• YAF Races
    • YAF Youth Races
          • Our kids. Our community. Our future.

            A central pillar of the Young Athletes Foundation is providing free and accessible programming for our area’s kids throughout the year. These programs are focused on our mission of building and providing pathways to the community’s children in their pursuit of active and healthy lifestyles.

          • Wednesday Night at the Races
          • Saturday Morning at the Races
          • Whipper Snapper Races
    • YAF Programs
          • Our kids. Our community. Our future.

            Since its inception in 1990, the Young Athletes Foundation has worked to support the organizations and individuals of its five-county region through a series of kids’ events, grants, scholarships, and other programs that are focused on promoting and providing pathways for kids to live healthy and active lifestyles.

          • Grant Program
          • Running Shoe Program
          • Scholarship Program
          • Fit-n-Fun Run
          • Winter Challenge
    • YAF Volunteer
          • Our kids. Our community. Our future.

            Our tremendous community of volunteers plays a significant role in helping the Young Athletes Foundation to create memorable and successful events for our runners. More than 1,000 volunteers are needed throughout the year to support our fundraising race events for the YAF.

    • YAF Sponsors
          • Our kids. Our community. Our future.

            The Young Athletes Foundation was created to serve the community, and for more than three decades we have done that with the help of our local and regional business partners. With events throughout the year, our sponsors assist greatly in our mission of  providing pathways of opportunity to youth in athletic programs and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

    • What to See & Do
          • Authentic Duluth

            Don’t miss out on the authentic Duluth experience! Grandma’s Marathon falls during one of the most beautiful times of the year in northern Minnesota, and there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures or fun activities for you to enjoy with your family and friends on race weekend!

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    • Where to Stay
          • Authentic Duluth

            There’s nothing more important before the race or more welcome after the race than the perfect place to rest, relax, and recharge. With the help of our many lodging and hospitality partners in the area, Grandma’s Marathon is committed to making sure each of our 20,000+ runners, not to mention our volunteers and spectators, have a place to stay on race weekend!

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    • Where to Eat & Drink
          • Authentic Duluth

            Every year since 1977, our community has thrown open its doors to runners and spectators in town for Grandma’s Marathon. As the race has grown, the service industry has always been there with a smile to welcome tens of thousands of runners along with their families and friends as they descend on Duluth for race weekend.

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    • How to Get Around
          • Authentic Duluth

            There is so much to see and do in Duluth and along the North Shore of Minnesota! Getting there couldn’t be easier with our transportation partners. Whether you need to know where to find parking nearby on race day or you are looking for a way to get around town, we are here to help.

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    • Sponsors
          • It Takes a Village

            At Grandma’s Marathon, we specialize in bringing people together for an unparalleled running experience. Over four decades of careful attention to detail has earned us the reputation as one of the most highly organized races in the country. More than 20,000 participants travel from more than 50 countries and all 50 states to join us each June on the scenic shores of Lake Superior, and your message can be waiting for all of them when they get here.

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    • Volunteer
          • It Takes a Village

            We agree with our runners — we have the most compassionate and energizing community of volunteers. Every year, we host close to 20,000 participants and we couldn’t take care of them without your help. Grandma’s Marathon is a world-class event with small-town charm because of our volunteers!

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    • Donation Campaign
          • It Takes a Village

            We couldn’t do it without you, and we wouldn’t want to! The passion our community has for Grandma’s Marathon is what gives our race its small town charm, and the contributions you’ve made over the years are what allow us to keep improving the world class experience for our participants, volunteers, and spectators.

          • Read More
    • The Marathon
    • Annual Races
    • Young Athletes Foundation
    • When You Visit
    • Support Us

Grambassadors 2022 Race Weekend: Michelle Z

Friday:
My running partner, her fiancée, and I all made the trip from Fargo/Moorhead. We stopped in Park Rapids for Subway and got to the DECC around 4:00 pm, in time to meet the other Grambassadors and get a finish line picture taken. We met up with my parents and uncle who also ran Grandma’s. Then we attended the expo where we got some new running belts to fit all our gels, picked up our packets, and feasted on spaghetti. I have no idea how grandmas does it but the spaghetti dinner is so yummy every year and its always hot and tasty even though it seems to get busier and bigger every year. 
After that we went to check into our villa at Spirit Mountain. It was the perfect peaceful place but also close to the action. We ate some pickles, played cards, and got all of our race gear set out for the next morning.

