Up North: A look back at a record riddled 48th annual Grandma’s Marathon

Up North: A look back at a record riddled 48th annual Grandma’s Marathon

Up North: A look back at a record riddled 48th annual Grandma's Marathon

Early Saturday morning in Two Harbors, the horn blew on the 48th annual Grandma’s Marathon. Runners took off in a record field of 7,525 finishers, beating the 2016 record by just seven people.

Click here for WDIO’s Grandma’s Marathon hub.

Battling cloudy and rainy conditions, the first to cross the finish line Saturday would be Olympic qualifier Tebello Ramakongoana. He won the 34th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon with a record setting time of 1:00.17. He broked the previous mark by one minute and five seconds.

“I am happy because I just came here to test my fitness level before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” Ramakongoana said seconds after crossing the finish line.

Then Annie Frisbie would break the women’s half marathon record of 1:09:26 by nearly two minutes. Running at Grandma’s just once before at age 14, this year she would take first place in 1:07.33. Frisbie edged out Minnesota native, and Olympic bound, Dakotah Lindwurm who finished second in 1:08:03.

“I think we’re both feeling really fit right now. Dakotah is in the middle of her Olympic build. She’s one of the hardest workers I know, so for her to come out here and also break the record is amazing. For me, I’m really excited to have broken the record and to have felt so good today,” Frisbie said at the finish line.

“I think a lot of people wonder if there’s a harsh rivalry, if one gets mad when one beats the other, but it’s like rising water floats all boats between us. When she has a good day, it just raises the bar for me to have a good day,” Lindwurm added.

Next to take the stage were the wheelchair athletes. Despite three elite drop outs due to the rain, 21 would still finish.

Part of a four man pack for part of the race, Luis Francisco Sanclemente would pull free to win his first Grandma’s Marathon title in his sixth appearance. His winning time of 1:22:07 would also be a personal record.

Coming in at 1:48:24 Ivonne Reyes Gomez also broke her PR while claiming her second Grandma’s title, last winning in 2021.

Capping off the already historic day would be two more fantastic finishes. In a pack of about nine for much of the race, Elisha Barno made it clear in the final miles that he would be crowned Grandma’s Marathon’s men’s champion for a record sixth time. He finished first in a time of 2:10:55, 31 seconds ahead of second place.

“I am proud of myself for winning Grandma’s six times now. I think it’s the story of my life. I will never forget this,” Barno said at the finish line. “It just started raining I think from 15 mile. I feel like those guys where we run together, they just want to slow the pace and I say ‘let me try to push’.”

Volha ‘Olga’ Mazuronak led the women’s race the whole time. First ahead by 15 seconds, then minutes, she claimed her crown in a course record setting time of 2:23:52, beating Kellyn Taylor’s 2018 mark of 2:24:28. Mazuronak finished over six minutes ahead of second place. The Belarus runner, in the United States as a haven from the war, found happiness in Duluth.

“My country Belarus. Involved in a war in Ukraine. I not start [a race] in three years. My last Marathon, before L.A., the Olympic games. It was a very big time. I lose all.”

In a post race press conference, Mazuronak said she plans to return next year to try and defend her Grandma’s Marathon title.

For full 2024 Grandma’s Marathon results, Click Here.