With marathons in the United States, Grandma's Marathon is the 16th largest and is recognized internationally for being one of the most organized and friendliest marathons. It is one of the only marathons in the top twenty that is not held in a large metropolitan venue.
The race got its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's Restaurants, the first major sponsor of the Marathon. Over time, the level of sponsorship with the restaurants changed, but the name stayed the same. Grandma's Marathon-Duluth, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization with a 17-member Board of Directors and a small, nine-person staff.
Runners from all over the world travel to Duluth to participate in the weekend festivities. In fact, 44 countries and all 50 states were represented in the 38th annual Grandma's Marathon on June 21, 2014.
A huge post-race party featuring live musical entertainment is just one of the elements that provide the festive "Mardi Gras" atmosphere for which Grandma's Marathon is recognized.
History was made at the 38th annual Grandma's Marathon when Kenya's Dominic Ondoro ran the fastest time ever run on the Grandma's Marathon course - 2 hours, 9 minutes and 6 seconds, breaking the previous mark of 2:09:37 set in 1981 by Minnesota's Dick Beardsley.
Sarah Kiptoo, of Kenya holds the women's Grandma's Marathon course record - 2 hours, 26 minutes and 32 seconds, set in 2013.