Awards

Elisha Barno

Still the winningest men’s marathoner in race history, Barno enjoyed a streak of four straight victories at Grandma’s Marathon from 2015-18. His last title run of 2:10:06 still stands as the fourth-fastest men’s time ever in Duluth, trailing only Dominic Ondoro and Dick Beardsley.

Barno is the first athlete to enter the Hall of Fame since Amanda McGrory, who was part of the Class of 2017 after she won eight women’s wheelchair titles between 2007 to 2017.

NOTE: One day after being officially inducted into the Hall of Fame, Elisha Barno won his fifth Grandma’s Marathon title with a time of 2:09:14, which was just eight seconds shy of the exisiting event record.

DAN DOCK

Dock first started volunteering at the Grandma’s Marathon finish line nearly four decades ago and while his exact duties have changed over the years, his excitement to be part of a great community event has stayed the same.

“I can’t narrow it down to just a few favorite moments,” Dock admitted. “It’s been 37 years of wonderful memories. Every runner has a different path to Grandma’s Marathon and being at the finish line, I get to show up on race day and soak up all these different stories. This is a humbling honor, and I’m thankful to be included with all the great past Hall of Famers.”

BARB KORTE

Korte was a longtime Grandma’s Marathon Board member, being first elected in 1994 and twice serving as chairperson. Describing it as a working Board on which everyone had a role, Korte served many – she coordinated the spaghetti feed for several years and worked at the finish line on race day.

Maybe her biggest claim to fame, though, is helping to coordinate for more than two decades the annual cleanup of a section of the marathon’s racecourse along the Scenic Highway between Two Harbors and Duluth among other Board members.

“Running was my passion for many years,” she said. “I have made many friends and had lots of adventures thanks to running. I am proud to have served on the Board for so long and to have worked with others to make running more accessible to all ages in our community.”

HALL OF FAME, CLASS OF 2023

The Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame was created to honor those who have made longstanding and meaningful contributions to the race and the community.

The Hall of Fame is now made up of 91 individuals, organizations, and municipalities, all of which have made great and lasting impacts on the race itself and the northern Minnesota community.

ALL-TIME INDUCTEES

Class of 2023
Elisha Barno, Dan Dock, Barb Korte

Class of 2022
Glenn Evavold, Jim Greenfield, Monica Halligan, Deb Pawlowicz, Rick Recker, Dick Skogg

Class of 2021
n/a

Class of 2020
n/a

Class of 2019
Kevin Peterson

Class of 2018
Jeff Frey, Lizette Mitchell, Deanna Nordeen

Class of 2017
Adele Hartwick, Amanda McGrory, Doug Nelson

Class of 2016
Joe Hietala, Erik Nelson, Kraig Rudstrom

Class of 2015
Tim Hollis, John Kessler

Class of 2014
Scott Keenan

Class of 2013
Carol Gallinger, Mike Krois, Rudy Lundahl, Saul Mendoza

Class of 2012
City of Duluth, City of Two Harbors

Class of 2011
Ron Francisco, Steve Harrington, Ed Hermel, GB Leighton, Chelly Townsend

Class of 2010
477th Medical Company, Chuck & Sally Hegg, John Leppi, Bill & Nancy Olsen, Kevin Pates

Class of 2009
John Docter, Steve Greenfield, Kellie Luedloff, Bill Wenmark

Class of 2008
Sharon Buchanan, Jerry Frederick, Jeno Paulucci, Mary Spiering

Class of 2007
Neil Franz, Greg Haynes, Dale Kusnierek

Class of 2006
North Shore Striders

Class of 2005
Candy Furo, Taire (Lind) Suliin

Class of 2004
Don Fennessy, Gino & Kathy Goedel, Michael Pinocci

Class of 2003
Candace Cable, Ken & Mona Rae Cich, John Kulick

Class of 2002
Rick Jackson, Joe Johnson, John Naslund, James Nowak

Class of 2001
Brian Daugherty, Jan Ettle, Brian Larsen, Paul Van Winkel

Class of 2000
Joan Dahlstrom, Herb Dillon, Cindy Nelson, Mac Welles

Class of 1999
David Eckstrom, Doug Kurtis, Lorraine Moller, Tami Oothoudt

Class of 1998
Dick Beardsley, Peter Graves, Barney & Janis Klecker, Wen Shi Yu

Class of 1997
Gerald Church

Class of 1996
Andy Borg, Garry Bjorklund, George Fink, John Foschi, Mickey Paulucci, Alex Ratelle, Dorothy Spencer

DOROTHY SPENCER

Spencer, already a member of the inaugural class into Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame, was honored for her lifetime contributions that have contributed to and embodies the history, vision, and spirit of the race.

