Gearing Up for Grandma’s

Gear Up & Get Going

Looking for advice on injury prevention or optimal nutrition to fuel your body? Need some inspiration to keep you going as the mileage increases? Find all that and more at our Gearing Up for Grandma’s training seminar!

For the first time ever, we LIVE streamed this event, sharing it with runners across the country and around the world.  If you missed out, you can still catch it right here!

Gearing Up Part I  Gearing Up Part II

Gearing Up for Grandma’s Speakers

Dr. Ben Nelson, M.D. Orthopedics & Sports Medicine


Ben-NelsonDr. Ben Nelson is the Grandma’s Marathon medical director and an orthopedic and sports medicine physician at Essentia Health. He joined Essentia Health in the summer of 2008. This June’s Grandma’s Marathon will be his seventh as the race’s medical director. Dr. Nelson completed his medical school training at the University of Minnesota’s Duluth and Twin Cities campuses.  He did his family practice residency through the U of M at North Memorial Hospital, and completed his primary care sports medicine fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Dr. Ben’s Quick Tip

“Most marathon training injuries occur when increasing intensity too much, too soon, or too fast.  Many race-day injuries are the result of under-training.  Following and completing a formal marathon training program can help prevent both types of injuries.”

Amanda Joyce, MS, RD, LD


Amanda-JoyceAmanda Joyce is a registered dietitian at Essentia Health.  Her interest in nutrition began when she started running competitively as a high school student.  She later ran competitively at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a track and cross country athlete.  She completed a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and a master’s degree in nutritional sciences during her time at UW-Madison.  After graduating, Amanda began to run recreational events and started running longer distance events.  She has enjoyed participating in Grandma’s full and half marathon events.  She will share some evidence-based tips for improving your performance in endurance events and will also discuss her experience using these tips in her own training.

Dietitian Joyce’s Quick Tip

“Getting the right nutrition and hydration for endurance running takes strategy and practice.  It is something that runners need to start working on far before race day.  Runners that do not have a good plan could face struggles during their long runs and races, preventing them from doing their best or even finishing at all.  Having a plan that works for you and gives you the fuel you need (carbohydrates, electrolytes, fluids) will help you to train effectively and to perform your best on race day.”

Katie McGee, 3-Time Olympic Trials Qualifier; 2015 Grandma’s Marathon Masters Champion; Running Coach


Katie-McGeeKatherine McGee has been competing as a national class road racer for nearly twenty years. As a mother of three and full-time teacher, she understands the desire to compete at the highest level possible while managing life, family, and work. She is currently enjoying success as a master’s competitor and is hoping to qualify for her fourth Olympic Trials Marathon at the Twin Cities Marathon, which is the National Master’s Marathon Championships.

Throughout her coaching career, Katie has trained a wide range of athletes. She has coached junior high and high school runners, beginners just hoping to complete a 5 or 10K race, first time and veteran marathon and half–marathoners, and Boston Marathon qualifiers.

Coach Katie’s Quick Tips

“Signing up for a 5 or 10 k can be a great way to connect with other runners, practice your pre-race routine, try out your gear, and have fun while getting in a workout to mark your fitness.”

A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream

“Running is simple arithmetic.  Every day we make choices that add or take away from our running success.  Ask yourself on a run, at the table, and before cuing up the next episode of your favorite NetFlix show, whether you have a purpose for the workout, whether the food is nourishing, and whether an extra hour of sleep might do you some good.  Don’t let ratty decisions steal your ice cream on race day!”

Jim & Mary Stukel, Owners of Tortise & Hare Footware


Jim-Mary-StukelJim and Mary Stukel own and operate Tortoise and Hare Footwear, located in the Denfeld Shopping Plaza. They are industry leaders in providing top of the line running and walking shoes as well as other athletic gear to individuals throughout the Northland.

Jim & Mary’s Quick Tip

“One bit of advice is shoes should be purchased based on arch type or physical needs.  Most commonly, shoe choices are based upon the advice of a friend or relative because they like a particular shoe style.  Your feet and arches need to make the decision.”