Updated: June 17, 2021 10:43 PM
Created: June 17, 2021 03:23 PM
The Essentia Health Fitness Expo officially kicked off the 45th annual Grandma's Marathon weekend Thursday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center’s Pioneer Hall.
More than 50 vendors are on hand for the free two day event that is open from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 17 and from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, June 18.
Participants can also pick up their race packets at the Expo.
Bobbie Lyons, who'll be running the marathon with friends attended the Expo Thursday, said she's happy that things were returning to normal this year.
"We are super excited. Last year was really difficult," said Lyons, "We all ran in separate states, so that was hard, but we're excited to be back and to do this all together."
Elena Oslund, who came up from Texas, said she'll be using the Grandma's Half-Marathon to help her get the cobwebs off after not being able to run in a major event in more than a year.
"I know I'm a little bit rusty. Its been a little over a year," she said, "I ran the Austin marathon and came second and so I'm trying to get into the Olympic trials. I'm running the half just to break the ice. Its a good cause, people are very supportive, so we'll see."
This year’s expo has a slightly different layout than in years past to help allow for appropriate social distancing.
"We're working with more than double the space of a typical year," Registration & Expo Director Laura Bergen said, "so that will allow our attendees to still have a great experience while also feeling as safe and as comfortable as possible. It's just a great feeling to be back after a year away, and we're excited to once again share our event and our community with our participants and their families and friends."
More information can be found here.
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