Called a second mother by Scott Keenan, the founding executive director of Grandma’s Marathon, Spencer moved to Duluth in 1975 with her husband, Rick, and soon after became a mainstay of the North Shore Striders.

The Spencer’s home was the early headquarters of Grandma’s Marathon, and Keenan credits Dorothy not only with sharing his vision for the race, but also with keeping things organized.

“I felt a sense of calm with her there,” Keenan wrote in his book, My Journey to Grandma’s Marathon: History & Heroes, “especially when I started to feel frazzled.”

Following a move to Minnetonka, Minn. in 1979 followed shortly after by Rick’s death in 1980, Dorothy continued to return each Grandma’s Marathon week to help with the race. Her duties ranged from answering phones and planning the post-race awards ceremony to helping out at the finish line on race day.

Spencer has contributed more than four decades to Grandma’s Marathon, even completing the 26.2-mile race twice, and now resides in a lake home near Tomahawk, Wis.

SCOTT A. KEENAN
FOUNDER’S AWARD

The Scott A. Keenan Founder’s Award is given each year to a person who embodies the history, vision, and spirit of Grandma’s Marathon through their loyalty, energy, and willingness to go above and beyond to provide the greatest possible experience to our race participants, sponsors, volunteers, and fans.

The award is named after Scott Keenan, the founding executive director of Grandma’s Marathon.

ALL-TIME RECIPIENTS

2023 – Dorothy Spencer

2022 – Garry Bjorklund

2021 – Brian Larsen

2020 – n/a

2019 – Wendy (Hovland) Cregg

2018 – Mike Krois

2017 – Dan Russell

2016 – Tami Tanski Sherman

RAFAEL BOTELLO JIMENEZ

2o23 marked the 13th time competing at Grandma’s Marathon for Botello Jimenez, who won the men’s wheelchair race in 2007 and four times has finished as the runner-up.

The 2007 race was not only Botello Jimenez’s first in Duluth, but also his first time visiting or racing anywhere in the United States – he was born and still lives in Spain.

“Duluth is a very important city in my sporting and personal career,” Botello Jimenez said. “I am speechless about receiving this award. I never thought I would receive such an important honor from a marathon for which I have so much affection and that has created such good memories for me.”

Botello Jimenez has been instrumental in the growth and development of the Grandma’s Marathon wheelchair division, which has nearly doubled in size since his first race in 2007 and now attracts some of the best wheelchair athletes from around the world. Botello Jimenez has personally recruited several top wheelers from Latin America and Europe to come race in Duluth.

Aside from his 2007 victory, Botello Jimenez points to the 2012 Grandma’s Marathon as perhaps his most important memory from this race weekend.

“I finished third that year, but my time qualified me for the Paralympic Games in London,” he remembers. “I did not stop crying as I called my family and friends to tell them I was going to my second Paralympics!”

RON DAWS AMBASSADOR
OF THE YEAR

The Ron Daws Ambassador of the Year Award is presented each year to an individual or group who has been a leader in the development and growth of long-distance running and who has shared a commitment toward Grandma’s Marathon and the City of Duluth.

The award is named after Ron Daws, who was a 1968 Olympian and instrumental to the development of road racing in Minnesota.

ALL-TIME RECIPIENTS

2023 – Rafael Botello Jimenez

2022 – Katie McGee

2021 – n/a

2020 – n/a

2019 – Dan Conway

2018 – Patricia Goodwin

2017 – Austin Jarrow Sports

2016 – Brian Larsen

2015 – Peter Graves & Michael Pinocci

2014 – Joanie Holst

2013 – Huck Andresen

2012 – Jon Anderson

2011 – Gloria Jansen

2010 – Martha Firling

2009 – Dr. James Kirkham

2008 – Carolyn Mather

2007 – Doris Windsand-Dausman

2006 – Dan ‘Digger’ Carlson

2005 – Ed Hermel

2004 – Kelly Keeler

2003 – Bill Andberg

2002 – Terry Lundberg

2001 – Richard Braun

2000 – Rob Link

1999 – John Goldfine

1998 – Kerry Rodd

1997 – Doug Kurtis

1996 – Garry Bjorklund

1995 – Dick Beardsley

1994 – Dorothy Spencer

1993 – Alex Ratelle

PETE GOMAN

Goman works as a Lieutenant with the Minnesota State Patrol and is an integral piece of the pre-race safety and security planning as well as the race weekend staffing of Grandma’s Marathon.

