Posted at: 06/19/2014 11:47 PM
Updated at: 06/19/2014 11:53 PM
By: Eyewitness Sports
Duluth, Minn - Among those putting to foot to pavement during Grandma's Marathon weekend is UMD star Sam Rivard.
The Oak Grove, Minnesota native reached nationals during the outdoor season as a freshman, won the mile at the Indoor Nationals in March and among many other honors, she was named the NSIC's Newcomer of the Year and the Central Region Track Athlete of the Year. She has run the full for fun, but told us she decided to treat herself by running in the half marathon at Grandma's.
"It is sort of an end-of-the-year present to myself, I was sort of talking to the coach and she said, why don't you do Grandma's Marathon and take a week off and get ready for cross country. I plan on just racing with some of the guys on the team and hopefully, I'll have a good finish staying with them," says Rivard.
More than 18-thousand participants are expected to compete over Grandma's weekend. For the full marathon, it is the 38th Annual Race and for the Garry Bjorklund Half - it is the 24th. Not only is this weekend big for the Northland, it has become a destination for runners from all over the world.
"This is just huge for the city and the entire area and region for that matter. Bringing in this many people into this area for a weekend event is phenomonol," says Bob Gustafson, Public Relations Director from Grandma's Marathon.
The first race won't be Saturday, it will be Friday as the 21st Annual William A Irvin 5K is scheduled for 6 pm.