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Grandmas Marathon

Duluth, MN


Race Dates

2018: TBD
2017: Saturday, June 17, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Point to Point
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 61°F (16°C)
Average High: 72°F (22°C)
Average Low: 49° F (9°C)

Historical Weather


PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 98.20
Course Score: 99.32

Race Size

2017: 6,442 Finishers
2016: 7,518 Finishers
2015: 6,077 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: 11.4%
2016: 7.5%
2015: 18.7%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The point-to-point Grandma's Marathon course loses approximately 100 feet of elevation as it runs along Lake Superior. The course travels on Old Highway 61 along the north shore of Lake Superior. The route is mostly flat with some small rolling hills and one significant incline - Lemon Drop Hill - just prior to mile 22.

The start is just outside of Two Harbors, Minnesota and the race finishes in Duluth’s Canal Park.

Although the course is very fast, the typically warm and humid spring weather may slow some runners. However, if the temperature and humidity are less normal on race day, PRs and BQs will be very achievable.


Marathon Rankings

The Grandmas Marathon was the 11th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 11th largest in 2015.

This year 11.4% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 7.5% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Grandmas Marathon the 312th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 64th highest percentage so far in 2017.


Its Course Score of 99.32 ranks it as the 125th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 1st fastest course in Minnesota.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are above the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Grandmas Marathon a PR Score of 98.20. This PR Score ranks it as the 238th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 6th fastest in Minnesota.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.


Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 727 feet (221m)
Min Elevation: 603 feet (183m)

Grandmas




Ratings & Reviews for the Grandmas Marathon

4.9 Stars from 12 Reviews



review of 2017 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

This is just about the most well organized, coordinated marathon I have ever had the pleasure to run. Loved the easy packet pick up, great pre-race dinner, easy transportation to the start, beautiful scenery along Lake Superior and one of the most fabulous finish line parties. Not only was Grandmas team of volunteers organized, they were the most welcoming helpful and friendly group that wanted nothing more than everyone to have fun and be happy. Well done!

Race Tips

This course is rolling - some slight graded, long inclines, but nothing too steep or intimidating. A "hill" at mile 22 seems bigger than it is by the simple fact that it comes at the end. Even pacing would work well here. Expect any kind of weather for Duluth. It was supposed to be 65 and rain and the sun arrived full force on mile 9 and temperatures hovered in mid-70's. It had been 90's the previous days and I've read that it has been close to freezing on other years.This is a course with little to no shade if there is full sun.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

We stayed at a hotel near the finish line, but if you drive in for your packet pick up, there were lines of cars the afternoon before the race to get to the convention center.

There are several hotels near the finish line and all are very walkable. Book early, it all fills up! The spaghetti dinner hosted by Grandmas was delicious.



review of 2017 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

It runs along beautiful Lake Superior. The course is flat and very fast. It's in mid-June which is a beautiful time of year for Duluth, MN. Also it's on a Saturday which makes for great post-race parties!

Race Tips

2017 was mostly 70 and sunny, which is kind of warm for a marathon. 2016 was HOT: 90s and humid. Tip: train in warmer conditions and mentally prepare for the worst.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The race course is just beautiful! How can you beat the view of Lake Superior!

Race Tips

Get hotel and race bib early! Race fills up fast.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Grandmas Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Lake Superior view during all of the race!!!

Race Tips

Great Community Support! !!

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Hotels are booked 1 year in advance.



review of 2016 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The course is very scenic, mostly flat. The race is extremely well organized. Friendly people line the course to cheer on the runners, many providing water, coffee, snacks, and stay until the last runners cross the finish.

Race Tips

Save energy for Lemon Drop Hill (mile 22). Many runners hit a wall at that point of the race.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Book hotel very early, even before registration opens. It is difficult to get rooms marathon weekend. Look for cabins in Two Harbors if you want to be close to the start.



review of 2014 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2014 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Loved the small town feel, the setting is second to none running along Lake Superior. Cool temps, sunny, great crowds. Best marathon I've ever run.

Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2014 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Best medical and support for its size town.

Race Tips

At your pace-refresh frequently and enjoy the scenery.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Reserve early-canal park congested so make specific hook up plans post race-



review of 2014 Grandmas Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Very well organized. Loved how they had the mile markers very visible with super high balloons. Beautiful course! It's not a flat course, but it is a fast course.

Race Tips

It's not a flat course, but it is a fast course. Several inclines but the declines that follow make up for it.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Book your hotel early!!! It's very expensive to fly into Duluth and stay there, so plan ahead or consider flying into Minneapolis.



Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Grandmas Marathon in 3:28:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.