Up North: Fitger's 5K drives runner's love for racing | www.WDIO.com

Up North: Fitger's 5K drives runner's love for racing

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: April 21, 2021 10:57 PM
Created: April 19, 2021 10:24 PM

It's never too late to return to something you love. After stepping away from racing for about 18 years one Bemidji man started hitting the pavement in numerous Grandma's Marathon events. When this year's Fitger's 5k opened in-person registration Jesse Prince made sure to nab a spot.

"I mean, can you beat this?," Prince said while at Saturday's race. "Whenever you're running and you have this kind of view and this kind of weather, its perfect."

Jesse Prince however didn't make the drive from Bemidji to Duluth on Saturday to smell the roses. He was there to compete in the Fitger's 5K, a race the birth of his second son inspired him to enter.

"I had gained about 60 pounds so I started running then," Prince said. "After a couple of years it was going good and then I really started to train a lot more and get competitive in it."

As he gets older Prince said he has one simple go, to keep getting faster.

"It's been working pretty well so far."

Prince took third place overall with a time of 17:06, just seven seconds behind the 2021 champion.

The field of about 900 in-person runners ran in waves starting near the Kitchi Gammi Club and finishing on the Lakewalk in front of the Fitger's complex.

"We're excited next year to be back closer to our original course on Superior Street in downtown Duluth, but in the meantime a modified course on the Lakewalk on a beautiful Saturday morning is not too shabby," said Zach Schneider, the public relations and marketing director for Grandma's Marathon.

The 32nd annual event marked the biggest Grandma's Marathon race since the pandemic started.

Organizers plan to use similar techniques from the Fitger's 5K, including the rolling start, for the full marathon in June. 

Schneider said, "after this, it's all eyes toward the marathon."

Grandma's full and half marathons are set for June 19th. 


Alicia Tipcke

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