Grandma's Marathon: Schedule of events/Where to watchGrandma's Marathon weekend is packed full of excitement.
Thursday, June 18
- The SMDC Health System Health & Fitness Expo will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. at the DECC. There will be many different informational booths on products available to athletes.
Friday, June 19
- The fitness expo will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the DECC.
- Guest speakers will be in the DECC’s Edmund Fitzgerald Hall. They are free and open to the public.
Those speakers include:
1 p.m.: Scott Douglas, writer for Running Times Magazine
2 p.m.: Carrie Tollefson, 2004 1500-meter Olympian.
3 p.m.: Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1984 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist
4 p.m.: Dick Beardsley, Grandma’s Marathon course record holder
- The Whipper Snapper Races will begin at 2 p.m. with registration at noon in Bayfront Festival Park. It is for kids ages 14 and younger.
- The William A. Irvin 5K will begin at 6 p.m. at the DECC.
- Michelina’s Spaghetti Dinner will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the DECC’s Pioneer Hall. Cost is $12 for adults, $6 for kids between ages 5-12. Kids under the age of 4 eat free.
- The Root City Band will start at 8 p.m. in the Big Top Tent in Canal Park.
They will be followed by Christy Love & You Know Who, along with headliner GB Leighton who will perform at 11:30 p.m.
The Friday evening shows include an $8 cover charge and are limited to those 21 years of age and older.
Saturday, June 20
- The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon will begin at 6:30 a.m. at Lakeview Castle.
- The wheelchair marathon will start at 7:25 a.m.
- Grandma’s Marathon begins at 7:30 a.m.
- There will be live entertainment beginning at 11:30 a.m. featuring the band Jacked in the Big Top Tent. The Root City Band will be back on stage at 1 p.m. followed by Christy Love & You Know Who. GB Leighton will play at 4 p.m. to close out the afternoon lineup.
The Afternoon show is free and open to the public
- The awards ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in the DECC’s Lake Superior Ballroom.
- Live entertainment will continue with the Root City Band at 8 p.m. followed by Christy Love & You Know Who. GB Leighton will be the final performer at 11:30 p.m.
The Saturday evening shows include an $8 cover charge and are limited to those 21 years of age and older.
Where to watch
Over the years, countless residents have watched or participated in Grandma’s Marathon. For those of you who are new to the event, here’s a quick rundown of suggested places to watch.
The first half marathon finisher is expected at 7:35 a.m. while the first wheelchair winner is expected in at 8:55 a.m. The first full marathon competitor should cross the finish line at around 9:40 a.m.
Spectators should not try to watch competitors at the start of the race as there isn’t any spectator parking.
Some of the better places to watch the event are the access roads that enter on to Scenic 61. Some of the access roads available include the Homestead, Ryan, McQuade and Lakewood roads. It is also suggested to watch the event in Knife River.
London Road and Superior Street in Duluth are good well-known locations to spectate.
The finish line in Canal Park is another hot-bed for marathon running watchers. It is suggested to park in the DECC parking ramp no later than 7:15 a.m. if you are interested in watching the event in that location.
For more information on the 2009 schedule of events for Grandma’s Marathon weekend, visit www.grandmasmarathon.com.