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New Course Record at Grandma's Marathon

Updated: 06/25/2014 11:01 PM
Created: 06/25/2014 10:58 PM WDIO.com
By: Eyewitness Sports

Duluth, Minn. - Another Grandma's weekend has come and gone and thousands of spectators lined the 26.2 mile stretch between Two Harbors and Canal Park last Saturday and cheered on the thousands of runners on the course.

For the second straight year, a course record was set. This year, the fastest course record was set.

Every elite runner who has competed at Grandma's has tried to knock off Dick Beardsley's all-time course mark of 2:09:37, which he set back in 1981. It is something he has dealt with each time he has returned.

"When I drove into Duluth, in fact when I checked into the hotel, one of the folks at the check-in asked me, do you think this is the year they are going to break your record," said Beardsley.

The race began and like every year, at first it doesn't seem likely, but as the miles passed and the pace picked up - a new course record became more of a reality. At 2:09:06, Dominic Ondoro of Kenya made Grandma's Marathon history by smashing the long time course record by 31 seconds. "So happy. They get me excited to go and I was so happy," said Ondoro.

"At 19.5 miles, Dominic threw in a surge. There were eight guys together at that point and he just blew them way immediately, and I thought, ok, that is good," said Beardsley.

Distance running isn't for everybody, so when a Minnesotan holds the record for over three decades, moving on won't be easy. "Listen, it has been 33 years and I couldn't be prouder - I'm not getting emotional because of this, I'm getting emotional just being a Minnesota kid and being part of my favorite race in the world and Duluth is like my second home town," said Beardsley.

Over the years, Grandma's has attracted some of the world's best runners and a new course record may just add to the popularity.

"What happens is the word gets out that this is the place to set a personal record and by knowing that people like the elite athletes set a course record, others say, hey this is the place to do it," said Jon Carlson, Executive Director for Grandma's Marathon.

Dominic Ondoro of Kenya set a course record for Grandma's Marathon with a time of 2:09:06.

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