Grandma’s Marathon announced Tuesday that they will welcome spectators for race weekend and will host a post-race celebration.
Spectators were originally discouraged from attending, but Grandma’s Marathon said Minnesota’s announcement last week that the state would be loosening its public health guidelines paved the way for the change, based on Gov. Tim Walz’s expected timeline for eliminating capacity limits and distancing requirements.
“Those things were crossed off pretty early in our planning process based on the previous guidelines, and the result was going to be a very different feeling come race weekend,” Grandma’s Marathon executive director Shane Bauer said in a release. “Bringing those pieces back will not only amplify the experience of our participants, but it’s great for our community members who wait all year to be part of Grandma’s Marathon weekend.”
The 45th annual Grandma’s Marathon will be June 19.
The post-race celebration will be in a new location this year, moving from near the finish line in Canal Park to Bayfront Festival Park. Live music will be featured throughout the day and admission will be free.
Grandma’s Marathon is expected to be one of the country’s first major running events since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Per the expected guidelines, masks or face coverings will be required in all race-controlled areas with more than 500 people in attendance. That is expected to include the start and finish areas, Bayfront Festival Park, the Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner and the Essentia Health Fitness Expo.
As originally planned, participants will not be required to wear a mask while doing their event.
“This is still a large event that involves people from all over the country ... with many different comfort levels,” Grandma’s Marathon marketing and public relations director Zach Schneider said. “This is our chance to do a really big thing and do it well. We want people to enjoy themselves, to feel safe, and to say good things about our race and our community when they leave here. Grandma’s was built on the idea of community coming together, and we need that in a different but critically important way this year.”