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 FREE Gearing Up for Grandma’s training seminar at the Essentia Health’s Duluth Clinic First Street Building.

2019 DATE: TBA 

8:30 am: Group Run/Walk 5K

Leaves promptly at 8:30am from the Essentia Health First Street Building lobby. All abilities welcome! A light breakfast will be served following the run.

10:00 am-12:00 pm: Training Seminar

If you missed the event, you can watch the live video and get all the information you need to have the best race day yet. The event is sponsored by Essentia Health.

Gearing Up Video


2018 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 orthopedics 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 eighth 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.”


Stephanie Fennessey, MS, RD, LD

Stephanie Fennessey is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Essentia Health. She developed a strong interest in nutrition and fitness while in high school, which eventually led her to the field of Dietetics and long-distance running as a hobby. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics  from Minnesota State University, in Mankato and her master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Northern Illinois University in De Kalb. She has enjoyed participating in the Grandma’s Garry Bjorkland half marathon nearly every year since moving to Duluth and has experienced first-hand how proper nutrition impacts training and running events. In the community, she enjoys speaking to local college and high school sports teams about the importance of nutrition for optimal performance and injury prevention.


Dick Beardsley, two-time winner of Grandma’s Marathon

Dick Beardsley is one of the world’s most extraordinary, well respected, and compelling motivational / inspirational keynote speakers. He is a best selling co-author and champion – in running and in life. Although his competitive running career as an elite athlete ended in 1988, Dick is still one of the top American distance runners of all time, reflected with a time of 2:08:53 in the 1982 Boston Marathon. Best known for his 1982 Boston Marathon “Duel in the Sun” with Alberto Salazar, Dick is also a two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier. He is a two-time winner of the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, with a time of winning 2:09:36 and winner of the first London Marathon, with a time of 2:11:48 in 1981.  Dick is also the course record holder for the Napa Valley Marathon, with a winning time of 2:16:20 in 1987. But Dick is more than a running champion. He is a fighter. After a series of near-fatal accidents and a journey of self-discovery, Dick has turned his life around and is enjoying life to its fullest.


Jim & Mary Stukel, Owners of Tortoise & Hare Footwear

Jim-Mary-StukelJim and Mary Stukel own and operate Tortoise and Hare Footwear, located in Duluth, MN. 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.”