Grandma’s Marathon announced this morning that it will keep its 2021 race weekend at half capacity due to continuing public health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registration initially opened Oct. 1 at half capacity for Grandma’s Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the William A. Irvin 5K with the hope that conditions and guidelines would improve to the point more in-person spots could be offered in the future. Available spots filled up quickly.

“As badly as we wanted to increase our in-person capacity,” Executive Director Shane Bauer said in a statement, “we understand the importance of developing a COVID-modified race plan that can be approved by the state and executed as safely as possible for those who have already registered. Zeroing in on the expected number of participants was an important step in continuing our planning process.”

Approximately 10,000 participants are expected for the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon weekend, to be held June 17-19, and the organization’s local health partners believe that limiting the in-person field now gives the event the very best chance of happening in June.

“While the race is still more than five months away, we can’t set the table until we know how many are invited for dinner,” medical director Dr. Ben Nelson said. “We would be wise to expect that we’ll be continuing our safety precautions come June, which will almost certainly preclude hosting a full-scale Grandma’s Marathon weekend.”

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For more information, call the Grandma’s Marathon office at (218) 727-0947 or email