Wind Is A Big Factor At Grandma’s Marathon

If conditions hold, runners will have the breeze to their backs.

Despite the anticpated tail wind this year, Dick Beardsley's course record is not expected to fall at Grandma's Marathon. Photo: Zap Fitness

If conditions hold, runners will have the breeze to their backs.

Wind: It can either be a runner’s best friend or a nightmare. This weekend at the 35th edition of Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, it’s looking like the wind will be a friendly one. Traditionally at Grandma’s, wind whipping off Lake Superior is an omnipresent factor.

“We had a head wind all last year at Grandma’s Marathon.  Could be two or three minutes,” recalled race director Scott Keenan. On the other hand, a tail wind this weekend could give runners and extra 10 to 12 seconds per mile push during the length of the 26.2-mile course.

Similar to the Boston Marathon, Grandma’s is a point-to-point course.

If the conditions hold and the wind is favorable for runners, there is still doubt that Dick Beardsley’s course record (2:09:37) is in jeopardy.

“Back then, it was different than it was today,” admits Keenan. “Nobody was running for prize money. Garry Bjorklund and Dick Beardsley went out of the gate fast, five-minute miles. Today’s world, with the prize money, people are just running the first 20 miles very conservatively, cause they want to get a paycheck.”

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