 runners have already registered for the 2012 event. The 36th running of the Two Harbors-to-Duluth race is set for Saturday, June 16 at 7:45 a.m. The 2012 marathon is limited to the first 10,000 participants.    


As Minnesota's leading financial services provider, Wells Fargo has enjoyed being a part of the tradition and community excitement associated with Grandma's Marathon, and supporting its growth over the years. Once again, Wells Fargo is a presenting sponsor for "Duluth's favorite event." The world-class marathon with small-town charm has become one of Minnesota's most anticipated events and Wells Fargo is proud to be in its 27th consecutive year as a supporter.


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As a Minnesota-based company, Grandma's Marathon is a natural fit for Great Clips. "Great Clips is proud to be a part of this state's strong history of successful businesses," explains Terri Miller, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "Much like Grandma's Marathon has grown to be one of the largest marathons in the United States, Great Clips has grown to be the world's largest salon brand with over 3,000 locations across North America. We are pleased that our success makes it possible to help support Grandma's Marathon, a long-standing Minnesota tradition." 

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Delta is proud to be a major sponsor and the official airline of Grandma's Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the William A. Irvin 5K! Delta is excited and proud to be able to support our many employees who will participate in this year's races. The first American male and female finishers of Grandma's Marathon will each win a pair of Delta tickets and watch out for this year's Delta Runway to the World contest, where 100 randomly selected runners will be entered for the chance to win a pair of Delta tickets!

Essentia Health dietitian offers nutrition tips for marathon runners


Whether you are gearing up for a training run or refueling after a big race, your nutritional choices can have an impact on your performance and your health.

Heather Pitschka, a dietitian with Essentia Health who specializes in performance nutrition, says it's never a good idea to try new and different foods right before a race. Stick with what you're used to, she says.


Ask any runner what goes into a successful training regimen, and they'll tell you a healthy diet is as important to race day success as their daily workouts. In short, you have to put good stuff in to get good results out.

Ask a Country Hearth baker what goes into the delicious, nutritious breads you find on your grocer's shelves, and the same statement holds true. It takes a variety of healthy, natural ingredients - like whole grains, and natural sweeteners such as honey, molasses, and raisin juice - to produce the great "results" that make Country Hearth the bread of choice across the upper Midwest.

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With Grandma's Marathon weekend approaching quickly, there's no better time to get you and your co-workers signed up for the Grandma's Marathon Corporate Team Challenge. To promote some additional competition for the runners in your office, gather a team of fellow coworkers to participate in the Grandma's Marathon or Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Corporate Team Challenge. All you need is at least three people, one being a female and one over the age of 35, and you are ready to begin. Delegate one captain to register your company's participants before June 1, to optimize the ultimate team experience.

When an event such as Grandma's Marathon takes place for 36 consecutive years, many things are inevitable. Among them - great races, great stories and great traditions.

For Grandma's Marathon, no other part of the annual race weekend has evolved into a tradition quite like the Michelina's� All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner.


Once the runners have made their journey down the shore, it's time for another valuable crew to hit the course.

Assembling at the Two Harbors starting line area, a team of Nordic Waste employees begins the process of collecting the waste and recyclable materials that were utilized on race day. Volunteers at the course's 15 aid stations gather and organize the garbage and recyclables, which are then in turn picked up by the Nordic Waste crews making their "clean sweep" of the course.


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Thousands of Grandma's Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon finishers have Upper Lakes Foods to thank for providing them with replenishing food at the finish line. From bananas to yogurt and much more in between, the finish area is stocked with food to provide post-race refreshments for each runner.