• 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 Recap: Rachel B

Every year, I look forward to Grandma’s Marathon for MONTHS leading up to race weekend. And every year, it seems to get better and better. This year was no exception. Between the biggest group of runners we have ever had at Grandma’s Marathon, the amazing spectators, the incredible feeling of crossing the finish line, and every single second in between; Grandma’s Marathon 2022 was one of the best yet! 

Friday- THE DAY BEFORE THE BIG DAY

Our alarms went off early Friday morning, after not much sleep, and we were off to bring back an old tradition that my dad, uncles, and cousins started when they were all running Grandma’s in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s- golfing before leaving for Duluth. We had five golfers/runners playing 9 holes while goofing around and talking nonsense… I mean, discussing race strategy, of course.

We got back home to welcome three more of our runners before packing up and hitting the road in our three car caravan. After stopping about 500 times on the way north due to all of the runners hydrating, we finally made it to our apartments at The College of St. Scholastica, where we were welcomed by our final two runners- my parents.

After getting settled in, we made our way downtown. We first stopped at packet pickup- this is when race weekend gets real. We then made our way through the expo before heading upstairs to one of my favorite Grandma’s traditions- the spaghetti dinner. As always, this did not disappoint. The room was packed, the food was amazing, and the comradery between all the runners and spectators was incredible.

After we all had our fill of spaghetti, we headed out to watch our first runner of the weekend- my mom running the William A. Irvin 5K. She always does such a great job setting the stage for the rest of us runners and we all had so much fun cheering her on! 

Afterwards, we headed back up to CSS to go through our bags from the expo, lay out our clothes for the next morning, and have one last “meeting” with all the runners before heading to bed early to try our best to get some solid sleep before race day.

Saturday- RACE DAY!!!!

As much as I try to sleep in until my alarm goes off on race morning, it never happens… my friend Anna and I were up extra early to wish our half marathoners luck on their way out the door. Watching them walk down the dorm hallway was like watching them walk into battle. There was so much nervous excitement coming from our five half marathoners! 

 

A little while later, the marathoners did our final prepping and headed out the door to catch the starting line buses at UMD. I don’t know what it is, but I swear the drive up to Two Harbors always seems to take FOREVER! But once we finally made it, we made our way to the porta-potty lines and found a comfy spot in the parking lot to stretch and relax for a while.

 

As always, the race was BEAUTIFUL! The weather was perfect, the volunteers were amazing, and the Powerade tasted better than ever! As we came into downtown, we were greeted by a TON of spectators still lining the streets of Duluth. The cheers were DEAFENING coming into this area. It was beautiful to see this support, even for the back of the pack runners! After rounding the corner at mile 25 I was greeted by our huge group of runners and spectators. They were so supportive that I think I smiled for my entire last mile.

 

As always, crossing that finish line was the best feeling in the entire world. When you cross the finish line of a marathon, it doesn’t matter what happened out of the course, it’s like nothing else in the world matters! This marathon was no different. I did not hit the PR I was hoping for when I started training. But at the end of the day, 26.2 is 26.2 no matter if you are first, last, or anywhere in the middle. I finished my 5th marathon with a smile on my face… and maybe a few too many fist pumps.

 

I couldn’t write this post without bragging about the runners we had in our group! We had TEN runners finish a race on Grandma’s weekend. My mom ran the 5K more than a minute fast than last year, we had five half marathoners- three of which set MASSIVE PRs and one who used Grandma’s as her first race back after a devastating injury, and four marathon finishers- Marathon #33 for my dad, marathon #19 for my brother (and both of them shaved a great deal of time off their run from last year), marathon #5 for myself, and marathon #4 for our fourth marathoner.

 

The rest of the day and night consisted of non-stop celebration! Including heading over the Bayfront, going straight for the beer tent, and listening to the awesome music for a while. We then headed back up to CSS for our traditional post-race barbeque with our whole crew- which included a TON of great food, lots of post-race talk, and a champagne toast or two!

Sunday

On Sunday, we all slowly got out of bed, waddled our way into church, and grimaced as we stood, knelt, and sat through Catholic mass. Once getting our workout in at church, we headed to Canal Park Brewing to meet a few of our spectators for lunch, talked about how amazing Saturday was, and talked about our plans for Grandma’s Marathon 2023. We ended the day by walking down the pier to stretch our legs before sadly saying goodbye and sending our runners back home.

 

Grandma’s is nothing short of magical year after year, and this year was no different! Congratulations to all the runners who finished any race at Grandma’s Marathon 2022, and I can’t wait to see everyone again in 2023!

Rachel Barger

Follower Her on: Instagram

Favorite Grandma’s Marathon Memory: JUST ONE?! This is a tough question, but I’d have to say Grandma’s Marathon 2014. This was my first ever marathon, after going to Grandma’s for years and watching my family members cross the finish line since I was a little kid. To make it even sweeter, this race came a year and a half after I was in a car accident that left me with a very shattered ankle. My orthopedic surgeon and physical therapists told me I may never walk without a limp again, let alone finish a marathon a year after my second surgery. After hearing this, I was even more determined to follow in my family’s marathoning footsteps. I trained through my freshman year of college, skipping the 10k, half marathon, and all other “less crazy” distances and went right for the full marathon. I will never forget the feeling I had crossing the finish line in 2014!!! And as they say… the rest is history. This was the start of MANY more amazing Grandma’s Marathon memories, and many more to come.

I won’t run outside if: It takes quite a bit, I’ve stocked up on running gear for all conditions (mostly because I despise the treadmill!). But maybe when there is too much snow for me to make it out of the driveway or if there’s a chance I’d get struck by lightning; I might make an exception.

Pre-Race superstition: I always cross the starting line on the far-left side of the chute, and I ALWAYS say the same little prayer as I am crossing that starting line.

2022 Running Goal: A 26.2 PR!!!

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.