Grandma's Marathon will stay at half-capacity

Updated: January 14, 2021 10:12 PM
Created: January 13, 2021 04:38 PM

Grandma's Marathon organizers announced Thursday that the 2021 race weekend will remain at half-capacity due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registration for the 45th Annual Grandma’s Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and the William A. Irvin 5K began last fall at half-capacity with hopes that conditions would improve to allow more spots. However, race organizers now say their local health partners believe that keeping the events at half-capacity will give them the best chance of being able to go forward as scheduled.

"As badly as we wanted to increase our in-person capacity," Executive Director Shane Bauer said, "we understand the importance of developing a COVID-modified race plan that can be approved by the state and executed as safely as possible for those who have already registered. Zeroing in on the expected number of participants was an important step in continuing our planning process."

About 10,000 people are expected for the Grandma's Marathon weekend events on June 17, 18, and 19.

“While the race is still more than five months away, we can’t set the table until we know how many are invited for dinner,” Medical Director Dr. Ben Nelson said. “We would be wise to expect that we’ll be continuing our safety precautions come June, which will almost certainly preclude hosting a full-scale Grandma’s Marathon weekend."

Runners who still want to participate can run races virtually or run as a fundraiser for a charity partner. More information about charity partners is available at



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