Grandma’s Marathon Wins Top Honors in Statewide Readers’ Choice Awards Program

August 26, 2021

Named Top Annual Sports Event/Race by Star Tribune Readers

(DULUTH, MINN.) — Grandma’s Marathon has been named a gold medal winner in the state’s premier Readers’ Choice Awards program, Minnesota’s Best, it was announced today.

Grandma’s was voted the state’s top annual sports event or race in the inaugural “best of” program, which was put together by the Star Tribune to celebrate the many businesses, organizations, and individuals that make Minnesota a great place to live, work, and play.

“We’re certainly honored and humbled by this recognition, but this is an award that belongs to our entire community,” Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider said. “Our race is a reflection of our volunteers, sponsors, and community partners who work tirelessly throughout the year to create a special event each June for our more than 20,000 participants. Clearly their efforts are appreciated and have not gone unnoticed. We are proud to accept this award on their behalf and look forward to living up to that ‘gold medal’ billing in 2022.”

More than 525,000 votes were cast in this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards program, with 5,700 different entities across the state competing for the top three spots in 300+ award categories.

For a full list of the 2021 Star Tribune Readers’ Choice Award winners, please visit votedminnesotasbest.com.

The 2022 Grandma’s Marathon weekend will be held Thursday-Saturday, June 16-18. Registration for the weekend’s three races – Grandma’s Marathon, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and William A. Irvin 5K – will open at 7:00 p.m. on October 1, 2021.

If you have any questions or for any interview requests, please contact Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider via email at zach@grandmasmarathon.com or via phone at (218) 343-9874.



Grandma’s Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. Grandma’s Marathon weekend draws approximately 20,000 participants for its three-race event each June.

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 nine-person, full-time staff.