Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon | Course Information

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon is a point-to-point course on scenic Old Highway 61 along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior. It begins approximately three blocks north of Clearwater Grille on Lake Superior and finishes in Duluth's Canal Park. The course is run on the second half of the Grandma's Marathon course.

Important: Absolutely no early starters are allowed on the racecourse. Individuals in violation of this rule will be disqualified and asked to leave the course. No automobiles, bicycles, baby joggers, roller skis, inline skates, handcycles, hand-cranked wheelchairs, pets or unofficial participants are allowed on the racecourse.

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STARTING LINE: The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon begins at 6:15 a.m., approximately three blocks north of Clearwater Grille on Lake Superior and Hotel on Scenic Old Highway 61. There are no facilities at the start for dressing. Faster runners should line up on the front starting line. All other runners should line up according to their projected finishing times behind the faster runners. Walkers must start in the back.

Please note: It is essential that all participants enter the starting gate before 6:05 a.m. You must have your race number visible to enter. Absolutely no unofficial participants will be allowed in this area. Absolutely no early starters are allowed.


SWEAT BAGS: You will receive a goodie bag at race packet pickup. This is your sweatbag. A label is provided in your race packet. Please place the label on the bottom right hand corner of the bag. Your sweatbag can be dropped off in one of the trucks near the starting gate.

The bags will be brought to the finish line where they will be arranged in the front parking lot of Grandma’s Restaurant in lanes according to your race number. Volunteers will be on duty to assist you in locating your bag.

Please do not leave valuables in your bag and make sure it is closed and tied. Race officials are not responsible for any lost items.


TIME SPLITS: 6.9M, 11.9M and Finish

TIMING: BibTag timing will be used for Grandma's Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

TIME REQUIREMENT: A policy regarding time requirement will be implemented for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. This policy requires participants to maintain a 14-minute per mile pace (finish by a time of 3:03:40). Participants who are not able to maintain this pace will be bused to the DECC parking lot. This policy is in effect due to safety concerns with the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and Grandma's Marathon taking place on the same course at the same time.


AID STATIONS: Aid stations are located at 2 - 4 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 miles. Water and POWERADE with ION4 are provided at all stations.

Please do not stop at the first table of each water station, as this may cause runners to back up. There are plenty of fluids farther down. Runners can trust the fluids received from the official aid stations. There are a number of unofficial water stations along the course - it is suggested that you use discretion in accepting fluids from sources other than official water stations. First aid is available at the end of every water station.

POWERADE with ION4, the exclusive racecourse performance drink (Flavor is Blue - Mountain Berry Blast) of Grandma's Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, will be available at all aid stations. For more information about POWERADE with ION4 visit their web site: www.us.powerade.com/.

Let the members of the Clif Bar Pace Team help you cross the finish line of the half marathon in under two minutes of your goal half marathon time! Pace groups will be available for the following goal times: 1:30, 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30 and 2:45. Sign-up at their booth at the Essentia Health Fitness and Health Expo or on their web site. CLICK HERE for more information.


SAFETY FIRST: The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon has traditionally been cool, but there is always a chance the weather could be reversed. If it is warm or humid on race day, please take special precautions to avoid over-extending your limitations. We are not responsible for race-related injuries, and runners will be responsible for any medical expense they may incur. Grandma’s Marathon follows the American College of Sports Medicine color-coded flag system to let you know the risk level for cold or heat stress. Please familiarize yourself with these flag colors; they will be posted at the starting line as well as miles 9, 13, 17 and 22.

BLACK FLAG (Extremely High Risk): All runners should slow their pace, drink extra fluids and those with previous heat stress problems or heat stress problems or heat disease should consider not running.

RED FLAG (High Risk): All runners should slow their pace and those with previous heat stress problems or heart disease should consider not running.

YELLOW FLAG (Moderate Risk): Heat stress is less, but one must be cautious as the level of stress will most likely increase during a morning race.

GREEN FLAG (Low Risk): Risk is low, but once again you should be careful of symptoms of heat stress. You also need to be cautious of changing weather conditions.

WHITE FLAG (Risk of Hypothermia): The risk of hypothermia is very low, but the risk of hypothermia exists, especially in slow runners or in wet and windy conditions.


Headphone Use

At its annual meeting in December 2008, USA Track & Field (USATF) amended rule 144.3(f) effectively lifting its previously imposed ban on headphones and other similar devices on USATF-certified courses. Because of this change, participants will be able to use headphones and similar devices during Grandma's Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and William A. Irvin 5K, but they do so at their own risk.

To enjoy all that our racecourses have to offer and for the safety of all participants, Grandma's Marathon-Duluth, Inc. strongly encourages a headphone-free environment during the running of Grandma's Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the William A. Irvin 5K.

The atmosphere along the Grandma’s Marathon courses is second to none. We believe your race experience will be greatly enhanced by having complete use of all of your senses. Running headphone-free allows opportunities to develop camaraderie with your fellow runners and to enjoy the various entertainment acts lining the course. Plus, thousands of enthusiastic volunteers and spectators will be cheering you on, helping to get you to the finish line.

Runner safety has always been, and will continue to be, a priority for all of our events. Please be mindful of the other participants and race personnel to ensure a safe and enjoyable race for everyone.