Jam-packed Weekend Planned for Grandma's Marathon

Updated: June 11, 2018 11:04 AM

Marathon runners around the US and even around the world are gearing up for the 42nd annual Grandma's Marathon this weekend. 55 countries and all 50 states are being represented in this years race. Marketing and Public Relations Director for the marathon, Mandi Peterson, stopped by GMN Monday morning to give a quick rundown of some of the major events going on in Duluth this weekend.

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Thursday marks the start of the Essentia Health and Fitness Expo at the DECC. Around 100 vendors will be on hand with the latest technology and information about staying fit. Both runners and non-runners could benefit from attending.

"Maybe you're just thinking about getting into running or you just like to be active," Peterson says. "You can go check it out, there's lots going on."

On Friday, the expo continues and a number of races are also set to take place. The first of the day is includes the "Whipper Snapper" races, with registration beginning at noon and the races starting at 2 p.m.

"They kick off with a mascot race, and so it's really fun for the kids to come out and not only race themselves, but they get to watch all these mascots come together and have a race of their own," Peterson explains.

Those fun races are followed by the William A. Irvin 5k run beginning at 6 p.m.

"It really does truly kick off race weekend," she says. "It's fun because then people can go and pick up their race packets, check out some of the kids races or the 5k, and get a preview of what's to come the next day."

All of this leads up to the two main events: The 28th annual Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon and the full marathon.

Click here for all spectator information you need such as tracking runners, where to park, and more.

"I would recommend spectators to do a little research ahead of time," Peterson says. "Since the course has changed, there's going to be some areas that people might usually gravitate towards that we advise them to go to some different areas."

There's also a full weekend of entertainment planned that includes Sugar Ray. Click here for a full line-up.

Friday, June 15 -  Gates Open at 7:00 p.m.

  • Belfast Cowboys
  • Sugar Ray
  • Big Wave Dave and The Ripples

Saturday, June 16 – Morning/Afternoon - FREE admission – Open to all ages! Gates Open at 9:00 a.m.

  • Rock-A-Billy Revue
  • Lake City Smokin’ Section
  • Viva Knievel

Saturday Evening, June 16 - Tickets are $10 – Ages 21+. Gates Open at 7:00 p.m.

  • Big Wave Dave and The Ripples
  • Viva Knievel
  • Devon Worley Band

WDIO will be streaming the 2018 Grandma's Marathon LIVE beginning at 6:15 a.m. Watch on, the WDIO mobile app, and other digital platforms.

Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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