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.
1,000-foot Laker Freed After Being Stuck near Bayfront Park
A laker ran aground near Bayfront Park in Duluth. Right before 4 p.m., the 1,000-foot laker got stuck right near shore. The laker was finally freed, with the help of two tug boats, at around 7 p.m.
Judge Rejects Minn. Plan for Disability Reforms
A federal judge has rejected a state plan to reduce the segregation of people with disabilities, saying it was too vague and lacked measurable goals.
A Special Feat for a Very Special Athlete: Superior Man Earns Black Belt
Brandon Moe has been training in Karate Taekwondo since he was a little boy. Saturday, he went for his first degree black belt, a proud moment for his mother who said complications at his birth didn't guarantee he'd be here today.
"Walk a Mile in Our Shoes" Raises Money for Steps Center
We all know that getting enough exercise is an important factor in staying healthy, but on Saturday, the annual "Walk a Mile In Our Shoes" event also raised thousands of dollars for the Steps Center.
Winds Keep Hot Air Balloons Down... Again.
Kites and hot air balloons were in Bayfront Festival Park on Saturday, but unfortunately, that wind grounded the balloons for a second year in a row. They're hoping to try for another balloon launch on Sunday.