Grandma's Marathon

Grandma's Marathon

 
4.1 (5 reviews)

Duluth, MN
June 17, 2017

Grandma's Marathon is a point-to-point course run along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior. The 26.2-mile stretch begins on scenic Old Highway 61, just outside Two Harbors, Minnesota and finishes in Duluth's Canal Park. Enthusiastic volunteers, spectators and live entertainers line the streets to cheer runners on as they stride to the finish line.

Race Reviews: 5
Overall Rating:
 
4.1
Course:
 
3.5
Organization:
 
4.6
Value:
 
4.3
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Reviews
I found the course scenic and enjoyable, but more difficult than I had expected. First, even though the net elevation change is negative, there are many rolling hills along the way (watch out quads!). The banking of the curved roads (if you want to run a tangent line) put added pressure on the insides of my feet creating some pain. And the late start (90 minutes after the half start time) made the sun and heat a significant factor. I don't care if I catch some slow half runners - start the full race at 6:15 or 6:30 a.m. On the plus side, it is a beautiful run, and if you are not seeking a PR, it would be extremely enjoyable. The aid stations were plentiful and very well stocked; the volunteers and community are friendly; the convention is well organized; and the town is awesome! The hotels are expensive, so I stayed at the UW Superior dorm and the busses take runners right to the start line - very convenient!
Overall Rating:
 
3.8
Course:
 
3.0
Organization:
 
4.5
Value:
 
4.0
Reviewed by J. Hauber on 6/20/2017
Racing Experience: 5 - 10 Marathons
Location: Westfield, IN

Review: I found the course scenic and enjoyable, but more difficult than I had expected. First, even though the net elevation change is negative, there are many rolling hills along the way (watch out quads!). The banking of the curved roads (if you want to run a tangent line) put added pressure on the insides of my feet creating some pain. And the late start (90 minutes after the half start time) made the sun and heat a significant factor. I don't care if I catch some slow half runners - start the full race at 6:15 or 6:30 a.m. On the plus side, it is a beautiful run, and if you are not seeking a PR, it would be extremely enjoyable. The aid stations were plentiful and very well stocked; the volunteers and community are friendly; the convention is well organized; and the town is awesome! The hotels are expensive, so I stayed at the UW Superior dorm and the busses take runners right to the start line - very convenient!

This marked my 37th marathon (on my goal to 50) and I couldn't have been more happy with the race logistics. Duluth brings a small-town feel, but the race organization was top-notch. The course is a neat point-to-point along Lake Superior on Hwy 61. I really enjoyed the 'low-key'ness of the race and professionalism from the volunteers. The aid stations were all well-stocked and the course was surprising mostly flat. I didn't PR myself, but I could easily see people going for a BQ up here. Go for it!
Overall Rating:
 
4.5
Course:
 
4.0
Organization:
 
4.5
Value:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Jill Watkins on 6/23/2014
Racing Experience: 20+ Marathons
Location: Charlotte, NC

Review: This marked my 37th marathon (on my goal to 50) and I couldn't have been more happy with the race logistics. Duluth brings a small-town feel, but the race organization was top-notch. The course is a neat point-to-point along Lake Superior on Hwy 61. I really enjoyed the 'low-key'ness of the race and professionalism from the volunteers. The aid stations were all well-stocked and the course was surprising mostly flat. I didn't PR myself, but I could easily see people going for a BQ up here. Go for it!

Pro's:
-Scenic 'midwest' course -- great mix of lake/wooded area with Duluth as the finish
-Cool expo
-Cool T
-Spectators
Con's:
-Congestion at the start line
-Expensive hotels
-Highly variable weather
Overall Rating:
 
4.7
Course:
 
4.5
Organization:
 
5.0
Value:
 
4.5
Reviewed by Brad Cole on 5/27/2014
Racing Experience: 10 - 20 Marathons
Location: Fargo, ND

Review: Pro's:
-Scenic 'midwest' course -- great mix of lake/wooded area with Duluth as the finish
-Cool expo
-Cool T
-Spectators
Con's:
-Congestion at the start line
-Expensive hotels
-Highly variable weather

As other reviewers have pointed out, the hotel costs are absolutely absurd. It's too bad because Duluth is a great town with many sites.

Regarding the course itself, it is long and boring.. It's point to point from Two Harbors to Duluth on one road.
Overall Rating:
 
3.5
Course:
 
2.0
Organization:
 
4.5
Value:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Mudder Man on 4/16/2014
Racing Experience: 10 - 20 Marathons
Location: Madison, WI

Review: As other reviewers have pointed out, the hotel costs are absolutely absurd. It's too bad because Duluth is a great town with many sites.

Regarding the course itself, it is long and boring.. It's point to point from Two Harbors to Duluth on one road.

I typically do this race when I get tried of the Twin Cities marathon hustle. It's extremely refreshing to head up to Duluth and be a part of a well organized and 'smaller' marathon. Duluth never disappoints with its great hospitality and outstanding scenery. I'll admit that the first 2/3rds of the race is a little dull and lack spectators, but once you reach Duluth, it all lights up. And the volunteers are absolutely phenomenal --- races would be nothing without them.

Overall, Grandma's is a top-notch race and a true gem of the upper midwest."
Overall Rating:
 
4.2
Course:
 
4.0
Organization:
 
4.5
Value:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Tim S. on 3/5/2014
Racing Experience: 10 - 20 Marathons
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Review: I typically do this race when I get tried of the Twin Cities marathon hustle. It's extremely refreshing to head up to Duluth and be a part of a well organized and 'smaller' marathon. Duluth never disappoints with its great hospitality and outstanding scenery. I'll admit that the first 2/3rds of the race is a little dull and lack spectators, but once you reach Duluth, it all lights up. And the volunteers are absolutely phenomenal --- races would be nothing without them.

Overall, Grandma's is a top-notch race and a true gem of the upper midwest."

Elevation Profile


Course Vitals

Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 400 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 2.50
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

Gender Distribution


Total Number of Participants: 7,500

Finishing Times

Age Distribution

Boston & NYC Qualifiers

Total Qualifiers:

Boston 564

New York 232

 

Percentage of Total Finishers:

Boston 7.5%

New York 3.1%


Note: Data based off of 2016 race results