Runner takes on Grandma's Marathon for Ronald McDonald House |

Runner takes on Grandma's Marathon for Ronald McDonald House

Baihly Warfield
Updated: June 15, 2021 09:38 PM
Created: June 15, 2021 08:07 PM

Some people run marathons to win, some run for fun, and some do it for a cause. 

Grandma's Marathon has strong partnerships with local charities, and that's how Warren McGuire found himself with a bib for the 45th running. 

"The goal of 2021 was to run a marathon," McGuire said. 

He ran a half marathon during COVID-19 and enjoyed the training process so much he decided to attempt a full. Originally, he was looking at fall races. But then he and his wife found out their second child would be joining them in October. 

"I've heard so many great things about Grandma's Marathon. But then I saw it was full and was it on or was it not on, and I kind of had this panic attack that it wasn't going to happen," he said. "But I thought, let fate take over. Let's see if I can even get in somehow."

Being a "newbie" to the marathon scene, he didn't know much about the charitable partners. But as soon as he saw the Ronald McDonald House Northland on the list, he knew that's who he wanted to run for. 

"I was like, this is perfect. Like what a sign," he said.

His 9-month-old Madeline was born two months early and spent 40 days in the NICU.

"So being in the NICU, you get a firsthand experience of how Ronald McDonald House helps a lot of families," McGuire said. 

He and his wife only lived about 4 miles from the hospital, so they didn't need a place to stay. But for families with sick kids who aren't that close, Ronald McDonald House provides a home base, meals, and support. The Duluth house opened in February. 

"In about a day, it costs -- if I were to put a value on it -- about $135 per family that goes toward supporting them for staying at the house," RMH Program Manager Tara Gallagher said. 

McGuire wanted to be part of that. He committed to raising $1,000 but blew past that goal in about 15 minutes. So he raised it to $3,000 and has surpassed that number too. 

Gallagher said the money might go toward helping them expand or offering new programs. 

"Not only is it a huge personal accomplishment for them to be able to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles alone, but then they're also putting all of those hours, all of those early mornings, all of those very strict diets toward supporting Ronald McDonald House families," she said. 

For McGuire, it was the perfect combination of two important parts of his life. 

"When my daughter went into the NICU, I decided it would be a really cool tribute to her to run -- she was born 3 lbs, 9 oz. -- and so I thought it would be really cool to run 3.9 miles a day for every day that she was in the NICU," he said. 

His mileage has increased since then. On Saturday, not only will he hit his 26.2-mile goal, but he will bless other families with every step. 

To support his efforts, click here. 


Baihly Warfield

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