Saturday:
The big day was finally here! My running partner and I woke up at 4:15, ate breakfast, and had her fiancee drive us the 10 minutes to the DECC where we got in line for the train. On the train, we sat next to two women who were running 50 marathons in 50 states. Grandma’s was their 13th marathon this year!! We were able to visit with them and learn all their tips and tricks while taking in the beauty of the north shore from the train. We arrived at the start line at 7:15 got in line for the bathrooms and got out to the course right at 7:45.
The weather was perfect, the volunteers were amazing, and I ran the best race of my life! For the last 3 miles I was able to see my parents, my uncle, my brother, and his 6 friends who ran the half marathon, my co-teacher, and friends. It was so inspirational and magical there truly is nothing like a Grandma’s finish. I ran 04:55:00 which is an hour and 22-minute improvement from my first Grandma’s marathon time!

After we took the short drive back to the Villa. We showered and went and grabbed post-race food at OMC Smokehouse which never disappoints! We then met up with my parents, brother, and his friends for a celebratory beverage at Bayfront. The music was awesome, and nothing is better than celebrating with fellow runners! Afterward, we headed back to our villa, enjoyed some local brews, and worked on one of the puzzles our villa had.

Sunday:
Sunday morning brought the sad feeling that happens after another Grandma’s weekend is done. Until next year Duluth!!

Michelle Ziebarth

Follow Her On: Instagram and Facebook

Favorite Grandma’s Marathon Memory: This past year was my first Grandma’s and the train ride was simply amazing! So beautiful, unique, and such a great way to get to the start line! 

If I had to define my running with the title of a song, it would be: The Climb by Miley Cyrus. Super cheesy I know but running is such an amazing sport and it truly is all about the climb! 

I won’t run outside if: It’s hot and humid! I can do cold, rain, snow, and sleet but the heat and humidity gets to me real quick, guess that’s the MN girl in me. 

Pre-Race superstition: I always have to set out my clothes the night before for every race. Last year I lost my pins and had people all over the hotel looking for pins for me. 

Fitger's 5K History

The Fitger’s 5K began in 1990 and over more than three decades has now become Duluth’s premier spring running event.

The 3.1-mile race traditionally starts and finishes in front of the historic Fitger’s building. The scenic race course takes participants through downtown Duluth and Canal Park.

Below are the all-time Fitger’s 5K race records and winners from each year. NOTE: Some early records are incomplete and our staff is working to retrieve those dating back to 1990.

2022 Fitger's 5K Parking Info

The Fitger’s 5K course starts and finishes just outside the historic Fitger’s Lakefront Hotel in downtown Duluth. They travel eastward toward 23rd Avenue East on Superior Street, London Road, and South Street.

2022 Fitger's 5K Parking Info

The Fitger’s 5K course starts and finishes just outside the historic Fitger’s Lakefront Hotel in downtown Duluth. They travel eastward toward 23rd Avenue East on Superior Street, London Road, and South Street.

2022 Fitger's 5K Parking Info

Free parking for the event is available in the parking ramp located next to Fitger’s.

Fitger’s Complex
600 E. Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802

2022 Fitger's 5K Race Packet Pickup Info

The Fitger’s 5K course starts and finishes just outside the historic Fitger’s Lakefront Hotel in downtown Duluth. They travel eastward toward 23rd Avenue East on Superior Street, London Road, and South Street.

2022 Fitger's 5K Swag Items

The Fitger’s 5K course starts and finishes just outside the historic Fitger’s Lakefront Hotel in downtown Duluth. They travel eastward toward 23rd Avenue East on Superior Street, London Road, and South Street.