Award-winning race coverage from the Duluth News Tribune

The Duluth News Tribune has been providing complete, award-winning coverage of Grandma’s Marathon every step of the way, in print and online. The post-race Sunday newspaper contains a special Grandma’s Marathon section with complete coverage and results from all of the weekend’s road races. Online photo galleries and video clips capture the excitement of the events, while e-mail and mobile alerts provide up-to-the-minute information about the winners.

The Grandma's Marathon special section repeatedly receives awards, and both state and national honors. In-depth coverage of Grandma’s Marathon begins well before the big race and involves much of the Duluth News Tribune newsroom staff. “The Sunday before the race we hit the coverage hard in news and sports leading up to the event with topics such as economic impact, health and well being, and special interest features,” explains sports writer Kevin Pates.

Pates started working in the sports department at the News Tribune just before the second annual Grandma’s Marathon in 1978. He enjoyed the event as both a writer and a participant for the first few years, setting a personal record of 2:45 in 1981, the same year Dick Beardsley set the course record. Due to the overwhelming responsibility of covering one of the fastest growing marathons in the country, he had to bow out; but as the News Tribune running expert, he will be riding in a media truck just ahead of the lead pack on race day and blogging online at about his experience.

In more than 30 years of reporting on Grandma’s Marathon, there have been many highlights and too many memorable moments to count for Pates. “The marathon course is so long that it offers many opportunities for strange things to happen,” he said. “The close finishes are exciting, particularly when there’s a surprise.”

Pates was honored with the first Marsh Nelson Media Award in 2000 for his ongoing commitment to covering the race. “It’s the single biggest sporting event in town and it’s the biggest effort in our sports department, it has been for years,” Pates said.

Runners can pre-purchase commemorative copies of the Grandma’s Marathon race coverage in the Duluth News Tribune on their online entry forms or by returning the flier stuffed in their race packets. Duluth News Tribune subscription inquiries can be directed to 800-456-8080. Both participants and spectators can register for a free account online to view feature stories and race tips online before the event. Visit for more information.