Grandma’s Marathon Activities | CANCELLED

Message from Grandma’s Marathon:

This is not the news that we wanted to be sharing with our running community, but after very careful deliberation, we have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Grandma’s Marathon Race Weekend of events. The staff and board of Grandma’s Marathon along with our medical and public agency leaders believe this is the responsible action to take in an effort to keep everyone safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and not take valuable resources away from our local health system. The health and safety of our participants, volunteers, sponsors, spectators, staff and community remains our top priority. We know this news is very disappointing, and all of us at Grandma’s Marathon feel the same, but we know that this is for the best.

We are extremely grateful for all of our faithful supporters during this unprecedented and challenging time. Heading into our 44th annual race weekend, we have never had to cancel Grandma’s Marathon so we ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate these new waters. Taking into account all of the planning and preparation that is coordinated within our organization and with our partners in the community, unfortunately, postponement is not a viable option. As a small, Minnesota Nonprofit organization with the assistance of our sponsors and community, we pride ourselves on hosting a world-class event with small-town charm each and every year. In order to preserve our ability to continue to provide the Grandma’s Marathon experience to the running community for years to come, we must uphold our no refund and no deferment policy. The time and effort that goes into planning for race weekend are well underway, and a significant portion of our expenditures have already occurred and are irreversible.

We understand that the majority of our participants are well into their training programs with their sights set on crossing the finish line in Duluth on June 20. While that will no longer be possible, we want to recognize all of the time, effort and commitment that you have already put forth by providing the following to currently registered participants:

  • 2020 Virtual Race:  You will be automatically entered into the virtual version of your race. All you need to do is run your race wherever you want, whenever you want while following the safety measures that have been laid out by your local government regarding COVID-19. The Virtual Submission Platform provided by Mtec Results will open on May 4. An email will be sent to you in early May with a link to your personal results page on the Virtual Submission Platform where you can download an official Race Bib, upload your time, and view/download an official Finisher Certificate. The deadline for submitting your Virtual Result is July 31. All finishers who upload their result to the Virtual Submission Platform will earn their finisher shirt and medal. These items will be available in August 2020 to pick-up (locations TBA) or we’ll ship them to you
  • 2021 Race Discount: We will provide a 20% discount toward the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend Race of your choice: Grandma’s Marathon, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon or William A. Irvin 5K. Your promo code and instructions for redeeming the discount will be emailed to you in September 2020. Those who received complimentary 2020 entries do not qualify for the 2021 discount.
  • Donation: As we are a Minnesota Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status, your registration has been converted to a donation, which will enable you to claim the entry fee you paid as a tax write-off. Tax receipts will be issued between April 13 and May 13. In addition, if you choose to contribute your discount by not using the promo code that will be sent to you in September, please know that your donation will help ensure that our organization can continue to provide a world-class experience to the running community for years to come.
  • Sponsor Rewards: We are working with our committed team of sponsors to provide a worthwhile variety of discounts and rewards to 2020 registrants as an additional thank you for your support. Details about these items will be emailed periodically to participants.

By making this difficult decision to announce the cancellation now, we hope to relieve some of the pressure that you are feeling during this stressful time of uncertainty. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Please keep in mind that the current situation is frustrating and scary for everybody, our staff included. Again we ask for your continued patience, understanding and kindness as we all work through these unprecedented times together.

Looking ahead, we sincerely hope you are able to celebrate our 45th Anniversary Race Weekend with us next year on June 18-19, 2021! The anniversary weekend will provide a merited occasion to be grateful that we partake in a sport that endures all circumstances. A sport that will come back from this crisis even stronger – because together we are stronger.

Thank you,
Grandma’s Marathon Staff

Grandma’s Marathon & Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Race Packet Pickup
Thursday, June 18 | 4 PM to 8 PM
Friday, June 19 | 10 AM to 11 PM
Location: Paulucci Hall

William A. Irvin 5K Race Packet Pickup
Thursday, June 18 | 4 PM to 8 PM
Friday, June 19 | 10 AM to 5 PM
Location: Paulucci Hall

Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner
Time: 11 AM to 9 PM, Friday, June 19
Location: Pioneer Hall at the DECC
Cost: $14 for adults, $7 for kids ages 5 – 12 and children 4 and under eat for free
Tickets can be purchased in advance through or by calling 218-727-0947. Tickets will also be available at the event. All presold tickets will be held in your name at the door.

Essentia Health Fitness Expo
Location: DECC Arena
4 PM to 8 PM, Thursday, June 18
10 AM to 9 PM, Friday, June 19
Admission: Free

For more information,