2018 Grandma’s Marathon Preview

Duluth, MN
Saturday, June 16 | 7:45am CST

Kellyn comes into Grandma’s looking for a little revenge. Revenge on the marathon that is. After an incredible build-up for the Boston Marathon in April, historically tough race-day conditions forced her to drop out just before halfway. Once she recovered from that disappointment she circled Grandma’s as her next race and began training in earnest in mid-May. The last three weeks of that training have gone especially well with workouts equal to, or better, than sessions she had run before Boston. And outside of Boston, she has been nothing but consistently good in the marathon. Her debut of 2:28:40 at the 2015 Chevron Houston Marathon was, at the time, the sixth-fastest debut in U.S. history. Her next marathon was a sixth-place finish at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. She followed that up with a 2:28:51 at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon before finishing eighth at the TCS New York City Marathon this past fall. Other highlights of Kellyn’s career include winning the 2014 USATF 25k Championships, personal bests of 4:33.40 for the mile, 15:21.93 for 5,000 meters, 31:40.70 for 10,000 meters and a fourth-place finish at the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 10,000.

THE COURSE: Grandma’s, in its 42nd year, has long been a “must-do” race for marathoners of all ability levels and a big reason for that is the course. The picturesque, point-to-point route takes participants from the start in the town of Two Harbors and runs south / southwest along Lake Superior all the way into downtown Duluth. With gently rolling hills and very few turns it can be a PR course on the right day. COURSE MAP

THE WEATHER: The current forecast calls for temps in the mid 60s at the start and the low 70s at the finish. Winds are minimal in the 2-5 mph range. Humidity is high with a chance for thunderstorms throughout the morning.

WOMENS FIELD: In addition to Kellyn, there appears to be three other “co-favorites” for this year’s Grandma’s. Sarah Kiptoo from Kenya is a Grandma’s veteran, having won the race in 2013 and 2016. Her 2013 win also saw her set the still-standing course record of 2:26:32. She will almost certainly be a factor on Saturday. Kiptoo’s compatriots Emily Samoei and Gladys Kipsoi also figure to be in the mix. Samoei owns a personal best of 2:26:57 set in 2012 while Kipsoi’s best of 2:27:32 was set at this year’s Houston Marathon.


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