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Grandma’s Marathon

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by Gail Clifford MD (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and photographer traveling the world, often following my daughter. Visit our site at and follow us on Instagram @ABLETravelPhoto
Grandma's Marathon, Duluth, Minnesota, Qualifying Run for Boston Marathon
Signs Sprout Up All Over Town

While most of the rest of the United States battles horrible heat waves, the gentle cool breezes coming off Lake Superior make Duluth's Grandma's Marathon Saturday, June 18th, one of the great events of the year.

Sold out with 9,000 registrants, Grandma's Marathon, running from Two Harbors, MN to Duluth's Canal Park, is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon.

Started 45 years ago by a group of local North Shore runners, the first race was only 150 people running behind a lead truck with local traffic pulling off to shout "What are you doing?" and shocked by the response, "Running to Duluth!" It's grown quickly.

Grandma's Marathon, Hospitality Sign, Room, Hotel, Marathon, event
Local Hotels Staff Hospitality Rooms For the Runners

Local hotels are so full it's difficult for regular travellers to get their regular suites. I've got to move three times this trip so that I can keep my typical kitchen hotel for the majority of my trip. It's festive amongst the crowds and many realize that taking the stairs is much preferable to waiting for the elevator ... and good exercise, too.

A special treat for people that enjoy trains, Ken Buehler of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum says this is the only marathon in the world where you can take a train to the starting line.

There are also spectator trains, just be sure to sign up early. They make a special point of never missing the beginning, or end, of the race.

Grandma's Marathon, Duluth, Minnesota, Qualifying Run for Boston Marathon
Welcome to Grandma's Marathon. You'll Enjoy the Party.

Next year's race is scheduled for June 22, 2024 ... mark it on your calendar and get your application in now!
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Where: Two Harbors to Duluth, MN
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