• 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!

          • Read More
    • 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!

          • Read More
    • 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.

          • Read More
    • 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!

          • Read More
    • 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
garry bjorklund half start

Road to the Boston Marathon- Entry #3

Training Update: Consistency & Commitment vs. Motivation By Noah Mark Bitney

“You can keep going and your legs might hurt for a week, or you can quit and your mind will hurt for a lifetime.” – Mark Allen

Hello again Grandma’s Runners! We are less than 3 months away from Race Day! Isn’t it crazy how close we are to June 18th already? I hope all your training is going well, regardless of the weather that you may be battling within these past few months. Here in the Midwest, it’s been a whirlwind of climates between cold weather, snow, and some warmish days mixed in, just enough to tease us into thinking winter is over. All I can say is that us midwestern runners are ready for some 50–60-degree weather to train in!

Throughout all those conditions however, the “Road to the Boston Marathon” is still going strong! My mileage is starting to creep up into the 40’s per week. Nutrition, which if you’ve read my previous posts has always been a struggle, has been going surprisingly well. It could still do with a little fine tweaking, but all-in-all going very well. Somehow, I’ve remained injury free (knock on wood) despite me not stretching as much as I should, and I’ve gotten in a small amount of strength training as well. As we run into April here soon, the mileage is going to increase exponentially, but luckily the temps outside will too!

Luckily, and after many trials and errors in my past training experiences, I’ve finally found the groove of my Marathon Training. Usually about this time in my training, I would have fallen off my program and resorted to very low mileage and an inconsistent training program would’ve been born. What is different this time around? What am I doing to make sure I stay on track and focus on the mileage? How am I not becoming bored with the miles and training?

Well back on February 1st, my wife and I began the 75 Hard Program. This program isn’t a diet or weight loss fad. It is marketed (and accurately might I add) as a mental toughness program. From DAY ONE you are required to do these seven things each and every day, no compromises, no exceptions:

  • First 45-Minute Workout
  • Second 45-Minute Workout
  • Take Progress Picture
  • 10 Pages of Reading
  • Drink 1 Gallon of Water
  • Follow a Diet
  • No Cheat Meals or Alcohol

(Workouts cannot be consecutive, and one of them must be outdoors. Reading must be a nonfiction book, something that you will take notes and learn from.)

This program, along with starting 2022 off with a 46 Day Run Streak, has been the key to my success these past few months. It has kept me consistent and committed to putting in the work each and every day. When I wake up each day I know what I must do, and every day I set myself up for success by planning and making the time for each one of the seven tasks I’m assigned. Yes, it hasn’t been easy. Yes, there have been many days where I’ve wanted to simply quit! Yes, there have been days where I’ve struggled to get in the work, and then that led to many late-night workouts or reading sessions. They didn’t call it 75 Easy though, they called it 75 Hard for a reason. 

Something that I’ve learned is that motivation can only get you so far and you can’t rely on it solely. You need more than just pure motivation if you are going to succeed, and because motivation is a total mental game there will always be days where you have it and then days where you don’t. If you want to achieve your goals and aspirations, in running and in life, you must be more than just motivated. Commitment, determination, and consistency must play a role, and you must know your reason why you are doing this. If you don’t have a why, then what’s the point behind any of the work you are doing?

My “Why” is simply that running is a part of who I am. I run because I like who I am when I’m consistently running, when I have a goal in mind and am actively chasing that goal.  It helps me be a better husband, father, boss, and all-around better human being. It defines who I am and makes me a better person all around, and I’m proud to say that this round of Marathon Training has been my most consistent ever. This is due to being the most determined I’ve ever been! I’ve taken new steps and different approaches to my training than in previous training years. The goal I’m chasing is that Boston Qualification, which is imbedded deep inside my training, and I’m running down that goal because 2022 is going to be my year!

Every training doesn’t come without its hiccups though. There is always something I could be doing better. Some part of my training that I’m not doing right or completely avoiding, and as mentioned above it would be doing more strength training, and not doing any stretching or recovery post-workout.

Strength Training along with recovery are SO important if I want to remain healthy and avoid any injuries like in the past. So, I need to take a more serious effort with incorporating it into my daily schedule. Some ideas to help get me more consistent with these are:

  • 10-15 minute stretch after each run/workout
  • Create a Weekly Schedule for Strength Training like I do for my Weekly Runs
  • Theragun/Foam Rolling
  • Yoga @ local Yoga Room
  • Epsom Salt Baths
  • Chiropractor Visits
  • Massages

Overall though I would say I’m off to a very solid start to my training for Grandma’s Marathon this June! With a little fine tweaking I’ll be more than ready to run my best race . . . IN LESS THAN THREE MONTHS!

Thankfully I started the year off right with a run streak and then jumped right into another crazy challenge, 75 Hard. Throughout those however, I’ve learned a lot and in the end, it has helped me stay consistent and determined with this Marathon Training! Race Day is vastly approaching, and I can’t wait to put all this hard work towards running my best race in Duluth!

How about you? What has helped you this year with your Marathon Training? What hiccups have you encountered, and how have or are you planning to overcome them? Are you ready for Race Day?

Let me know in the comments and I can’t wait to see you at the Race!


Noah Bitney

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

Follow HimInstagramTwitter

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.