No, the 2014 Grandma's Marathon isn't the place to see a field comprised entirely of senior citizens running about 26 miles in the middle of Minnesota.
It is, however, the race for you if you're interested in watching a field of competitors persevere through a long but beautifully scenic course through the city of Duluth.
Below is everything you'll need to know about the marathon. If you need information on the route, course map, times, dates or places to live stream the event, you'll find it here.
Times, Dates, Live Stream
The race can be seen online. Mix 108's Nick Cooper provided his Twitter followers with a link to the live stream:
WEBC 560 to Broadcast Grandma's Marathon 2014, Including Live Internet Stream http://t.co/KVFdTTXMpZ— Nick Cooper (@nickcooperonair) June 18, 2014
Below is a full race schedule.
|Friday, June 20|
|Whipper Snapper Races||2 p.m.|
|William A. Irvin 5K||6 p.m.|
|Saturday, June 21|
|Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon||6:15 a.m.|
|Grandma's Marathon||7:45 a.m.|
The route is beautiful, and the race's official website breaks it down:
Grandma's Marathon is a point-to-point course run on scenic Old Highway 61 along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior. The race begins just outside of Two Harbors, Minnesota and finishes in Duluth’s Canal Park. Grandma's Marathon is ideal for first time participants as the terrain is relatively flat with some gently rolling hills and a larger incline just before mile 22.
We'll have to see if the inexperienced racers can handle the route, even if the rolling hills and relatively flat ground cater to first-time participants.
An interactive course map can be found here, courtesy of GrandmasMarathon.com.
I know the question on everyone's mind. Why is this race called "Grandma's Marathon?"
In 1977, Grandma's Marathon got its start. Just 150 runners participated that year, but the field quickly grew after the course and the event gained notoriety. The event's first major sponsor happened to be a group of famous Grandma's restaurants based in Duluth—hence the name.
Each June, the event now hosts over 17,000 participants as a nonprofit organization, via the race's official site.
Over 120 "elite" athletes participate each June, and the top 10 finishers receive a small payout after the event. Below is how the prize money breaks down:
Last year, the conditions were wet and rainy. This year, the conditions figure to be the same. Cooper provided a forecast breakdown for Saturday's main event as well as Friday's William A. Irvin 5K.
Despite the rain, history was made in last year's event. Kenya's Sarah Kiptoo ran a 2:26:32, beating the previous mark of 2:27:05 (2003, Fira Sultanova). The 23-year-old won a total of $20,000 and a new Toyota for her exploits.
Last year's men's winner, Bazu Worku, ran the fifth-fastest race in event history. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line, posting a time of 2:11:14. Overall, 5,613 of the 5,763 runners finished the race.
Who will win this year's event? Will Kiptoo and Worku make it back-to-back titles in this competitive event? Tune in Saturday to check it out.