Hype around the annual Northland's biggest running event continues as Grandma's Marathon reaches capacity for the 2024 race in near-record time.

Marathon organizers shared Friday morning that the 2024 race field filled up in the second-fastest timeframe, only days away from the all-time record timeframe for a sellout of the race.

The fastest sellout in race history came in 2016, which reached capacity on December 31 in the year leading up to that race. That same year was also the largest field in the event's history, with 7,518 finishers in the race that runs from Two Harbors to Duluth in June each year.

This year's near-record sellout marks the fourth straight year Grandma's Marathon has reached sellout, hitting the race's capacity of 9,500 participants of the 26.2-mile event. Race organizers report that 500 of those registered for the full marathon will also participate in the William A. Irvin 5K held in Duluth the evening before.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

“It’s a humbling thing, to see thousands of people so excited to be part of Grandma’s Marathon,” Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider said. “It’s reason for celebration, and now the real work begins to ensure these participants, all of whom have signed up early and are looking forward to the race, have the experience they paid for and are expecting in June.”

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Not only is Grandma's Marathon the biggest running event in the Northland, it is also one of the largest in the country. In 2023, it earned the title of the 10th largest marathon in the United States.

This year, organizers expect the total registrations to reach close to 10,000 participants when factoring in additional entries redeemed such as elite athletes, charity partners, sponsors, etc.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

While the main field for the 2024 running of Grandma's Marathon is now full, there are ways you can still participate for this year's event. According to race organizers, there are three different ways you could still run Grandma's this year:

  • Official Training Group - Participants can register with our official training group, and they will receive a guaranteed entry to the 2024 event of their choice. Fewer than 200 guaranteed race entries remain for the official training group.
  • Charity Partners - Participants can register through one of our 2024 Charity Partners. When a participant has reached the fundraising goal – set by each organization – they will receive a free entry into the 2024 event of their choice. Available charity entries vary by organization.
  • Bib Transfer Portal - Participants who become injured or no longer able to attend are allowed to transfer their entries until May 1. Grandma’s Marathon has established a Facebook group to help connect those looking to buy or sell a race bib.

In addition to selling out the full marathon, the William A. Irvin 5K and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon have also sold out for 2024. As their website points out, you can still participate in those races using similar methods to those pointed out above.

The 2024 running of Grandma's Marathon will be June 22, 2024.

Here's a look back at the 2023 Grandma's Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon:

2023 Grandma's Marathon & Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Photos

Winners and photos of various participants from the 2023 running of Grandma's Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth