2022 Grandma's Marathon updates: Ondoro wins men's title, Lindwurm just misses women's record in victory
Saturday morning's live coverage of the marathon in Duluth. For full stories, see duluthnewstribune.com/grandmas.
DULUTH — Dakotah Lindwurm became just the fourth woman to ever win consecutive titles at Grandma’s Marathon on Saturday, and the first to go back-to-back since 2009.
Lindwurm, 27, of Eagan, Minnesota, took aim at the Grandma’s Marathon record of 2:24:28 — set by Kellyn Taylor in 2018 — but finished 33 seconds late in 2:25:01. That’s the second-fastest time ever for a woman at Grandma’s. Lindwurm also owns the seventh-best time after winning last year’s race in 2:29:04.
Mary Akor was the most recent woman to win consecutive titles at Grandma’s, three-peating from 2007-2009. Lorraine Moller of New Zealand was the first woman to go back-to-back and three-peat from 1979-1981. Fira Sultanova-Zhdanova of Russia won back-to-back at Grandma’s in 2003 and 2004.
Sarah Sellers, 30, of the U.S., took second on Saturday, finishing 42 seconds behind Lindwurm. Susanna Sullivan, 32, also of the U.S., was third in 2:26:56.
Ondoro wins men's elite title
9:57 a.m. — Dominic Ondoro is back on top of Grandma’s Marathon and running in Minnesota.
A four-time champion of the Twin Cities Marathon, Ondoro captured his second Grandma’s Marathon title on Saturday by winning the men’s elite race in an unofficial time of 2:09:34. The event record holder, Ondoro won his first Grandma’s title in 2014 when he set a standard of 2:09:06.
Sammy Rotich was second 33 seconds back and James Ngandu was third. Elisha Barno, the four-time Grandma’s champion who edged out Ondoro in 2015, was fourth. Last year’s runner-up, C.J. Albertson, was fifth in 2:10:52.
Dakotah Lindwurm continues to lead the women’s elite marathon. She’s all by herself and chasing the Grandma’s Marathon record with a time of 1:50:36 at the 20-mile mark. Esther Wanjiru was 50 seconds back in second at 20 miles.
Wheelchair racers put on record-setting performance
9:23 a.m. — Aaron Pike pulled away late from Johnboy Smith in Canal Park to win a record-setting battle of champions in the Grandma’s Marathon men’s wheelchair race Saturday.
Pike and Smith turned in the two fastest times ever in the men’s wheelchair marathon as Pike, 36, of the United States, broke his own Grandma’s Marathon record, winning in 1:20:02 for his fourth Grandma’s title after three-peating from 2017-2019.
Smith, 32, was the defending champion after Pike didn’t race Grandma’s a year ago. He finished three seconds back of Pike in second. Smith’s time of 1:20:05 was 54 seconds faster than the record Pike set back in 2019.
Rafael Botello Jimenez, 43, of Spain — appearing in his 12th Grandma’s — finished third 4:01 back of Pike.
In the women’s wheelchair marathon, it was another familiar name winning and setting a course record as Susannah Scaroni, 31, of the U.S. won her fourth Grandma’s Marathon title in a record-time o 1:27:31. Her first Grandma’s title was in 2014. She then went back-to-back in 2018 and 2019, with her 2019 time being a course record of 1:30:42.
Elite runners hit halfway point of Grandma’s
9:23 a.m. — The elite men’s and women’s runners in Grandma’s Marathon have surpassed the halfway point of their 26.2-mile race on Saturday.
Defending women’s champion Dakotah Lindwurm is one of two runners in the lead pack having hit the 13.1-mile mark at 1:12:12. Joining her is Esther Wanjiru while Molly Bookmyer and Sarah Sellers are between 7-17 seconds back.
Lindwurm and Wanjiru were both on pace to challenge the Grandma’s Marathon record of Kellyn Taylor of 2:24:28 in 2018.
