Businesses Preparing Days in Advance for Grandma’s Marathon

TWO HARBORS, Minn.– Preparations have begun for this weekend’s Grandma’s Marathon and there is a lot more work to be done behind the scenes.

It looks empty now, but by Saturday morning, thousands of fans and racers will be out here to get ready, set, and go for the 45th annual Grandma’s Marathon.

This the largest event to return to Duluth since the pandemic, and as exciting as it is, there’s a lot of work to be done. But up in Two Harbors, local businesses have a game plan.

“Grandma’s is kind of a holiday for people up here, we’ll make more pie, we’ll probably make close to 700 pies on Saturday and Sunday each day, where as normally we make somewhere around 500,” Carl Ehlenz, the Owner of Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors, said.

Even hotels are taking a strategic approach to the weekend, “we ended up closing out our event weekend primarily just to focus on Grandma’s Marathon. We’re at 75% capacity already, that’s Wednesday, today, so in a couple of days it will probably be close to 100%, even in the 30 mile radius of all the hotels, everyone’s pretty booked up,” Rebecca Martin, the Events Manager at Superior Shores in Two Harbors, said.

But Grandma’s brings much more to the area than just the marathon, “I think it’s really exciting this year in particular after COVID, up in Two Harbors there’s a lot of small businesses and as a smaller community, everyone’s supporting each other, so we’re really excited to welcome tourists back,” Martin said.

Businesses are more than excited to welcome the racers as well, “so it is kinda cool, they are kind of like celebrities right, so it’s really fun for the staff to talk to them, and see how they did, see what it was like, and I think the weathers going to be beautiful so I think it’s going to be a great weekend,” Ehlenz said.

“So it’s very exciting for us, we’re looking forward to it, we’re ready for it as we welcome all of the hundreds and thousands of guests to Superior Shores,” Martin said.

It will be a weekend full of camaraderie, celebration, and accomplishments, but from start to finish, the North Shore can’t wait to bring Grandma’s back.

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