Grandma's: Silly & Serious Advice from Experienced Runners

“The hay is in the barn.”

Meaning, you cannot get into shape the last two weeks, you can only tire yourself out. Therefore, don’t overdo it making up for lost training.

Carb loading doesn’t mean overeating the day (or two) before the race.

All that will do is put you in the port-a-potty way too often! Eat pasta or other carbs and some protein, but eat normal amounts!

-Kevin Ryks, running his 21st Grandma’s Marathon this year, his 35th marathon.

Do not drink beer during the race, no matter how appealing the idea seems at the time.

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Always walk through the water stations.

Always walk through the water stations to ensure you hydrate your body and not your chest. This 10-20 second investment at each station will pay huge dividends!

Never underestimate the usefulness of adequately applied Glide or strategically placed Bandaids.

–Adam Bartels, Grandma’s finisher 3x, running his 5th Grandma’s half this year

Drink Up.

Start hydration the week before the race. The day before race day I add electrolytes to my water. My favorite brand is NUUN. The day of the race I hit every water station, and laternate from water and electrolytes from station to station.

The Day Before:

The day before the race I wear compression socks to help my legs recover. I also do an easy yoga flow to help my mind and body. I do a little easy foam rolling ending with putting my legs up the wall for about 20 minutes.


I am competitive so I go through the whole race in my mind to feel the race before it happens and to visualize the outcome I want.

    -Jess Rossing, 7x Team USA, 2x All American Triathlete, running her 12th Grandma’s Half this year

Stay off your feet.

As tempting as it sounds to hike around the Duluth trails and check out the sites, save this for post race. Avoid lingering at the expo. Grab your packet and ead out. Save every ounce of energy for your 13.1 or 26.2 mi!

Play mind games.

When those last few miles get tough, I tell myself, “okay, I just have to run to the lake and back, that’s an easy 3 miles.” In other words, visualize a easy route that you do regularly. I also save music until I really need it… this gives me an extra boost when I need the distraction.

-Michelle Faith, OMie, 14x marathon finisher, 30+ half marathon finisher, running Grandma’s half this year

“If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than who you are.” -Master Shifu, Kung Fu Panda

I heard this quote as I was driving while my son watched Kung Fu Panda… and it reminded me to do the unreachable.

You’ll never know until you try. Drink NUUN’s every hour after you start. SMILE!

BELIEVE you can and you will. Stay cool. Smile again and high five. Drink a bloody mary when done ;-)

-Bonnie Thoe-Austin, ultra-marathon finisher, Grandma’s full finisher, running first Grandma’s half this year


The course offers very little shade, so don't forget sunblock (even if the forecast calls for cloudy conditions). Speed up your recovery by soaking your legs in Lake Superior following the race.

    -Tara Entringer, OMie, Self-Described Running-Addict, 8x marathon finisher, 1x Grandma’s Marathon finisher

See you on the course runners, fans, super-fans, water station volunteers, and beer tent enthusiasts. My favorite thing about Grandma's weekend is the way the race brings the community together to celebrate everything about Duluth- Lake Superior, the Scenic Highway, an active lifestyle, the great outdoors, fun, local food, local businesses, local musicians, and neighborliness.

Pre-Race Yoga

JEM Yoga is offering a special pre-Grandma's yoga for runners class both Friday 6/8 and 6/15 at 5:30am. Join Joella for some pre-race intention setting, inspiration, and restoration. JEM Yoga is located at 16 1/2 N 1st ave w, Duluth, MN 55802. Schedule can be found here.

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OMies Bryana Cook, Jessica Feda, Michelle Faith, and Amanda Imes after completing Grandma's in 2015. This was Jess and Michelle's 10th marathon together.