Run the Marathon. Just not the race.

Thanks so much for your interest in volunteering with Grandma’s Marathon!
There is a reason we are celebrating 43 years – it’s because of our amazing volunteers! Runners know when they come to Grandma’s Marathon it’s a different experience. “They take care of you!” It is a theme that echoes across four decades of a community coming together to do something extraordinary. You make all the difference. You make us great. Thank you!

Every volunteer will receive:

    • An official Grandma’s Marathon T-shirt
    • Refreshment tickets
    • Invitation to the special Grandma’s Marathon Volunteer Appreciation Party

Please read guidelines prior to signing up: Volunteer Guidelines.
Click image to learn about these volunteer opportunities available:

Medical Services
Race Packet Pickup
Racecourse Entertainmnt






William A. Irvin 5K (Friday)
Safety: Volunteer's first priority is to provide a safe course for our runners. Course Marshals are positioned throughout the course, usually at intersections. Course Marshals are needed for both Friday and Saturday. Keeping Runners on Course: As soon as you see a runner, begin to signal with your hands and your voice which direction or turn they are supposed to make. Traffic Control: Course marshals are positioned at intersections that are blocked for traffic. Responsible for keeping cars and bikes off the course and maintaining a safe environment for runners. Encouragement: Cheer the runners on – it’s a long course, for some runners 26.2 miles, and they'll need every ounce of encouragement they can get to push through to the finish line! Get up, get excited, and keep them moving. Use words of encouragement like “Good job!” “Keep going!” “Dig deep, you can do it!"
Marshals (spectator control)
Finish Area Activities
Water Stations
Starting Line






Both individual volunteers and groups can sign up to volunteer, and after you’ve signed up, please join our “G-Team” Facebook Group to stay up-to-date.

We’re excited to have you join us! If you have any questions, please email Tara@GrandmasMarathon.com, or call our Office at 218-727-0947.

Volunteer Testimonial
“What I loved about volunteering at the finish line was to see the strength of the athletes there at the end. It is an amazing thing that our bodies can go that distance and survive. I liked being the one who ‘still had some energy left’ to help them complete the process by getting gear bags, t shirts, water, etc. for the runners.”
-Pat W., 2016 Finish Line Volunteer

“What I enjoy most about volunteering for the water station is seeing the other side of the race- after having participated in it as a runner for two years, I switched over to more trail running but still wanted to be a part of the fun atmosphere and camaraderie that goes on for those who run the race ‘behind the scenes’.  It is so much fun to watch everyone’s hard work pay off while handing out water and know I can be helping them reach their goals one step at a time as they get closer and closer to the finish!” 
~Kaelyn W., 2016 Water Aid Station Volunteer

Don Fennessy Volunteer of the Year Award

The Don Fennessy Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to an individual or group of individuals who have donated a tremendous amount of time volunteering for Grandma’s Marathon and in doing so have assisted in the smooth and successful operation of the event.
Recipients List

Marsh Nelson Media Award

This award is given annually to a media representative to recognize his or her commitment to the coverage and development of Grandma’s Marathon. It is named in memory of former KDLH-TV sports director Marsh Nelson for his tremendous passion for covering Grandma’s Marathon and other local athletic events.
Recipients List

Ron Daws Ambassador Award

The Ron Daws Ambassador Award is presented to an individual who has been a leader in the development and growth of long distance running and who has shared a commitment to be an ambassador of Grandma’s Marathon and the City of Duluth.

About Ron Daws

Ron Daws is truly an inspiration to the sport of running. The Minnesota native represented the United States in the marathon at the 1968 Olympic games and finished in 22nd place. Through his dedicated efforts he was extremely instrumental in the development of road racing in Minnesota, and was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame in 1986.

Ron is not only remembered for the success he achieved as an athlete, but is also recognized nationwide as a runner who gave back to the sport. Ron was a great ambassador to Grandma’s Marathon and the City of Duluth. His legacy has encouraged many to focus on the continued development of long distance running.
Recipients List

Rudy Perpich Public Service Award

This award, named after the late Minnesota governor who was a large supporter of the annual event, is given annually to up to three current or former public employees or elected officials. In 2006, Grandma’s Marathon created the Rudy Perpich Public Service Award to recognize the many current or former public employees and elected officials who have exhibited dedication and service to the event.
Recipients List

For more information or to submit a nomination for the 2019 Rudy Perpich Public Service Award, please contact mandi@grandmasmarathon.com

Award of Excellence

This award is presented to an individual who has shown many years of dedication, commitment and service to the development and growth of Grandma’s Marathon.
Recipients List