Grandma's Marathon Runners Ready for Any Weather

Posted at: 06/21/2013 3:50 PM
Updated at: 06/21/2013 7:13 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

Runners from across the country and globe are arriving in Duluth for the 37th annual Grandma's Marathon. It was a rocky start to the day as high winds took out power and event tents, but runners say they are ready for any weather.

The spaghetti is ready and it's officially Grandma's weekend and runners from all over, including Chicago, New Orleans, and Mexico City, are zeroing in on Duluth.

They are picking up their race packets with a little extra security this year. All of them have trained for weeks to finish, to break a personal record, or hit a special milestone.

"We're back this ear to run together for my 50th marathon," said Ryan Yoch of O'Fallon, Illinois. "I challenged myself to run 50 marathons by 50 years old and I turn 50 July 30th."

Yoch ran his first marathon 14 years. It was Grandma's Marathon. Now he's back to run his 50th marathon with his son, Jon. The last marathon they ran together was Boston.

"Two hours after we finished we were close to the hotel and we hear the news and it was devastating," said Jon Yoch.

They said they are running Saturday in honor of those that were killed or injured during the Boston Marathon bombings.

Others are hoping to qualify for another race, such as wheelchair marathon participant from Mexico, Alicia Ibarra.

"If I do this, I can go to France so I can participate in the World Championships 2013," said Ibarra.

But one thing on every runner's mind, race day weather.

"Compared to Louisiana, this is wonderful!" said Mark Berger from New Orleans.

It could be a soggy Grandma's, but runners are prepared, some with garbage bags.

"I went and bought some at the grocery store just the other day," said Sarah Merhar of Hibbing. "One year we had them on head to toe, even taped on our feet!"

Rain or shine, they say they'll run.

"The rain I'm not so sure about," said Krishna Keelapatla. "I've done marathons in all kinds of weather, so bring it on."