Spectator Information

You’re invited to the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon weekend!

Per the most recent update to Minnesota’s public health guidance, spectators are welcome at all the usual spots for our race weekend, which is scheduled for June 17-19, 2021.

Masks and face coverings will not be required, per the state’s updated guidance, but they are strongly encouraged for everyone choosing to attend or be involved with Grandma’s Marathon.

NOTE: Grandma’s Marathon strongly encourages all spectators to follow public health recommendations set by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) while attending our event. This includes but is not limited to wearing masks while in large groups and maintaining appropriate social distance.

There will still be some obstructed sightlines, specifically at the finish line area in Canal Park, to help manage natural pinch points and prevent large crowds from gathering.

Spectators will not be allowed in some race-controlled areas, including at the start and finish lines as well as on the racecourse itself. Volunteers and staff will be monitoring these areas throughout the day.

NOTE: Grandma’s Marathon is a large event that includes people from all over the country, from all walks of life, and potentially with varying levels of comfort. Please use caution and be respectful of others so that our event can be enjoyed by all while keeping all attendees as safe and as comfortable as possible. We appreciate your cooperation.


Record a ShoutOut Video

Record a FREE and VIRTUAL message of support for your family or friends before this year’s race, and even if you’re not able to join them in Duluth, they’ll be able to see, hear, and feel your support on race day!

You can select a participant by name, and as they pass a video board on the racecourse your pre-recorded video will automatically play. Be sure they know to be on the lookout!

The video board will be placed on Superior Street near Mile Marker 24 for the full marathon and Mile Marker 11 for the half marathon (near the Portland Malt Shoppe in Duluth). Video messages are not available for the William A. Irvin 5K.

NOTE: When recording videos, be sure to allow your device access to your camera and microphone. If using a cell phone or laptop, be sure you record your videos in landscape mode. Grandma’s Marathon will review all videos submitted, and we cannot guarantee your video will be played on race day.


Runner Tracking System

For those interested in tracking a participant’s real-time progress on race day, check out the tracker on our Grandma’s Marathon application!

The live runner tracker for Grandma’s Marathon is provided by ASICS. Available on Apple and Android.

NOTE: The runner tracking will go live on the morning of race day.

Because of limited communication coverage in some remote areas of the course, there might be a significant delay or no tracking data available during portions of the race. Please be patient as information is updated and coverage improves at different points on the course. 


How to Watch & Listen

WDIO-TV will be providing a free, live video stream of the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

Sports director Chelsie Brown will anchor the broadcast from the finish line in Canal Park, including the exclusive and first television interviews with the race winners.

WDIO will also have reporters throughout the racecourse to provide live updates as well as to share some of the many fantastic stories of Grandma’s Marathon weekend.

Web Link: wdio.com
Broadcast Start: 7:00am
Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Start: 6:00am
Grandma’s Marathon Start: 7:45am

Townsquare Radio will be providing a free, live radio broadcast of the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

Longtime and popular race announcers Dick Bearsdley and Charlie Mahler will be back to cover the men’s marathon, while Carrie Tollefson will do the same for the women’s marathon.

Chris Allen will provide coverage from the finish line in Canal Park, including the exclusive and first radio interviews with the race winners.

Local Radio Stations: 106.5 FM & 560 AM
Web Link: northlandfan.com
Broadcast Start: 6:00am
Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Start: 6:00am
Grandma’s Marathon Start: 7:45am


Weekend Activity Guide

We want all of our participants, volunteers, and spectators to have an enjoyable experience in Duluth and at Grandma’s Marathon.

To help with that, we print an annual edition of the Grandma’s Marathon Weekend Activity Guide. This is your official guide to race weekend and can answer many of the questions you may have about where to go, eat, drink, shop, sightsee, or do just about anything else while you’re in Duluth and the surrounding communities.


Helpful Tips & Tricks

  • No vehicles are allowed on Old Scenic Highway 61 (the racecourse) at anytime during the running of Grandma’s Marathon or the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.
  • The expressway, which runs parallel to Old Scenic Highway 61 between Duluth and Two Harbors, will be open. Traffic on the expressway is very congested on race day, so please allow for extra travel time.
  • If you plan to watch part of the race from a spot on Old Scenic Highway 61, please keep in mind that travel to the finish line will be very difficult due to traffic delays.
  • Parking on the expressway is absolutely prohibited. Limited parking will be available on the access roads connecting the expressway to the racecourse.
  • London Road, Superior Street, and Canal Park are the most convenient places to watch the race. Parking in these areas is limited, so please plan to arrive early or allow extra time for walking to your viewing spot.

To the left is a map of available parking and spectator viewing locations used in the past. If you do plan on being in Duluth for the race, please use caution, be respectful of others, and follow any existing public health recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).


For more information on how to follow the 2021 race, please contact us via email at grandmas@grandmasmarathon.com or call our office at (218) 727-0947.