Pre-marathon press conference welcomes elite runners

The Grandmas Marathon pre-race press conferences were held on Friday afternoon at the Garden Event Center in Duluth.

The Elite Women’s press conference began at 2:00PM and included Jane Bareikis, Grace Kahura-Malang and Molly Bookmeyer. The Elite Men’s press conference began at 2:30PM and included Elisha Barno. Kevin Lewis and Tyler Jermann.

“I think I know the course pretty well. I think that helped and I think I’ve learned a lot just from running a couple marathons that haven’t gone so well. So, I think that is what I have learned, and I always love my back to the loop just since the race is always such a fun event,” said Bookmeyer.

Even though the weather for the race has been a big topic of discussion, causing many elite racers to drop out in preparation for the Paris Olympics, many have chosen to brace the rain.

“Honestly, I don’t like winter. It’s not going to be winter tomorrow. So, rain, sunshine, whatever comes with nature, we can’t control it. But we usually don’t like winter. So hopefully it’s not going to be so windy,” said Bareikis

“First of all, I want to say thank you for Grandma’s commitment this year. And tomorrow, I don’t know because of where I see that. That’s just surprising. That’s just advertising that the weather is going to be difficult, so we’re waiting for tomorrow,” said Barno.

Many of the elite runners participating in Grandma’s Marathon also participated in the United States Olympic trials that took place in February down in Orlando Florida. Jermann and Lewis both ran with the Minneapolis Distance Elite for the trials.

“I also had a bad race at the trials, but Dakota did that. It didn’t even matter how poorly we ran. It was just such a win for the whole team. And I mean, the whole Minnesota running community, and we carried them out. But that was like the one I was at. Yeah, it was amazing. It’s cool,” said Jermann.

Elite and Sub-elite Runners will begin tomorrow with the men kicking off at 7:40am and the women following suit at 7:45am. The race will begin just south of Two Harbors on Old Scenic Highway 61.

For more information on Grandma’s Marathon, go to Home – Grandma’s Marathon ( or Grandma’s Marathon –