The men’s lead pack is much larger with 10 runners within three seconds of each other. Among the lead pack, which hit the 13.1-mile mark at 1:04:53, are previous champions Dominic Ondoro, Elisha Barno and Milton Rotich, as well as last year’s runner up CJ Albertson.
Grandma’s Marathon gets underway
8:14 a.m. — The 46th running of Grandma’s Marathon got underway at 7:35 a.m. Saturday with the wheelchair racers, followed by the men’s and women’s elite racers and then the rest of the 6,000-plus runners.
Marathon runners began their journey along Scenic Highway 61 just south of Two Harbors. Wheelchair races are scheduled to reach Canal Park around 9 a.m. The men’s elite champion is projected to hit the finish line around 9:50 a.m. and the women’s winner at 10:10 a.m.
The men’s record for Grandma’s Marathon is 2:09:06, set by Dominic Ondoro in 2014. Kellyn Taylor owns the women’s marathon record of 2:24:28, set in 2018.
Aaron Pike owns the men’s wheelchair record of 1:20:59 from 2019. Susannah Scaroni also set the women’s wheelchair record in 2019, clocking in at 1:30:42.
Kemoi, Edwards win Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon
7:32 a.m. — Daniel Kemoi had the honor of being the first to cross the finish line in Canal Park on Saturday as the men’s winner of the 32nd Annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.
The 35-year-old of Kenya posted a winning time of 1 hour, 2 minutes, 3 seconds in his Duluth debut to beat Kiya Dandena, 33, of the United States. Dandena finished about 18 seconds back. Nathan Martin, 33, of the U.S. was third in 1:07:21.
Rosie Edwards, 33, of the United Kingdom won the women’s half marathon in an unofficial time of 1:12:42 on Saturday, beating Elena Hayday, 22, of the U.S. by 15 seconds. Kelsey Bruce, 29, of the U.S. was third in 1:13:32.
For Kemoi, the Bjorklund was his third half marathon victory in 2022 after also winning in Austin and Forth Worth, Texas. He was able to beat his personal best, set in 2018, by 24 seconds on Saturday.
The Bjorklund was Dandena’s third podium finish in 2022 after winning in Naples, Florida, and finishing third in Mesa, Arizona. He previously finished sixth in the Bjorklund in 2016 with a time of 1:05:33.
Like Kemoi, Edwards was making her Duluth debut. She finished 18 seconds short of her PR set when she won the 2021 Las Vegas Half Marathon. Saturday was her third half marathon win in three years after winning in Indianapolis in 2020.
Bruce led the women’s half marathon late before being surpassed by Edwards and Hayday. Bruce was running in Duluth for the third time in four years after finishing 11th in Grandma’s Marathon last year and fifth in the Bjorklund in 2019 in 1:13:41.
Ideal conditions greet runners at start lines
6:27 a.m. — Race day is underway along Minnesota’s North Shore, with the 32nd running of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon kicking off the day’s festivities with a 6 a.m. start.
The National Weather Service in Duluth reported a temperature of 46 degrees at the Sky Harbor Airport at 5:55 a.m. on Saturday morning with fair skies and winds out of the east at 6 mph. The forecast calls for increasing clouds with a high near 59. Runners will have an east wind between 5-15 mph with gusts as high as 20 mph.
The Bjorklund begins just north of McQuade Safe Harbor on Scenic Highway 61. The first half marathon runners are projected to cross the finish line in Canal Park around 7 a.m.
The 46th running of Grandma’s Marathon is scheduled to begin at 7:35 a.m. just south of Two Harbors on Scenic Highway 61. The wheelchair racers will go first with a projected finish time of 9 a.m. The men’s elite race gun is scheduled to go off at 7:40 a.m., followed by the women’s elite gun at 7:45 a.m. Citizen runners will follow the women’s elites.
The first marathon runners are projected to reach the finish line in Canal Park around 9:50 a.m.