marathon runners

Everything Happening Over Grandma’s Marathon 2023 Weekend

Grandma’s Marathon is arguably one of the biggest events going on in Duluth, MN, over the summer. People from all over gather around to run along the north shore and the various festivities surrounding the event. Whether you’ve gone before or this is your first time, you may be curious about everything going on this year. 

Grandma’s Marathon, Grandma’s Half Marathon & Grandma’s 5K

The main event, obviously, is running. Whether running the full marathon or the half, the races kick off the weekend and last the entire Saturday, June 17th. The races aren’t happening simultaneously, so here’s everything you need to know:

2023 William A. Irvin 5K

The William A. Irvin 5K kicks off the weekend’s races on Friday and is a 3.1-mile-long race along the shores of Lake Superior on the newly renovated Lake Walk in Duluth, MN. Races begin at 6:00 PM and include racers of all ages and abilities.

2023 Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon

In honor of Garry Bjorklund, Grandma’s half marathon is the weekend’s first race. Runners race along Highway 61 (the scenic route) into the heart of Canal Park. They begin near the halfway point between Two Harbors, MN, and Canal Park at 6:00 AM and proceed to run 13.1 miles to the finish line. 

2023 Grandma’s Full Marathon

Grandma’s Full Marathon has 9,000 racers running from Two Harbors to Duluth, MN, beginning at 7:40 AM (7:35 AM for wheelchair and adaptive runners). Racers proceed to run 26.2 miles along the north shore on the scenic Highway 61, eventually running the same course as those that ran the half just hours before. Those who finish will cross the finish line in the heart of Canal Park.

You can view the full race map for both the half and the full marathons here. Learn more about the history of each race here.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group Run

Beginning at the Duluth Running, Co. at 1026 E. Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802, runners can meet for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group Run starting at 8:00 AM on Friday, June 16th. This event is free of charge and open to anyone interested in running. Alison Mariella Désir, Harlem Run & Author: Running While Black, will be joining the run.

She will also be the keynote speaker at the DECC during Essentia Health’s Fitness Expo at 12:00 PM and will also be selling her book and doing a signing from 2:00-4:00 PM. 

Michelani’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner

On Friday, June 16th, you can head over to the Lake Superior Ballroom at the DECC and enjoy an all-you-can-eat-dinner. This event will be taking place from 11:00 AM-9:00 PM and is available for all those who want to join. Adults will be $16 plus tax, kids ages 5-12 are $8 plus tax, and children under 4 eat free. 

Everything you need to know about this event can be found here.

2023 Rock the Bayfront 

In addition to all of the running, Rock the Bayfront will be happening on the Bayfront Festival Park on Friday from 6:30 PM-8:30 PM featuring Arch Allies and on Saturday from 9:00 AM-11:30 PM featuring the following line-up:

  • 9:00 AM-12:00 PM: Rock-A-Billy Revue 
  • 12:30-2:00 PM: Rafe Carlson
  • 2:30-4:00 PM: Laura Velvet
  • 4:30-6:30 PM: GB Leighton
  • 7:00-9:00 PM: Buckwild
  • 9:30-11:30 PM: Rhino

Visit this link for more information.

Essentia Health Fitness Expo

From 4:00 PM-8:00 PM on Thursday, June 15th, and from 10:00 AM-8:00 PM on Friday, June 16th, Essentia Health will be hosting and sponsoring a Fitness Expo at the DECC. Over 100 vendors and exhibitors will be showcasing their “latest products, services, technology, and innovation in the running and athletic industries.” There will also be speakers presenting and is available for everyone who wants to come. 

Find more information about this event here.

YAF Festival for Kids & Whipper Snapper Races for Kids

From 11:00 AM-3:00 PM on Friday, June 16th, Bayfront Festival Park will be home to all things youth. The YAF Festival for Kids is free, open to the public, and put on by the Youth Athlete Foundation. The Whipper Snapper Racesregistration is currently open (register here) and is free and available for all kids 14 and under. In-person registration begins the day of at 11:00 AM, but online registration is recommended, and the race starts at 2:00. Each child that participates will receive an official race number, finisher medal, and a goodie bag.

As always, we hope that you have fun and stay safe over the eventful Grandma’s Marathon weekend!