Registration for 34th running of Grandma's Marathon will close on June 1, race officials announced last Friday. At that time, only 7100 runners had registered for the June 19th event.
You can read the event's media release HERE.
It appears that the race will fall short of its 9500 runner capacity for the second year in a row, after filling for the previous 15 years. Last year, 8377 athletes participated in the race from Two Harbors to Duluth's Canal Park.
The economic downturn, competition from new spring-time marathons in the Upper Midwest, and the high cost of lodging in Duluth during race weekend have been identified as factors contributing to the participant fall-off.
Registration for Grandma's Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the William A. Irvin 5K have reached capacity and are closed.
Akor to Return ... Three-time defending Grandma's Marathon women's champion Mary Akor is slated to return to the event this year, according to the media release. Earlier, Grandma's announced that Minnesota native Chris Raabe will return to defend his men's title.
Raabe’s 2009 men’s victory was the first for an American since 1995, while Akor became just the second three-time women’s winner in race history.