Back when I first started running I made a list of the iconic runs I wanted to participate in. In less than a month I’ve crossed two of them off – the Bolder Boulder 10K, and now Grandma’s Marathon.
Now I’m two marathons and four half marathons away from my 5-4 goal (5 half, 4 full the year I turn 54). Just like those stupid Eliquis drug commercials, I’m lying here with sore legs and wondering “can I up my game”?
I’m nearly 100% convinced now that I will run an ultra next year, that the remaining races are training runs with medals and t-shirts.
Recap of Grandma’s: It’s iconic for a reason, come run it! A beautiful point-to-point along the shores of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee. I recommend staying in Two Harbors, the small, quiet town that hosts the start; a bus will pick you up and take you to the start 10 minutes away.
It poured rain from the time I stepped of the bus until the start 30 minutes later. Every possible shelter was already crammed to overflowing by the time our bus arrived and so I had to settle for the 30 gallon trash bag I’d snagged from the hotel room. The rain stopped a few minutes into the race and stayed away for the time it took me to finish.
Along the course we had magnificent views of the lake, a few small, very supportive towns that were perfumed by blossoming lilacs.
Aid stations were plentiful and extremely well staffed with volunteers of all ages offering water and powerade every 2 miles from 3-17 then every mile from 19-25. Oddly there was only one Clif Shot station, at mile 17.
The marathon boasted roughly 7800 runners, it took me 14 minutes to cross the start line from the back (I was held up at the porta potties and didn’t feel like trying to push up to my pace group).
Grandma’s is definitely worthy of it’s reputation.