Having grown up in Duluth, Goman’s first involvement with the marathon came as a member of the Boy Scouts Troop 9 water station volunteer group. Today, he and the State Patrol assist primarily with traffic control and security during race day, but have also some years provided resources for air support and explosive detection.

“Each year, I’m amazed by the collaboration that occurs in the planning stages of the race,” Goman said. “Everybody comes to the table ready to do their part and, in many cases, more than their part. There are so many people who have spent countless hours developing, modifying, and executing a fantastic plan for Grandma’s Marathon, and I’m happy to have been part of it and to accept this award on their behalf.”

For several years now, Goman has held one of his favorite roles with Grandma’s Marathon – driving the lead Minnesota State Patrol vehicle to escort the lead elite runners on the racecourse from Two Harbors to Duluth.

MIKE TUSKEN

Tusken’s role with Grandma’s Marathon dates to the early 1990s, and his role has increased from standing a post on race day to most recently serving as one of the leaders of the safety and security effort for the entire weekend.

After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Tusken played a major role in the rethinking and retooling of many strategies and protocols used by law enforcement agencies during large-scale events, like Grandma’s Marathon. Remembering it as a massive undertaking, Tusken was a leader in

directing and marshaling the services of several local, state, and federal agencies for race weekend, helping to create a safety and security blueprint that’s still used today.

“The names have changed over the years, but our commitment to continuous improvement has been constant,” Tusken said. “Putting on such an amazing event is made possible by all the great people in this community, and I have fond memories of those people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to always make Grandma’s Marathon a safe and spectacular event.”

Tusken retired from the Duluth Police Department in July 2022 after 30 years with the organization, including the last six as chief of police.

RUDY PERPICH PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD

The Rudy Perpich Public Service Award is given annually to
current or former elected officials or public employees who have
exhibited immense dedication and service to Grandma’s Marathon.

The award is named after the late Rudy Perpich, who is the longest-serving Governor in Minnesota state history and was a large supporter of Grandma’s Marathon during his time in office.

ALL-TIME RECIPIENTS

2023 – Pete Goman, Mike Tusken

2022 – Carey Johnson, Bob Shene

2021 – n/a

2020 n/a

2019 – Phil Olsen, Joe Tarnowski

2018 – David Montgomery, William Stovern

2017 – Kevin Gray, Erik Rish

2016 – Don Ness, Roger Reinert

2015 – Kevin Hakala, Shawn McGovern, Brad Wick

2014 – Jim Benning, Bob LeDoux, Earl Stewart

2013 – Tom Ehle, Brad Miller, John Schlangen

2012 – Steve Anderson, Gary Doty, Paul Scanlan

2011 – Scott Collver, John Foschi, George Lewis

2010 – Al Goodman, Kent Lunda, Ed Moroney

2009 – Jim Miles, Sharon Montgomery, Doug Nelson

2008 – William Amberg, Bob Troolin, Mark Wick

2007 – Helene Abbott, Roberta Dwyer, Jim Gorny

2006 – Bob Brandt, Richard Hansen, Lenore Johnson

TOM ROVINSKY

Rovinsky has been involved with the marathon since the early 2000s, serving primarily as one of the lead racecourse water delivery drivers. The 26.2-mile racecourse now features 15 water and aid stations between Duluth and Two Harbors, many of which are in remote areas along the shores of Lake Superior.

Those stations, some serving both full and half marathoners on race day, require water to be delivered rather than relying on nearby water sources as stations in town can. Rovinsky and his team work throughout the day Friday and into the morning hours on Saturday to complete their extensive delivery schedule.

MAC WELLES AWARD
OF EXCELLENCE

The Award of Excellence is presented each year to an individual who or organization that has shown many years of dedication, commitment, and service to the continued development and growth of Grandma’s Marathon.

The award is named after the late Mac Welles, a longtime Grandma’s Marathon employee and volunteer.

