Expect fewer for Grandma’s MarathonWhether it’s the economy, or an influx of new marathons in Minnesota, things will be different this year at Grandma’s Marathon.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
Whether it’s the economy, or an influx of new marathons in Minnesota, things will be different this year at Grandma’s Marathon.
The full marathon will not meet the limit of 9,500 runners this year, the first time that has happened in 14 years, according to Grandma’s public relations director, Bob Gustafson.
“We expected it to happen,” he said.
Gustafson pointed to new marathons that had good attendance in Stillwater and Minneapolis as possible reasons, as well as the economy.
Many of the runners from the area will compete once again, but the same can not be said for those from the Twin Cities.
Things aren’t all bad for the marathon however.
Both the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and William A. Irvin 5K have record registrations. One change that could have drawn more attendance to the half marathon was an increased prize pool.
What could help the numbers for next year’s full marathon is an early-bird discount on registration for those who register between July 13 and Sept. 7. Registration for the full marathon usually begins in January.
There could be a problem getting some of the top runners this year for the full event.
“Every year we have some runners who aren’t able to make it due to various problems,” Gustafson said, citing visa problems and injuries.
Last year’s winner Lamech Mokono, of Kenya, has had problems with his visa in Nairobi and will probably not participate in this year’s event.
Half marathon winner Matthew Chesang, a native of Kenya, will not participate due to a sprained ankle.