Updated: June 21, 2021 04:13 PM
Created: June 20, 2021 04:43 PM
Thousands of people ran this year's Grandma's Marathon—each with a unique story of their own.
For Kristi Bergstrom of Roseau, running the marathon meant honoring her son Pierce, who was tragically killed by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle in North Dakota last year.
“He was a very authentic kid. He lived his life to the fullest. He lived unapologetically. He was never afraid to try anything and he succeeded at pretty much everything he tried,” Bergstrom said.
Bergstrom said one of the many things Pierce tried and succeeded at was Grandma's Marathon. They ran the full marathon together in 2018 and 2019.
This year, she decided to keep the tradition going—training even on her toughest days.
“I've done many training runs full on balling, but I definitely know that he's with me. I can feel him,” Bergstrom said.
Bergstrom finished the marathon Saturday in just over five and a half hours with Pierce in mind every step of the way. Her husband and her youngest son were there to cheer her on.
“Everyone is really supportive and really encouraging,” Bergstrom said.
Bergstrom has no plans of stopping. She hopes to continue running the rest of her life in her son’s memory.
“I always knew my son was a very special young man and I always was so proud to talk about him to anybody, as I am with my other three children, but I was amazed after his passing how many people he touched and how many people admired him—even older people,” Bergstrom said. "So many people showed up at his funeral and said what a wonderful friend he was, a wonderful student and its nice still to hear all those words."
In December of last year, Pierce was given a posthumous degree in mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University. He was 12 credits away from graduating at the time that he was killed.