Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

2024 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon registration is now sold out.

To 2024 Race Day

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NEXT RACE

June 22, 2024

LOCATION

Duluth, MN

RACE CAPACITY

8,000 total
0%

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Don’t worry… there are still ways into the SOLD OUT Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon!

  • Charity Partners Program — You raise the money, they pay for your race entry. Run for free, run for good! NOTE: Available entries vary by charity partner.
  • Official Training Group — Sign up to train with us, and you’ll receive a guaranteed entry to the 2024 race of your choice. NOTE: 200 first-come, first-served entries available.

Connect with other 2024 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon participants!

  • 2024 Participant Facebook Group — You’ve got questions about race weekend? Go straight to the source and connect with other participants!
  • 2024 Grambassadors — We’ve assembled a group of experienced and enthusiastic race weekend veterans to offer help and encouragement!
  • 2024 Bib Transfer Portal — Signed up but now can’t race? Or still looking for a way into this year’s race? Connect with each other on Facebook!

WORLD CLASS EVENT, SMALL TOWN CHARM

Garry Bjorklund won the inaugural Grandma’s Marathon in 1977 and was again the champion in 1980.

While that may be his local claim to fame, the Duluth area native also represented the United States in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, placing 13th in the 10,000-meters.

In 1991, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon was created to recognize his lifelong contributions to running throughout the area and state of Minnesota.

The race has now grown to become one of the largest half marathons in the country, welcoming approximately 10,000 participants each year to the shores of Lake Superior.

2024 RACE DETAILS

COURSE MAP & TOUR

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon course is a picturesque, point-to-point 13.1-mile stretch along the beautiful shores of Lake Superior.

 

With rolling hills and a net downhill elevation, our racecourse starts north of Duluth, MN and runs along Scenic Highway 61, hugging the shores of Lake Superior before taking participants through the heart of downtown Duluth and finishing in historic Canal Park.

 

TIME REQUIREMENT
Our racecourse will be open for 3 hours (14:00/mile pace) on race day. IMPORTANT: Anyone choosing to continue after the 3-hour time limit will be required to move to the side of the course to make way for oncoming full marathoners.

TOTAL ELEVATION CHANGE: -5 FEET
Elevations are approximate.

LOCATION

Start
Mile 1
Mile 2
Mile 3
Mile 4
Mile 5
Mile 6
Mile 7
Mile 8
Mile 9
Mile 10
Mile 11
Mile 12
Mile 13
Finish

ELEVATION (FEET)

615
629
631
620
640
645
625
655
672
651
657
645
636
611
610

CHANGE (MILE TO MILE)


+14
+2
-11
+20
+5
-20
+30
+17
-21
+6
-12
-9
-25
-1

ENTRY FEE STRUCTURE

Pricing Structure (In-Person)
October 1-October 15 — $110
October 16-December 31 — $120
January 1-March 31 — $130
April 1-June 1 — $140

 

Pricing Structure (Virtual)
October 1-Race Day — $110

PRE-RACE TRAINING

The official Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon training group, led by certified coach Tony Stensland, is designed to prepare you for a successful race day.

 

This is the perfect place to gain confidence while feeling the camaraderie and support of other, like-minded runners! Whether you’re interested in joining or just need advice on how to train on your own, please click HERE for more information.

 

As part of your registration, all participants will be receiving an exclusive trial of the ASICS Runkeeper Go premium subscription, with access to features like:

  • Tailor-made training plans based on your individual goals, experience, and schedule
  • Run comparisons and advanced insights into your progress
  • Guided workouts to help motivate you along the way


Put the worries of training aside, and focus instead on the fun part of reaching your finish line in June!

RACE PACKET PICKUP

Participants may pick up their race packets during the Essentia Health Fitness Expo. Extended hours for packet pickup are available on Friday night for those arriving late to Duluth.

 

PACKET PICKUP HOURS
Thursday, June 20, 2024 | 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday, June 21, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

 

Click HERE for more information on the specifics of your race packet pickup.

START & FINISH LINES

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon start line is located on Old Scenic Highway 61 just north of McQuade Safe Harbor. For a map and more information on the start line, including more of what to expect for participants, please click HERE.