ALL-TIME RECIPIENTS

2023 – Tom Rovinsky

2022 – Al Haeg

2021 – n/a

2020 – n/a

2019 – Country Hearth Bread

2018 – Jim Kari, Peter Kolar, & David Solon

2017 – Jeff Foster Trucking

2016 – Kathy Bauer

2015 – Upper Lakes Foods

2014 – Gordy Anderson & Mike Persing

2013 – Duane Madison

2012 – Chris & Stephanie LaFleur

2011 – David Bridges

2010 – Spirit Mountain Ski Patrol

2009 – Sue Bussa

2008 – Jeff Frey

2007 – Leah Hulst & Sandy Brennan

2006 – Marian Holmes

2005 – Gert Belsvick

2004 – Dan Russell

2003 – Tom Ehle

2002 – Mike Krois

2001 – Chester Keenan

CHRIS ALLEN

Allen actually started volunteering for Grandma’s Marathon in 1980 at a water station, and he’s been a mainstay on the event’s race day radio coverage since 2008. After first serving as a producer, Allen quickly moved into an on-air role that also included most of the advance planning and talent management.

“I am surprised to be receiving this award,” Allen said. “I am humbled being in the company of people I idolized as a kid and who all have helped make this race what it is today. Knowing I have done something to help grow Grandma’s Marathon is the best feeling in the world, and this award really means a lot to me.”

Allen has also served since 2009 as one of the weekend entertainment hosts, and he became the first musical act to play in both of the marathon’s live concert locations – he played in 1991 with Molly and the Heymakers at the Big Top and then solo in 2021 at Bayfront Festival Park.

MARSH NELSON
MEDIA AWARD

The Marsh Nelson Media Award is given annually to a media member or organization to recognize and celebrate a longstanding commitment to the coverage and development of Grandma’s Marathon.

The award is named after the late Marsh Nelson, a longtime KDLH-TV sports director.

ALL-TIME RECIPIENTS

2023 – Chris Allen

2022 – Deb Messer

2021 – n/a

2020 – n/a

2019 – Jake Benson

2018 – John Gilbert

2017 – Howie Hanson

2016 – Bob King

2015 – Townsquare Media

2014 – Marathon & Beyond

2013 – Dan Moller

2012 – Pat Cadigan

2011 – Running Times Magazine

2010 – David Jensch

2009 – Mark Stodghill

2008 – Tom Hansen

2007 – Barbara Reyelts

2006 – Chuck Curtis

2005 – Rik Jordan

2004 – Bruce Brothers

2003 – Bob Rich

2002 – Bruce Bennett

2001 – Kerry Rodd

2000 – Marsh Nelson & Kevin Pates

JOAN ANDREWS

DeSutter and Andrews each have decades of volunteering history for Grandma’s Marathon, with most of it coming side-by-side as co-coordinators of the race weekend information booth.

The pair claims there are too many highlights to count throughout the years, but the feeling of helping others has been a mainstay in their position since the beginning.

“We’ve had a chance to meet people from all over the world,” Andrews said about her experience at the information booth. “The runners and their families never fail to amaze me. They constantly thank us for our help, so we know we are providing an important service, and we feel so honored to be receiving this award.”

“It’s a lot of work each year to make the Information Booth a success,” DeSutter said, “but the sense of contribution to the overall effort adds a specific meaning for all of us.”

The duo works year-round to help recruit and train volunteers for the information booth, which serves as a trusted “go-to voice” of the marathon for runners and the community on race weekend. What started as one booth more than 20 years ago has now turned into two, but the co-coordinators have smiled through the changes.

“Showing off Duluth and the North Shore,” DeSutter said, “and being part of such a great event while having so much fun is something I continue to relish. Joining the elite group of volunteers who have given so much time and effort is truly an honor.”

“To be recognized by the marathon itself is just icing on the cake,” Andrews added. “Some awesome volunteers have preceded us, so it’s an honor to be included among the great history of this race.”

TOM DESUTTER

DeSutter and Andrews each have decades of volunteering history for Grandma’s Marathon, with most of it coming side-by-side as co-coordinators of the race weekend information booth.

The pair claims there are too many highlights to count throughout the years, but the feeling of helping others has been a mainstay in their position since the beginning.

“We’ve had a chance to meet people from all over the world,” Andrews said about her experience at the information booth. “The runners and their families never fail to amaze me. They constantly thank us for our help, so we know we are providing an important service, and we feel so honored to be receiving this award.”

“It’s a lot of work each year to make the Information Booth a success,” DeSutter said, “but the sense of contribution to the overall effort adds a specific meaning for all of us.”

The duo works year-round to help recruit and train volunteers for the information booth, which serves as a trusted “go-to voice” of the marathon for runners and the community on race weekend. What started as one booth more than 20 years ago has now turned into two, but the co-coordinators have smiled through the changes.

“Showing off Duluth and the North Shore,” DeSutter said, “and being part of such a great event while having so much fun is something I continue to relish. Joining the elite group of volunteers who have given so much time and effort is truly an honor.”

