Registration Opens Tonight For 45th Annual Grandma’s Marathon Weekend

October 1, 2020

(DULUTH, MINN.) – Registration opens in a limited capacity tonight for the 45th annual Grandma’s Marathon weekend, which is scheduled for June 17-19, 2021.

Online registration for each of the weekend’s three races will open on a first-come, first-served basis at 7:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, October 1. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person registration will be limited as follows:

  • 45th Grandma’s Marathon — 4,000 in-person registrants
  • 31st Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon — 4,000 in-person registrants
  • 27th William A. Irvin 5K — 1,500 in-person registrants

If possible, based on available safety measures and public health protocols, field capacity may be increased in the future to allow more in-person registrants. A virtual option will also be available for each of the three races, with uncapped registration also beginning on Thursday, October 1.

“We are excited to be able to offer a limited number of in-person entries for the 2021 event,” Grandma’s Marathon Registration & Expo Director Laura Bergen said. “The hope is to achieve a more traditional race weekend and return to the normal excitement associated with Grandma’s Marathon, and we are hopeful the precautions in place will allow us to do that.”

If COVID-19 conditions do worsen and the in-person races are canceled, those who registered to participate in-person will automatically be converted to the virtual race. All 2021 entries are non-refundable, but in the event of a cancellation Grandma’s Marathon will offer in-person registrants the following future discount plan:

  • 40% off any three (3) Grandma’s Marathon weekend events entered in the next five years (2022-26)
    • Includes Grandma’s Marathon, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and William A. Irvin 5K

(Note: future event(s) do not need to be same event registered for in 2021)

Those interested in participating in Grandma’s Marathon weekend and helping a good cause can also contact one of our charitable partners, all of which have a select number of guaranteed in-person and virtual entries:

American Cancer Society, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – MN Chapter, CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, Duluth Area Family YMCA, Human Development Center, Life House, Inc.,

Make-a-Wish Minnesota, Move for Hunger, PAVSA, Ronald McDonald House – Upper Midwest,

SAVE, Scleroderma Foundation – MN Chapter, Special Olympics Minnesota, United Health Care Children’s Foundation

Any other charitable organizations interested in partnering with Grandma’s Marathon, please contact Angie Meador by phone at (218) 727-0947 or by email at angie@grandmasmarathon.com.

To register for the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon weekend, visit our online Registration portal powered by Race Roster. For further information about the registration process, visit our online Frequently Asked Questions page.

For media or interview requests, please contact Zach Schneider by phone at (218) 727-0947 or by email at zach@grandmasmarathon.com.



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 is now a self-governed nonprofit organization with a 17-member board of directors. Grandma’s Marathon weekend draws more than 18,000 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 small, eight-person staff.