Grandma’s Marathon

Run Superior. Run the North Shore. 

Since our initial race in 1977, Grandma’s Marathon has grown bigger than just a 26.2 mile race along the scenic North Shore of Minnesota.

It’s a moment where runners of all calibers come together to celebrate the vigor of the human spirit. Where the word “impossible” ceases to exist; a day where 9,000 people are your best running buddy. Tie up your laces for the 45th year of memories, miles, and human might.

2021 Grandma’s Marathon

Date: Saturday, June 19, 2021
Start Time: TBA
Location: Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota
Race Capacity: 4,000 in-person registrants; the virtual race has unlimited capacity.
Swag: All finishers will receive a tech finisher shirt and a medal.
Registration: In-Person Option is sold out. The Virtual Option remains open. Registration for 2021 opened on October 1, 2020.



In-Person Entry Fee (non-refundable):
$110: October 1 – 11, 2020
$125: October 12 – December 31, 2020
$135: January 1 – March 31, 2021
$145: April 1 – June 1, 2021

Virtual Entry Fee (non-refundable):
$110: October 1, 2020 – June 1, 2021

***If you were registered for one of the 2020 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend Races and did not receive your promo code (sent to you via email on September 5), click the button below to find instructions on how to obtain your code:

2020 Registrant Discount Code Retrieval

2021 Grandma’s Marathon Race Weekend Plans

Grandma’s Marathon, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and the William A Irvin 5k are full at half capacity for 2021.  Half capacity limits the races to 4,000 in-person runners in the marathon and half marathon, and 1,500 in-person runners in the 5K.

Those still interested in participating can reach out to one of our official charity partners or run virtually.

If COVID-19 conditions don’t improve, there’s a chance 2021 marathon weekend races will have to be run virtually for the second year in a row. New for 2021, in the case of an in-person race cancellation, Grandma’s Marathon will give the registration value back to registrants with a forty percent discount that can be used up to three times over the next five years. Participants who register as a virtual participant do not qualify for the cancellation discount plan.


Safety Measures & Procedures:

In preparation for the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon race weekend, our staff continues to analyze several changing factors to determine the potential risk and appropriate safety measures. We are relying on the analysis of our Medical Director and his team at Essentia Health as well as our state and local health partners, who are closely monitoring the changing situation and conditions.

We are hopeful our success and experiences organizing other small events since summer will help us create a workable modified plan ahead of  Grandma’s Marathon weekend in June. In addition to working with the experts listed above, we have also employed a crowd science analysis of our specific participant flow and density, which will help give us the data necessary to create the safest possible race environment.

Please check our COVID-19 Race Updates Pages for the most up to date information. 

Course Records:
Dominic Ondoro (men’s record) — 2 hours, 9 minutes, 6 seconds — set in 2014
Sarah Kiptoo (women’s record) — 2 hours, 26 minutes, 32 seconds — set in 2013
Kellyn Taylor (women’s event record) — 2 hours, 24 minutes, 28 seconds — set in 2018

Course Time Limit: 7 hours (16-minute pace)


The 2021 Grandma’s Marathon is an MDRA Grand Prix Event.

Future Grandma’s Marathon dates: 
June 19, 2021
June 18, 2022
June 17, 2023
June 22, 2024
June 21, 2025
June 20, 2026
June 19, 2027
June 17, 2028
June 16, 2029
June 22, 2030
June 21, 2031
June 19, 2032
June 18, 2033
June 17, 2034
June 16, 2035
June 21, 2036
June 20, 2037
June 19, 2038
June 18, 2039
June 16, 2040

Course information

Grandma’s Marathon is a point-to-point course run on scenic Highway 61 along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior. The race begins just outside of Two Harbors, Minnesota, and finishes in Duluth’s Canal Park. Grandma’s Marathon is ideal for first time participants as the terrain is relatively flat with some gently rolling hills and a larger incline just before mile 22.

The course is USATF certified. Yellow balloons mark each mile and times are recorded for seven hours (until 2:45 p.m.).

 Full Course Map    Course Reroute Map