Grandma’s Marathon Post-Race Celebration, Spectators Back On for 2021 Race

DULUTH, Minn. – Following Governor Tim Walz’s announcement last week to end restrictions on outdoor limits and indoor activities by the end of May, Grandma’s Marathon announced Tuesday that they will now be allowing spectators and a post-race celebration for the 2021 race.

“Those things were crossed off pretty early in our planning process based on the previous guidelines, and the result was going to be a very different feeling come race weekend,” Executive Director Shane Bauer said. “Bringing those pieces back will not only amplify the experience of our participants, but it’s great for our community members who wait all year to be part of Grandma’s Marathon weekend.”

Last month, Grandma’s Marathon announced modifications to the 2021 race due to the pandemic which included canceling the traditional “Rock the Big Top” post-race celebration, discouraging spectators from large gatherings, and the removal of traditional viewing areas in the downtown and Canal Park locations.

“It’s great to be adding that community aspect back into our plans for June,” Race Director Greg Haapala said. “That said, we will be keeping some of the mitigation tactics in place to help keep some of those large groups from forming, and we ask that everyone who does attend is mindful and respectful of others.”

“This is still a large event that involves people from all over the country, from all different walks of life, and potentially with many different comfort levels,” Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider said. “We want everyone involved to feel as comfortable and as safe as possible, so we encourage everyone to take proper precautions in terms of masks and distancing even in areas it’s not technically required by the guidance.”

This year the post-race celebration will be moved to the Bayfront Festival Park.

Musical acts will be featured throughout the day and admission will be free for all ages.

“The move to Bayfront is an exciting change for this year’s Grandma’s Marathon,” Finance & Operations Director Linda Hanson said. “It’s a great Duluth venue built for the very thing we want to do – come together and celebrate with our participants, our many partners, and our community that supports us year-round. To be given the opportunity to bring this event back into our planning means so much because it’s not only a tradition, it’s how we say thank you to everyone for a job well done.”

Grandma’s Marathon officials say mask or face coverings will be required in all race-controlled areas with more than 500 people.

Event organizers say this includes the start and finish areas, Bayfront Festival Park, the Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner, and the Essentia Health Fitness Expo.

Masks will not be required for those actively participating in the race.

For more details about the 45th annual Grandma’s Marathon, click here.

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