• 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.

          • Read More
    • 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.

          • Read More
    • 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.

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

Road to the Boston Marathon- Entry #2

Entry #2: An Uphill Battle
By: Noah Mark Bitney

“How long should you try? Until.”

Jim Rohn

Excuses are the killers of dreams, and I have no excuses for my training (or should I say lack thereof) this past month and a half! Marathon Training is more than just running day in and day out. There is a lot to it, not only physically but mentally as well. Sometimes when you are running, and you get to that BIG HILL and you think can I do this? Then you start running and it gets to be too steep annnnddd . . . you lose all your energy and focus. You quit running and just walk the rest of the way. That’s what happened to me over these past few weeks. I quit, the hill was too steep, and it defeated me. Simply put I failed myself.

Over the past month, month, and a half I’ve run pretty inconsistently and not followed my training program whatsoever. I’m not afraid to admit it, even though I was so confident and full of energy a couple of months ago. I hit the hill so to speak. We all lose focus sometimes. We get caught up with many different things (hills) that prevent us from doing what we need or want to do. It’s getting past those hills that make us a stronger runner, and now is my time to get past those hills.

Between my full-time (45+ hours a week) job and my 11-month-old son, Mason, life has kind of taken over my running. I’m not making excuses, however, because there have been many opportunities for me to run and get after it, but my commitment, drive, and focus haven’t been there. Basically, I’ve been downright lazy.

However, these past few weeks I’ve done some soul searching and some real hard thinking, and remembered why I love to run so much, and why I’m chasing after that Boston Qualification! There is this famous quote from Dwayne Johnson that I’ve always found inspiring, and I came across it again recently and it helped me find that commitment and passion for running again.

“Don’t work 8 hours for a company then go home and not work on your own goals. You’re not tired, you’re uninspired.” -Dwayne Johnson

And that’s it, I’ve been uninspired! It’s been a real “Uphill Battle” these past several weeks mentally and physically, but I’ve taken the time to find some inspiration, and remember why I’m chasing that Boston Qualification next June. So now it’s time to push past this steep hill in my training.  So, to do that I need to push harder, breathe deeper, and focus on what comes after running the steepest of hills!

Mason and my work are unmovable hills in my training. Both are an important part of my life but running is also very important. It is a part of who I am. So, how do I fit my marathon training in between these two big hills? I learn to adapt and change my thought process about my training program. I use these hills as a training opportunity to grow as not only a runner but as a husband and father.

Most people who know me, know that I’m not a morning person. Luckily, I’m already up at 4:00 A.M. every day to be at work by 5-6, so why not get up a little earlier and take some time to focus on my goals! Yeah, that means 2:00 A.M. or maybe earlier, but if I can do it for a job . . . why can’t I do it for something that means more to me than a job? Then after my 9-Hour Shift at work, I can focus on being a father to Mason and on being a husband to my amazing wife. This is most definitely going to be a learning curve and a change for me, but I really think if I commit to this and make it a part of my daily training, I can succeed with all three hills that I’m facing and win the “Uphill Battle” I’m fighting. If I succeed then the rest of my training (the Five Key Miles & more) will just fall into place.

Now that I’ve found that inspiration and passion again, it is time to apply consistency and commitment to this program. Then and only then will I be on the right track, and those hills will be an easy climb and the battle will be won!

With this new mindset, and a plan for those tough hills . . . let’s reset the miles back to the beginning! Starting December 6th, I will be in a 26-Week Marathon Training program towards Grandma’s Marathon! As I run towards June 18th, I’m going to be building my weekly mileage slowly and consistently towards 90 Miles a Week! Along the way, I’m going to follow my Five Key Mile Strategy and focus each day on being better than the previous day!

Sure, we’re heading into one of the hardest times to start a new training program, but if you really think about it there is never a good time. You will always find an excuse, and I’m done looking or making excuses, I’m ready to commit and I don’t think I’ve ever felt as excited or ready as I do right now about where my running career is headed!

Before I leave you today, there is a quote I want to leave you with. It is something I’m going to tell myself each and every day during this training program. Before I do, I would like to know, what has been your biggest hurdle in a training program before? Have you ever lost inspiration while training for a big goal? Let me know what you’ve faced in the past in the comments below.

Alright, so each day and every day I will simply tell myself: “I COMMIT, I WON’T QUIT!”

Happy Holidays Grandma’s Runners, to you and your family!

Noah Bitney

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

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Favorite Grandma’s Marathon Memory: Running this past summer, where I was able to redeem myself on the Grandma’s Marathon course after an injury in my first Marathon here. Not only did I outperform my previous 4:09:52 Course Record, but I smashed my PR by 18 minutes at Grandma’s this year! It was my first real race post-Covid, and it was such a great experience to get back out there racing again!

Favorite Non-Grandma’s Event: Eau Claire Marathon #RunEC! I’m also an ambassador, and now a committee member for that race organization.

Go to post-race beverage: CHOCOLATE MILK!!!

2022 Running Goal: To FINALLY qualify for the Boston Marathon. I’ve got a long winter ahead, and it’s time to get myself into shape!

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.