“To be recognized by the marathon itself is just icing on the cake,” Andrews added. “Some awesome volunteers have preceded us, so it’s an honor to be included among the great history of this race.”

DON FENNESSY VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

The Don Fennessy Volunteer of the Year Award is given each year to an individual or group who has donated a
tremendous amount of time volunteering for Grandma’s Marathon and, in doing so, has assisted in the successful operation of the event.

This award is named after the late Don Fennessy, who was a longtime and fervent supporter of Grandma’s Marathon and its race weekend events.

ALL-TIME RECIPIENTS

2023 – Joan Andrews & Tom DeSutter

2022 – Shawn Carlson, David Pollard, & Mike Krzewinski

2021 – Darrin & Michelle Keiper

2020 – n/a

2019 – Mike Tipple

2018 – Peggy & Doug Simensen

2017 – Geri Peterson

2016 – Ellen & Wally Johnson

2015 – Cheryl Fosdick

2014 – Marge Swor & Family

2013 – Al & Jan Swanson

2012 – College of St. Scholastica

2011 – Jock Glendenning

2010 – John Herbertz

2009 – Woodland Hills

2008 – Brock Pelzel

2007 – Steve & Joyce Lent

2006 – Lyle Johnson

2005 – Barb & Terry Davis

2004 – Carol Gallinger

2003 – Sue Bussa

2002 – David & Jill Hisdahl

2001 – Buck McDonald

2000 – Chelly Ferguson

1999 – Durbin Keeney

1998 – Proctor Community Band & Mr. Moody’s Marching Band

1997 – Don & Ella Fennessy

1996 – Bruce & Colleen Hasforth

1995 – Jan DeRoche

1994 – Arrowhead Radio Amateurs Club

1993 – Ken & Mona Rae Cich

1992 – Herb Dillon

1991 – Ken Docteur

1990 – Seitz Family

1989 – Eric & Amy Kaiser

1988 – Candy Furo

1987 – Taire Lind

1986 – John Leppi

1985 – Ray Paavola

JIM BOATMAN

Boatman ran his first-ever Grandma’s Marathon in 1980 and has missed only three events since, completing his 41st race in Duluth this past weekend.

In 1981, Boatman qualified for the Boston Marathon by running a 2:59:59 – just one second faster than the maximum time allowed. He remembers that his mother had promised she’d pay for the trip if he qualified, but they never did go.

His goal this year? Run another Boston qualifying time and make the trip in memory of his parents, who he says were always his greatest supporters. He accomplished that goal, finishing with a time of 3:52:11, and he plans to register for the 2024 Boston Marathon.

“Being recognized by Grandma’s Marathon is for sure the highlight of my running career,” Boatman said. “My mom and dad attended every marathon I ran while they were alive, and they both would be very proud of this honor.”

MICHAEL GOODOIEN

Just three years shy of having completed every Grandma’s Marathon, Goodoien now has successfully reached the finish line in every race since 1980 – a total of 44 marathons from Two Harbors to Duluth.

“I’m thankful to be joining the previous winners of this award,” Goodoien said, “that personifies marathoning – going the distance, longevity, and perseverance. It’s an honor to join this group of ‘old timers,’ but all with enough staying power to finish the race.”

TIM MCCOLLOR

McCollor ran his first-ever Grandma’s Marathon in 1980 at the age of 15 and, since then, has been back at the starting line every year.

His second time running in Duluth was his best, finishing with a still-standing PR of 2:35:14 and winning the high school division. He hasn’t bested that time, but he’s kept his personal streak of finishing now for 44 years.

“Grandma’s Marathon, every year, is the race I look forward to the most,” McCollor said. “My family and friends have always been a big part of the experience. Some have joined me for a race here and there, some have always been around to support me. It’s a big reason this race is such an enjoyable experience each year.”

1,000-MILER AWARD

Created to celebrate longevity and commitment of Grandma’s Marathon participants, the award is given to individuals who successfully complete 39 races on the 26.2-mile racecourse from Two Harbors to Duluth.

There are now 16 people who have completed the 1,000 miles on the Grandma’s Marathon racecourse.

ALL-TIME RECIPIENTS

2023 – Jim Boatman, Michael Goodoien, Tim McCollor

2022 – Greg Allen, Matt Evans, John Hogan

2021 – Mike Korpi, Larry McNichols

2020 – n/a

2019 – Alan Evans, Jim Evans, Bob Stavig

2018 – James Kirkham

2017 – Neil Franz, Joe Johnson, John Naslund, Jim Nowak