 

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon finish line is located in the heart of Duluth’s Canal Park and is a short walk from the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) and Bayfront Festival Park. For a map and more information on the finish line, including more of what to expect for participants, please click HERE.

WATER & AID STATIONS

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon water and aid stations will be located at Miles 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Water and Powerade Ion4 will be provided in cups at every station.

 

IMPORTANT: Hydration vests and fuel belts are allowed on the course, but only if that is their primary purpose. Backpacks or vests with several other pockets will not be permitted.

 

Hiccup Earth will again be providing reusable cups for two of our Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon water stations, in partnership with Coca Cola. Please remember two important things — DO NOT take the cups with you, and TOSS your used cups to the side of the road or in one of the marked collection bins.

 

ON-COURSE FUEL & FOOD
Super One Foods will provide fresh fruit near Miles 6 and 10.5. On-course fuel will be provided, with details to be announced closer to race day.

GEAR BAGS

You will receive an official, clear plastic gear bag at race packet pick-up. A label with your race number is provided in your race packet envelope and must be placed in the designated space on your bag.

 

Gear bags MUST be dropped at the bus pickup locations prior to departing for the start area. Gear bags WILL NOT be accepted in the start area of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

 

Please plan to wear warm layers on race morning. Extra clothes can be discarded in the start area prior to the race – Goodwill Duluth will reuse or recycle all clothing left behind.

 

Participants may pick up their gear bags in the secure finish area. You may pick up your gear bag before collecting your post-race food, if desired.

 

IMPORTANT: Unofficial gear bags (including backpacks) are not permitted and will not be accepted. Do not leave valuables in your bag. Race officials are not responsible for any lost items. All bags are subject to inspection and should not be left unattended.

PACE GROUPS

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon has experienced pace teams, presented by ASICS, to help keep you on track throughout your race. Pacers will be available for the following goal finish times: 1:30, 1:40, 1:45, 1:50, 1:55, 2:00, 2:05, 2:10, 2:15, 2:20, 2:30, and 2:45.

 

Participants can find their pace team leader near the sign in the start corral indicating their goal pace.

MEDICAL SUPPORT

If you are unable to finish the race, there are four racecourse dropout zones with fatigue buses and medical tents.

 

  • Lakewood Road (approximately 3.1 miles)
  • 60th Avenue East (approximately 6.0 miles)
  • 26th Avenue East (approximately 9.2 miles)
  • 9th Avenue East (approximately 10.7 miles)

 

Fatigue buses will depart when full to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC), which is approximately 1/2 mile from the finish line.

 

IMPORTANT: Seeking aid at a medical tent during the race DOES NOT prevent you from continuing. However, any assistance that results in your being moved forward on the course will result in a disqualification.

TRANSPORTATION

Using official bus or train transportation is the ONLY allowable way for participants to get to the start line of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. For the safety of our participants, volunteers, and the public, individual drop-offs at the start line are strictly prohibited.

 

Please click HERE for more information on available transportation to the start line and throughout race day.

WHERE TO STAY

Rooms do book quickly for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon race weekend, so it’s recommended that participants, volunteers, and spectators find lodging as soon as possible.

 

A full list of available hotels, motels, and campgrounds, etc. throughout the area is available HERE.

FOR SPECTATORS

The best – and most fun! – places to watch Grandma’s Marathon come once the participants have reached Mile 6 and the outer city limits of Duluth.

 

London Road, Superior Street, and Canal Park are some of the most convenient locations to watch the race. Parking in these areas can be limited, so please plan to arrive early to allow extra walking time to your chosen viewing location.

 

More specific spectator information for race weekend can be found HERE.

PARTICIPANT TRACKING

Timing mats will be placed at the following checkpoints on the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon racecourse: 6.9M and 11.9M.

 

Live runner tracking, powered by ASICS, is available through our Grandma’s Marathon mobile app. The app can be downloaded anytime on Apple and Android, but live runner tracking will be available only on race day.

