William A. Irvin 5K Home

The 2021 William A. Irvin 5K in-person field is FULL. Interested participants still have the option of registering with one of our Charity Partners or utilizing the virtual option.

The status of the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon weekend is tentative and subject to change at any time. Our staff is working with state and local officials to develop a COVID-modified race plan to make the race and its surrounding events as safe as possible for our participants and volunteers.


Date: June 18, 2021
Start Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Duluth, MN
In-Person Race Capacity: 1,500
In-Person Entry Fee (non-refundable)
$35 (October 1-11, 2020)
$45 (October 12-December 31, 2020)
$50 (January 1-June 1, 2021)
Swag: William A. Irvin Finisher Shirt, Finisher Medal


NOTE: If you were registered for one of the 2020 Grandma’s Marathon weekend races and did not receive your promo code (sent via email on September 5, 2020), click here to find instructions on how to obtain your code.


The William A. Irvin 5K started in 1994 and has now become the popular kickoff event to an exciting lineup of races and festivities on Grandma’s Marathon weekend.

A perfect race for people of all ages and abilities, the 3.1-mile course was named after the William A. Irvin ore boat located next to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC).

A new course, starting in 2016, now takes participants on a scenic tour of Duluth’s Lakewalk on the shores of Lake Superior before running through Canal Park back to the finish line.

The William A. Irvin ore boat was built in the 1930s for U.S. Steel’s Pittsburgh Steamship Company. The steamer carried coal and iron ore to ports on the Great Lakes for 40 years.

The Irvin, now owned and operated by the DECC, is longer than two football fields and has become an iconic piece of Duluth’s Canal Park as a floating museum of maritime history.


2021 Cancellation Contingency Plan

If COVID-19 conditions do not improve, there’s a chance we will have to cancel the in-person version of the William A. Irvin 5K for the second year in a row.

If that happens, all participants registered for an in-person race will be automatically switched to the virtual option and receive new instructions for completing their race.

Those registrants will also receive a 40% discount that can be used (3) times over the next (5) years on any Grandma’s Marathon weekend race.

NOTE: Participants registered for a 2021 virtual race DO NOT qualify for the cancellation discount plan.


Future William A. Irvin 5K Dates

June 17, 2022
June 16, 2023
June 21, 2024
June 20, 2025
June 19, 2026
June 18, 2027
June 16, 2028
June 15, 2029
June 21, 2030


The status of the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon weekend is subject to change at any time.
We realize that the COVID-19 pandemic is a dynamic situation, and we will continue to monitor all updates from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If the status of the event changes, we will notify participants via email as soon as possible.