Grandma's Marathon( 84 reviews )
- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Virtual Race
- Road Race
- Event Website
Kim MavesChicago, Illinois, United States
My Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/1642479405/
This race is worth the 7-8 hour drive from Chicago. I know why people love this race.
I got in Thursday and stayed at the official race hotel: Holiday Inn & Suites Duluth. This hotel knows what is up. They had balloons decorating the hotel, staff in marathon gear, and a runner's lounge with food for the day before the race that we could grab and put in our post race bags or eat the day before.
I paid the $25 to have my bib mailed to me since at the time I had no idea what my race logistics were, I hadn't booked my hotel before registering.
Expo: crowded but there were things you could get if you needed. I got salt tabs and my friends got some gels and sunglasses.
Race morning: I boarded the busses at the DECC. I don't remember how long of a bus ride it was. Exited the bus and there were so many port-o-potties and you could drop your bag in a garbage can corresponding to your bib number / each section had their own color. They have this system down.
Race started a little late I think - probably no more than a minute. The train kicks off the race which is cute.
Sunny at the start and then it got foggy and a little cooler. Which was nice. Pretty perfect racing weather.
Aid stations.... pretty good, but Blue Powerade was literally the worst choice for a sport drink. Gross. I didn't see what flavor they were serving up on the course either pre race. So I took a gamble and lost. There were clif shots somewhere on the course too. It was nice they had sponges and ice.
The course is not flat, it has some rollers. The worst one being the downhill under the bridge around 24ish. Every single person around me made some sort of OUCH noise. Lemondrop hill wasn't as bad compared to that downhill part.
The course is marked really well with massive balloons, it was fun to hunt down each balloon.
Post race you get your medal, shirt, heatsheet, and food. They had bagels with nut butter, clif bars, banana, strawberries, orange juice, and more things. I can't remember.
I ended up in the medical tent. They were so great. Feeding me pretzels, Powerade, sprite, and taking care of me until I stopped shivering and cramping.