Young Athletes Foundation

You support them. We support you.

A main focus of our organization is to promote the growth of young athletes. That’s why we have created the Young Athletes Foundation (YAF). Through this arm of Grandma’s Marathon, we help community members and businesses that inspire kids to be healthy. Since it’s inception, the YAF has contributed more than $900,000 to area nonprofit youth athletic organizations.

Become a sponsor today or apply for a grant if your organization’s goals align with ours.

Young Athletes Foundation Programs


Kids ages 14 and under are invited to join us for our NEW Saturday Morning at the Races program held in January and February.  These fun runs are completely free of charge and open to all! After speeding around indoor tracks at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Wisconsin-Superior,  children will receive a FREE t-shirt and meet their favorite mascots!

January/February 2018 dates to be announced. 


These popular, free races for children ages 14 and under are held for six consecutive Wednesdays in July and August. This YAF activity attracts an average of 500 children each week. Every participant is a champion and receives a ribbon at the end of their event.

2017 Schedule
July 26: Duluth East High School, Ordean Stadium
August 2: Proctor High School Track, behind Proctor High School
August 9: Denfeld High School, Public Schools Stadium
August 16: Hermantown High School, Corey Veech Memorial Field
August 23: Superior High School, NBC Spartan Sports Complex
August 30: Wade Stadium, year-end run & picnic

More Information


This program was developed to provide free running shoe certificates to high school cross-country and track athletes who need shoes, but can’t afford them. The YAF has donated over 3,200 pairs of running shoes since 1991.


The YAF Grant Program began in 1990 with the goal of providing money to nonprofit organizations in Lake, Cook, Carlton, Douglas and St. Louis Counties that strive to provide children with opportunities to participate in recreational and athletic activities.The YAF recognizes that some organizations may have durable equipment needs while others may have non-equipment, financial needs which address the rising participation costs or fees for youth involved in the organization’s activities. As a result, the YAF will consider applications for grants for participation scholarships as well. The maximum funding for scholarship grants is $500. Organizations may apply for both scholarship and equipment funds on the same application, not to exceed $3,000 inclusively. (See page 3 for more info.)  Apply here.


$1,000 is given annually to one female and one male UMD cross-country runner. Recipients must be UMD sophomores, juniors or seniors from the YAF geographic boundaries.

Races that support the YAF

The Young Athletes Foundation is able to provide this support through benefit races and special fundraising. The Saint Fennessy 4K, Fitger’s 5K, Park Point 5-Miler and Live & Silent Auction are the basis of these fundraising efforts. Since its inception, the YAF has contributed more than $900,000 to nonprofit youth athletic organizations and programs.

St. Fennessy


Presenting Sponsor


Major Sponsors



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