- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Virtual Race
- Road Race
- Event Website
My one friend and I had a very bumpy start for this weekend with a flight delay so much that we couldn't make the expo. Thankfully our other friend had gotten there earlier and picked up our bibs. From what I heard the Expo was really great!
Morning was pretty smooth, we stayed at the Holiday Inn which is the partner hotel and the shuttle bus pick up was right across, where we walked to on the connecting bridge from hotel to convention center. The train would have been super fun but we missed that getting by maybe a minute. We got on the bus around 5 am and it took us about 30 minutes to get to start line village. everyone running either half or full have to take the bus to the start line.
At start area it was very lively with music and everyone warming up or standing in porta potty lines. We had enough time to do the porta lines 2x :) If there is anything In would add to race would be more portas.
The start was amazing with jets flying overhead and national anthem playing. everyone lines up at based on paces. No corrals and it was one start after the elites and wheel chair athletes took off.
The start of race was a bit narrow but opened up pretty fast. first couple of miles was just nice getting into the groove and both sides were tree lined. There was a porta Potty starting at mile 1 even though the aid stations didn't start until mile 3. At half way point you all the portas that the half marathons had and was a great quick stop for me since there were no lines at all. All aid stations had water and Powerade and I think mile 17 or so had maple syrup gels. I just used mine so not too sure exact mileage on that. suddenly around that time you see the first glimpse of the lake and it was just beautiful!! we Ran along the Lake with views pretty much the whole time and it was amazing! The crowds started at mile 5 and I was surprised how many people had come out, The spectators were just amazing and at all the right spots to bring energy and I felt when there weren't any people it was just what was needed to dial down on pace. The volunteers were absolutely so nice and friendly!
Towards the last miles we get into town and there was crowd support at many spots. The college cheer section was so fun! I didn't think I would be laughing towards the end of a marathon. I knew I had yet to conquer "The Lemon Drop Hill" at mile 22 and kept thinking about it but it really wasn't bad and again the crowds made it feel much easier than I had worked it up in my head.
The energy in the last bit was so so wonderful and made me run my fastest mile! Great organization at finish line and nice after party. We didn't hang around much because it got super cold. I bought some merchandise at the tent and headed back to the hotel.
Grandma's Marathon is known to be a bit warm and humid, and although at the start till about mile 10 it seemed like it might get warm the weather turned to be perfect race conditions. It got cooler and had a nice Breeze. The wind actually was in my face the last two miles which wasn't ideal but no one can control that!
This was my 2nd marathon after years of setbacks and it was just so amazing! All stars aligned for me to start and finish this race feeling strong the entire way ending in negative splits at 4:14:37 a 45 minute PR and a very emotional finish! State number 18 at MN was definitely a great experience. I loved that the race shirts were finisher shirts and we got it after finishing along with the beautiful medal!
Duluth is such a nice town and we had lunch at the Grandma's Saloon and Grill where it was packed with racers.