Wheelchair and Adaptive Programs

Let nothing slow you down.

The spirit of racing lives within us all, and no matter what, we should all have the option to pursue it. That is why our wheelchair and adaptive programs are so important to us. We want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to embrace their race.


Wheelchair division (Push Rim)

Grandma’s Marathon includes a push rim wheelchair racing division, comprised of both elite and citizen participants for athletes with Paralympic classification or eligible impairment. The elite wheelchair competition is an invitational field and includes awards. Elite and citizen wheelchair participants must notify the Grandma’s Marathon office of their intent to participate prior to registering, to ensure a safe field size & race experience for all in the division. All Wheelchair Division participants must have a prior performance of at least a half marathon distance to demonstrate safety and ability to complete the event. The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon does not have a push rim wheelchair division.

For 2021, the Grandma’s Marathon push rim wheelchair field is limited to a total of 24 athletes, due to modified event timelines given the COVID-19 pandemic.

For safety reasons, racers in the push rim wheelchair division must participate using a racing wheelchair (pictured). A day chair may be used only if fitted with an attachment such as a FreeWheel. Helmets must be worn at all times by all wheelchair division participants.


Adaptive Programs

Duo Teams

Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, as well as Young Athletes Foundation events, are proud to host Duo Teams each year, comprised of an athlete with an eligible impairment pushed by one or more able-bodied runners in a specialized racing wheelchair (see photo below for a wheelchair example). All participants as part of a Duo Team must be a paid registrant with an individual race number. A field capacity of five Duo Teams is maintained for each race, to provide a safe experience for these participants. The Duo Team program is non-competitive, and there are no separate award categories.

First-time Duo Teams are welcome to participate in all Young Athletes Foundation events (St. Fennessy 4K, Fitger’s 5K, Park Point 5-Miler, Minnesota Mile & North End Nightmare 5K). Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon require a prior performance for Duo Teams to demonstrate safety and ability to complete the event. The William A. Irvin 5K on Marathon Weekend unfortunately cannot accommodate a Duo Team field at this time, due to the narrow course and wave format.

Prospective Duo Teams must contact the Grandma’s Marathon office or myTeam Triumph Minnesota prior to registering for any event, and indicate their interest in the program. For more details, contact greg@grandmasmarathon.com.

Runners with an impairment

We welcome race participants in all events who may have a permanent visual, physical or intellectual impairment that affects their ability to participate in long distance running. Runners with an impairment are encouraged to contact the Grandma’s Marathon office with any requests for accommodations needed prior to registering. The Grandma’s Marathon staff will do its best to provide all reasonable accommodations to these athletes. Athletes in this program participate as part of the general participant field, and there are no separate award categories.

Guide Runners

Runners with an impairment are eligible to have a Guide Runner assist them with their race if needed. A complimentary entry will be provided for Guide Runners upon request, prior to registration. One guide is allowed per athlete, and they must complete the entire race with the participant they are supporting. Runners in this program are encouraged to find their own Guide Runner, as the Grandma’s Marathon staff does not actively recruit Guide Runner volunteers.


If you are interested in learning more about any of our wheelchair or adaptive programs, contact us at:

Phone: 218-727-0947

Email: grandmas@grandmasmarathon.com