Frequently asked questions

Will Grandma’s Marathon Weekend be held in 2021?

We are planning to host the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend – June 17 – June 19, 2021. Registration will open at 7 pm CT on October 1, 2020. In-person and Virtual options will be available for all races. More information can be found below:



I was registered for a 2020 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend Race and did NOT receive the email containing my discount code for 2021/2022:

If you did not receive the email or lost the email containing your 2021/2022 discount code, please follow these steps to obtain it via your Race Roster account:

  1. Log into your Race Roster account HERE
    *Once logged in you will see your Grandma’s Marathon Race Weekend Registration. If you do not see your registration, please scroll down to the “Claim” section of your dashboard and click “Claim” next to “2020 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend Race”.
  2. Click “Past Registrations” on the top of the page;
  3. Click on the box that says “2020 Grandma’s Marathon Virtual Races”;
  4. Scroll down to find your 2020 Race Registration;
  5. Under the heading “Additional details” click the + Show all link;
  6. Your Discount Code will be the last item on the list next to the words 2021-2022 Code:
  7. If you experience difficulties, please contact us via email at grandmas@grandmasmarathon.com.


  • Registration for the 2021 race will open at 7 p.m. (CT)  on October 1, 2020, and for the 2022 race at 7 p.m. (CT) October 1, 2021. In order to receive the 40% discount, your promo code must be entered into the box on the registration form that says “Enter promo code, charity code or gift code”. Please be sure to review your check-out summary before clicking the final submit button to make sure the 40% discount was applied. If it was not applied, click the back button to ensure that you properly entered your discount code.
  • If you encounter problems with your code, call our office at 218-727-0947 before submitting your entry.
  • No refunds will be given for those who neglect to enter their discount code.
  • The discount code is for your use only and may not be transferred to another person.
  • The discount code may only be used toward the 2021 or 2022 Grandma’s Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, the William A. Irvin 5K or the Great Grandma’s Challenge.
  • The discount code does not need to be used for the same race you were registered for in 2020.

*NOTE: Those who received a complimentary entry in 2020 through a sponsorship or charity partner do not qualify for the discount.

I will be registering myself and another person (or other people), and we all have  discount codes. How do I apply the discount codes for each person?

During registration you can register yourself and up to 3 other people in one transaction by selecting the “Add Additional Participant” button at the bottom of the entry form until you have entered the information for all people in your party. If all (or some) of you have a discount code, enter each registrant’s code in the box titled “Enter promo code, charity code or gift code” when you are completing the entry form for each person.

I registered for an In-Person race, but would like to switch to a Virtual race, is this possible?

You can switch to the virtual version of your race by following these steps:

  1. Log onto:  https://raceroster.com/events/2021/30994/2021-grandmas-marathon-weekend-race
  2. Select the “Transfer” Button on the right side of the screen;
  3. Sign into your Race Roster account using the email address you registered with and the password you created when you registered;
  4. Follow the prompts to initiate the transfer to the virtual race.

I have questions about the Virtual Race Result submission process. 

Please email us with your Virtual Race questions.

What is the deadline to submit my Virtual Race finisher time?

2020 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend Participants: July 31, 2020

2020 Park Point 5-Miler: July 17, 2020

2020 Fitger’s 5K: September 18, 2020

2020 Minnesota Mile: September 18, 2020

2020 North End Nightmare 5K: October 31, 2020

Where can I find more information and updates on Grandma’s Marathon’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) response and plans?

Any updates will be posted here on our website and communicated via all channels possible.

Can I exchange my jacket, training shirt, finisher shirt, etc.?

Yes, while items and sizes are available. Please email us regarding details on how to make an exchange.

How do I know if I am registered?

You will receive an email confirming your acceptance into the race immediately after you register. You may also CLICK HERE and search online for your registration. Race # and Race Packet Pickup information for Grandma’s Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and the William A. Irvin 5K will be emailed in early June.

