Friday: Going into Grandma’s 2015

by Joanne on June 19, 2015

What a beautiful day to enjoy Duluth, MN.  The day before the 39th Annual Grandma’s Marathon. The only slap in the face on this day was that it was SO perfect. Tomorrow, race day, doesn’t look so good and THAT is the slap in the face.  Race start for the Full is 7:45 am.  Let’s hope Lake Superior works a little magic and forces the system away from us until Sunday.


No use stressing, I’m running come what may so here’s what went on the day before.

Friday, 6:20 am, a pre race shake out run around the lake front.

Festival park

festival park ducks

rock pose

Followed by a healthy breakfast of oatmeal, egg white omelet (tomatoes, mushrooms and green bell peppers), dry marbled rye on the side.

Took my time getting to the expo which opened at 10 am.

DECC expo

Since I went early, the expo was really easy to get around, not overly crowded, well organized with lots of samples and exciting vendors.  I bought a neat pair of capris from Janji.  They sell items to support the rain forest in Tanzania.  My purchase provided 3 years of clean water. 


Took a photo with “Grandma” of Calumet:

me and Calumet Grandma

I signed up for the 1 pm bus tour of the course.  A $5.00 fee with the option of a 1 pm or 3 pm tour.

This is pretty much how the entire route looks:

*Scenic railroad travels the route. See the tracks?

Mile 5 scenic

Similar scene at about the 10 mile point.

around 10

… and still the same somewhere around 16.  Rolling gentle hills.

all the same

At 18 miles, runners will leave North Shore Scenic Dr.. and run along London Rd.

Mile 18 split 

The big hill (not really a hill) is called Lemon Drop and hits at about the 22 mile point.  It’s a 2 part hill.  There’s a gentle incline, it levels out then goes up again to crest only a short distance later. Like I said, not much of a hill unless you’re from Florida but it hits at 22 so it might seem a bit more of a challenge.  More on this tomorrow.

Lemon drop hill

There were TONS of traffic when the bus got back to the DECC! Not nice if you had to park or needed to get somewhere down by the Lake Park.  

It was only about 2:15 so I decided to look for the old Duluth Trading Company.  Found it! Enjoyed a look through and continued on.

Duluth Trading co

Walking along Superior St. which is the last few miles of the marathon.

Grandmas flags

Got a coffee from Jiters (not that good…should have gone to Starbucks) then went back to the room for an hour before heading up to J J Astor for another not that great meal. BUT, there were highlights!  The 22nd Annual William A. Irvin 5K went off at 6pm while I was finishing up dinner.

22nd Annual William A Irvin 5K


Not a bad view.  

At 7pm there is a concert in Canal Park with Gloriana and Hitchville.  Not going since it’s an early AM wake up call for me. 

About the race tomorrow…I’m not sure how it will go.  I’d like to think it’s going to be a good one for me, following the 3:45 pacer in hopes to keep up.  There are a few things that bother me though:  1. My left groin and upper leg have been nagging all day. 2.  My stomach has been flip-flopping since yesterday. 3. I skipped lunch, having only a Clif Bar.  Here’s hoping I have a wonderful story to tell about Grandma’s 39th Annual Marathon which goes off tomorrow at 7:45 am, June 20th, 2015. 

Wish me well!

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  • At 2015.06.19 21:06, Beth Coombs said:

    Good Luck, Joanne! Enjoy and run well! Can’t wait to hear how it goes – I hope that forecast changes…yikes!

    • At 2015.06.21 21:31, Joanne said:

      Thanks Beth. We ended up with a down pour to soak us before the start but as soon as the gun went off the rain stopped.

      • At 2015.06.21 17:32, Grandma’s Marathon 2015 Recap said:

        […] pick athletes up right from the hotel between 5:45 and 6:15.  More details on the expo found HERE: Friday Going into […]

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