AWARDS

Open – 1st through 10th
Ages 12-18 – 1st
Ages 35-39 – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Ages 40-44 – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Ages 45-49 – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Ages 50-54 – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Ages 55-59 – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Ages 60-64 – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Ages 65-69 – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Ages 70-74 – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Ages 75-79 – 1st & 2nd
Age 80 & Over – 1st
Non-Binary – 1st, 2nd, & 3rd
Local Runner – 1st
Minnesotan – 1st

 

NOTE: 19-34 age group awards are included in the Open category. Per USATF rules, gun time will be used to determine prize money and incentive bonuses. Chip time will be used to determine all age-group winners and other award recipients. Non-binary athletes are not eligible for overall men’s and women’s prize packages.

RACE RESULTS

To access the full historical results database of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon as well read more about the event’s all-time event record holders, year-by-year winners, and age category record-holders., please click HERE.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and race weekend, please click HERE.

THE SWAG

2024 GARRY BJORKLUND HALF MARATHON
LIMITED EDITION JACKET
$40.00
This Diamond Fleece Jacket, made by Minnesota-based company Storm Creek, is artfully engineered and features a quilted diamond pattern combined with luxuriously soft fabric. Peak comfort and peak performance for the perfect active layer (MSRP: $75).

2024 GARRY BJORKLUND HALF MARATHON TRAINING
SHIRT
$30.00
Let the world know you’re training for the 2024 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in this 100% polyester, long-sleeve tech training shirt. You’ll look good and run fast!

2024 GARRY BJORKLUND HALF MARATHON JACKET
& SHIRT COMBO 
— $55.00
The perfect layering solution for all weather conditions. Save $15 when you purchase both the 2024 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon limited edition jacket and training shirt!

GRANDMA’S MARATHON LONG SLEEVE HOODIE — $35.00
Made by Minnesota-based company Storm Creek, this luciously soft and lightweight Pacesetter hoodie will fit perfectly and snuggle you all the way across the finish line (MSRP: $55.00).

NOTE: We expect items to start shipping in early 2024.

RACE RESULTS & PHOTOS

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon has grown into one of the most popular in the United States, now with close to 10,000 registered participants each year.

The race is is timed and scored by Mtec Results. The previous year’s results, as well as historical and all-time results dating to the inaugural event in 1991, are available HERE.

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon race day images are available online through MarathonFoto. Participants can view and purchase their very own personal photo gallery HERE.

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

Minnesota’s Best

Grandma’s Marathon has been voted three straight years as the state’s top annual sports event or race in the Minnesota’s Best awards, a Star Tribune initiative to celebrate the many businesses, organizations, and individuals that make Minnesota a great place to live, work, and play.

Minnesota’s Best is an audience-driven contest and in 2023 had more than 1 million votes cast for 6,700+ organizations in 300+ categories.

Best of the Best

Grandma’s Marathon was voted as the region’s best local tournament in the 2023 Best of the Best awards, which are hosted by our major media partner the Duluth News Tribune.

More that 140,000 votes were cast in this year’s competition, separating close to 45,000 nominees in hundreds of different categories searching to find the best of the best in Duluth and the surrounding area.

RUNNERS’ CHOICE

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon was named the top half marathon in the state of Minnesota by RaceRaves users and readers.

The list, released in 2019, crowned the 50 best half marathons in the United States based on votes from thousands of runners across the country, along with online reviews and ratings.

“When it comes to hosting a scenic destination event,” the award blurb reads, “Duluth knows best.”

MN Signature Event

Grandma’s Marathon weekend was named a Signature Event by Explore Minnesota Tourism for its contributions to the state’s $15 billion travel industry.

In a 2019 economic study, it was reported that the Grandma’s Marathon weekend brings nearly $21 million to the region each year.

The organization aimed to highlight Minnesota-based, world-class events that produce substantial media exposure and generate significant travel dollars for the state of Minnesota.

OLYMPIC TRIALS QUALIFIER

In 2023, there were four participants of Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon that qualified for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be held on February 3 in Orlando, Fla.

The qualifying window in the half marathon for the 2028 U.S. Olympic Team Trials will open in 2027.

garry bjorklund half marathon logo

Future Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Dates

June 22, 2024
June 21, 2025
June 20, 2026
June 19, 2027
June 17, 2028
June 16, 2029
June 22, 2030