Updated: 06/20/2014 3:12 PM
Created: 06/19/2014 9:37 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
Months of training and hours of running all leads up to this weekend. It's the 38th Annual Grandma's Marathon and runners from all over the world are already converging on the Northland.
But before runners can take that first stride across the starting line, they have to head down to the DECC to pick up their race packets.
This year, under new leadership, Grandma's has made a few tweaks. Executive director Jon Carlson explained if runners signed up early enough, their bib not only has a number, but a name, too.
"Oh, nice! It has our names on them!" said runner Heather Syring as she checked out her bib.
Carlson said adding the name makes it easier for spectators to personally cheer on the runners.
And when it comes to race day, the spectators can make all the difference.
"Basically I like to try to find him at different points of the marathon so that way he'll see me. It's good for him to see me when it gets kind of tough," said Christine DeLand about cheering for her husband running the marathon.
Carlson said they've also simplified the timing chips. The chips used to attach to the runner's shoe. Now, the chips are part of the bibs, attached on the back.
"You just have it as one package, it's all put together and makes it a lot easier for you," he said.
The bibs may show a few changes, but runners still come in droves for a race full of tradition and a little fresh air.
"It's a nice environment, nice town, love Lake Superior," said runner Carl DeLand.
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