• 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.

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

My Running and Mental Health Journey

Running has been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. In high school, I was a sprinter and once I graduated, I took up distance running as a way to keep myself active. At the time it was merely another hobby, something that I loved to do a few times a week. When I became a mother for the first time, it became a way to unwind from the stresses that often came along with being a new parent.

I started running races in 2008 and discovered a world of like-minded people. People who didn’t think twice about getting up way earlier than any person should want to on the weekend, just to spend an hour or two racking up those miles. People who talked about things like fartleks and splits and the child-like excitement in getting a new pair of shoes.

As I continued to do this crazy running thing, it slowly began to morph into something more for me. It turned into my personal “me” time, a way I could just decompress from whatever the day decided to throw at me. The road was always there for me whenever I needed it. To listen without judgment, whether it be one mile, or ten. I never truly realized how much it helped my mental health until the year 2020 came barreling at us like a freight train.

In July of that year, I lost my job of 20 years. Being unemployed for the first time since I was 15 was hard. As if that wasn’t enough, a week later my mother passed away. Almost without thinking, I struggled to cope with dealing with her passing and the loss of my job the only way I knew how: by going for a run. My mileage for that month was nearly double what I had run in May.

When I resumed therapy that fall, one of the first things I was asked was if I was doing any form of exercise. Yep, running, and lots of it! I have no doubt that running helped my anxiety and depression from ballooning into something much worse. Every single run, even the so-called bad ones, were a step towards allowing myself to heal. Giving yourself some grace can be a hard thing, especially for me, but out on the road, or even on my treadmill, I was able to let go, if only for a little awhile.

Life is a funny thing. It often throws everything but the kitchen sink at us. Sometimes we even get the sink itself! For me, having that one constant, running, has been the backbone in my mental health journey. As the saying goes, I will forever be a work in progress, but I know that the open road, and maybe even a new pair of shoes (or two) will always be there for when I need it the most.

Tanya Koneczny

Tanya is one of our Offical Grambassadors for the 2022 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend. Meet the rest of the ambassadors here.

Follow her on Instagram

Favorite Grandma’s Marathon Memory: The 2019 Garry Bjorklund half marathon. My training hadn’t been going well at all leading up to the race, so I decided from the start to just have fun instead! This meant taking the beer shot at mile 7, the pickle juice shot, and high-fiving as many little kids as I could. It was one of my slowest half marathons to date but by far one of the funnest races ever!

If I had to define my running with the title of a song, it would be: Complicated by Avril Lavigne

Go to post-race beverage: A large coffee cooler from Caribou Coffee!

2022 Running Goal: Run marathon #5!

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.