I need to update my registration information. What should I do?
I’m registered, but I’m not receiving email communications.

To edit your registration, follow these steps.

1. Log onto RaceRoster
2. Click the Sign In button in the upper right corner of the page. Sign in to the Race Roster account that you created when you registered.
3. Click the word Menu in the upper right corner of the page.
4. On the drop-down menu, under the title “Participants”, select “Dashboard”. You will be taken to your personal participant dashboard.
5. Review the information under “Registration Details”.
6. To edit your address or email address, select the “EDIT REGISTRATION INFORMATION” button next to your name, edit your information, and click “Submit”.

If you are having problems, please call the Grandma’s Marathon office at 218-727-0947 or email us at grandmas@grandmasmarathon.com.

I lost my Bib # email. What do I do?

Bib # emails will only be sent once. If you have lost your bib # email or did not receive it, bring a photo ID with you to race packet pickup and present it to a race official.

I am not able to make it to Race Packet Pickup. What are my options?

1. For a $25 per person fee (within the United States only) you can have your race packet delivered to you 10-14 days prior to race day. If you did not order this service on your entry form when you registered, call us at 218-727-0947 with your credit card or mail a letter of request with your address and check to Grandma’s Marathon, P.O. Box 16234, Duluth, MN 55816. The last day to request to have your packet mailed to you is May 20. Requests received after May 20, 2021 will not be accepted – NO EXCEPTIONS.

2. You may have someone else pick up your packet for you by following a few simple steps—complete the authorization (to be found at the bottom of your Bib # email coming in June), and have your “friend” bring the printed, authorized confirmation to race packet pickup.

I am injured, pregnant, or no longer able to attend the race, can I get a refund?

Entry fees are non-refundable. The only exception that will be made to our “no refund policy” is for those who are on active military duty and are deployed for service (a copy of deployment orders is required).

How old do you have to be to run the marathon?

Participants must be 12 years of age or older on race day to run Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.  There are no minimum age requirements for the William A Irvin 5k or any of our other races.

Can I defer my entry to next year?

No. Entry deferments are not permitted under any circumstances.

Can I transfer/sell my number to another person?

If you become injured or are no longer able to join us for Grandma’s Marathon weekend you may transfer your entry to another person for $26.95 + transaction fee (NOTE: The person you transfer the entry fee to will pay this fee). No transfers will be accepted after May 1, 2021.

IMPORTANT:  This is the ONLY authorized way to transfer your entry to another person.

Running under another person’s name is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification and jeopardize your participation in future Grandma’s Marathon events. Entry fees are non-refundable. If you choose to transfer your entry to another person, you are responsible for arranging payment for the entry with the person you are transferring it to.

To transfer your entry, log into your Race Roster account. Once logged in, select the ‘Transfer Request’ button on the dashboard screen and follow the prompts.

I am not officially registered for the race. Can I run the marathon/half marathon/5K anyway?

No. Only officially registered participants, volunteers, and race officials are allowed on the Grandma’s Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and William A. Irvin 5K race courses. If you do not have an official race number, volunteer T-shirt or race official credential you will be asked to leave the course. 

Can I switch from the marathon to the half marathon?

You may not switch from the marathon to the half marathon. However, you may switch from the half marathon to the marathon (upgrade) prior to June 1 (while spots remain). Email us for details on how to switch.

Can I drive to the starting line and leave my car there?

No. There is no parking at the starting lines of Grandma’s Marathon or the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. The only way to ensure you get to the starting line in time for the official start of your race is to ride an official starting line shuttle bus or the train. Buses to the starting line are for race participants only. You must have your race number visible to board the bus.

Do you have any suggestions on finding lodging for Grandma’s Marathon weekend?

We encourage participants to begin looking for lodging as early as possible. Accommodations become available throughout the year and are updated on the Visit Duluth website every Monday afternoon starting in January. The best way to secure a room is by calling the hotel. Many hotels do not take online bookings for Grandma’s Marathon Weekend.

