Grandma’s Marathon Sideline Traditions Continue

Grandma's Marathon allows traditions to begin, and with its return to the North Shore this year, those traditions are able to continue.

DULUTH, Minn.– Today was the day everyone was anticipating for over a year, and it wasn’t only the athletes who had to prepare, but a few local members too who have been doing this for years.

Hundreds of fans and volunteers lined London Road to cheer on runners.

Lindsay Ekstrom, a Duluth native, has been attending these races since she can remember, “it’s always been like a huge holiday for us,” she said, and handing out sliced watermelon just before lemon drop hill with her family.

Further up the course, the end of a driveway turned into what looked like a concert, where a local group of men put together a band 12 years ago they’re known as the “Norton Hastings Band”.

But what is so special about playing at this event in particular is that Grandma’s is what started it all for them, “this was our first gig ever,” Rhett Bonner, a Duluth native and band member said.

They have been playing at this spot since the marathon in 2009, but are especially happy to be back this year, “so the only time in the last 12 years is last year that we didn’t play because there was no race,” Bonner said.

The band aren’t the only ones happy to be back spectating just before one of the toughest parts of the race, Ekstrom hopes her fruit adds a little pep in the runners step, “I know lemon drop hill is coming up and so I feel like this is a really good spot cause you can just like see them exhausted and then when they run by and they hear the cheering they are just so happy,” Ekstrom said.

Grandma’s Marathon allows traditions to begin, and with its return to the North Shore this year, those traditions are able to continue.

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