DECC Prepares for Grandma’s Marathon, Officials Monitoring Weather

Getting things ready for Health and Fitness Expo, Spaghetti Dinner.

DULUTH, Minn.- Before runners take off on either the William A. Irvin 5K, Half, or Grandma’s Full Marathon, they get to eat and shop around some products at the DECC.

The two halls of the DECC were empty Wednesday, but these crews are preparing for the Essentia Health and Fitness Expo Thursday and Friday.

“It’s really the gateway for people to walk through, see what is available in the industry, the health and fitness industry and then go and get their race packets,” said Laura Bergen, Registration and Expo Director.

Over 100 booths, showcasing the latest Health and Fitness Products will be on display.

“Granola, energy products are hot in the market,” Bergen said. “And then also Advantage Emblem who is our official merchandiser is unveiling their 2019 Grandma’s Marathon line of gear.”

Also on Friday, about 8,000 plates of Spaghetti, 6,120 cups of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and 8,000 servings of white and chocolate milk will be devoured during the Michelina’s All You Can Eat Spaghetti Dinner.

“A wonderful, traditional feed for the whole family,” said Bergen. “Yeah, it’s carbo loading.”

Festivities kick off Thursday. For the Health and Fitness Expo, doors open at 4pm, and it’s free to get in even if you aren’t running.

While runners may want to prepare for their long journey, spectators can party it up at Rock the Big Top Friday night in Canal Park.

Meanwhile, the forecast for Grandma’s Marathon is looking wet and windy.

“The weather forecast is kind of up in the air and that’s all we can expect when the race is still a few days out, to monitor it and just watch it,” Mandi Peterson, Marketing and Public Relations Director, said.

Peterson said they’re used to dealing with stormy weather, but they’ve never cancelled a race, only postponed the start time once several years ago for 30 minutes to ride out a storm.

“And that we’ve experienced in past years especially last year, was that no matter how much we analyzed it or y’know monitored the storm cells when it came down to race running, everything cleared up, it was a cool overcast day for the runners,” Peterson said.

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