I want to volunteer! Who do I contact?

Volunteers are crucial to the success of Grandma’s Marathon. If you would like to lend a helping hand during marathon weekend, please call us at 218-727-0947 or email us at grandmas@grandmasmarathon.com. More volunteer info here.

Is Grandma’s Marathon a Boston qualifier?

Yes, Grandma’s Marathon is a top qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Please keep your official race results email to verify your qualifying time with Boston Marathon race officials.

Is there a course time limit?

Yes.  At Grandma’s Marathon, we’re committed to providing the safest and most positive race day experience possible. Our time limits are set to ensure that runners are protected from vehicular traffic and have the aid station support they need to successfully complete the race.

Grandma’s Marathon = 7 hours (16 minute pace)
Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon = 3 hours 3 minutes (14 minute pace)
William A. Irvin 5k = 1 hour 2 minutes (20 minute pace)

Are there Pace Teams?

Yes. We have experienced Pace Teams keeping you on track to reach your goal.  Pacers will pace following times for Grandma’s Marathon: 3:00, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30, 3:40, 3:50, 4:00, 4:05, 4:20, 4:35, 4:50, 5:00, 5:30, 6:00.

Pacers will pace the following times for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon: 1:30, 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:10, 2:20, 2:30 and 2:45.

What is the Race Cancellation/Alteration Policy?

It is the primary goal of Grandma’s Marathon to ensure a safe event for all involved. We will not expose participants or the community as a whole to undue risk as a result of staging our event. There may be times when we feel it is unsafe to continue with the race. While we recognize the aspirations and commitment of those that have entered the race we will make decisions about the race based on the participation population as a whole. Furthermore, if the community resources are threatened we will act to protect them from unnecessary stress.

Specifically, when pandemics, weather, or other physical conditions present a danger to participants as a whole, we will maintain the right to cancel the race. Less threatening conditions could result in an alteration of the course or race length to promote a more safe result for the participants. These conditions will be recognized as “an act of God” and will not result in the refunding of race entry fees or future race credits. The staging of a race of this magnitude results in substantial expense prior to the actual race itself. Thus, in the event of a forced cancellation of the event, it is very likely that the financial impact on the race would not be any different than if the race was held without compromise.

The Medical Director, Executive Director, and Chairperson of the Board of Directors (by majority vote) will make the decision regarding the cancellation or alteration of the race. Prior to the race the Medical Director will apprise the runners of weather conditions and advise on how to adjust to them. The Executive Director will describe any course modifications. In the event of a course evacuation, marathon personnel or city of Duluth police will direct runners to designated shelter areas to await transport to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC).

Severe thunderstorms with the threat of lightning that are forecasted to continue throughout the day of the event may result in cancellation of the event for all participants.

In case of severe heat and humidity, the Medical Director, Executive Director, and Board of Directors Chairperson will have the authority to either cancel Grandma’s Marathon or shorten the length of the race to the half marathon distance. The Executive Director, Medical Director, and Board of Directors Chairperson will make the decision no later than 4:30 p.m. on Thursday of race-week, to change the distance of the race.

In the event that a cancellation or alteration will take place, Grandma’s Marathon will advise participants through various traditional and non-traditional media channels on a timely basis.

What aid/nutrition is available on the Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon course? 

Grandma’s Marathon Aid/Water Stations:
Located at miles 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 & 25. Water and Powerade Ion4 (Mountain Berry Blast) is provided at all stations. Clif SHOT (Boston Crème Pie, Razz, Mocha, Citrus) are available at Mile 17. Fresh fruit will be available near mile 19 and 23.5.

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Aid/Water Stations:
Located at miles 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12. Water and Powerade Ion4 (Mountain Berry Blast) is provided at all stations. Clif SHOT (Boston Crème Pie, Razz, Mocha, Citrus) are available at Mile 4. Fresh Fruit will be available near mile 9.

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