Record breaking race for new Grandma's Marathon Race Director

By KBJR News 1

June 23, 2014 Updated Jun 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- Jon Carlson's first year as race director for Grandma's Marathon was one for the record books...

After 33 years...history was made at the finish line when 26-year-old Dominic Ondoro shattered Dick Beardsley's record finishing the full marathon in 2 hours...nine minutes...and six seconds.

"It's really super exciting. I know all of us that were down at the finish line were just pumped to the max when it actually happened," said Jon Carlson, Executive Director for Grandma's Marathon.

The William Irvin 5k and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon saw record participation. And more runners laced up their shoes to run the full this year than last year.

Even a record number of people- up to 60,000 lined the streets to cheer on the racers.

"All in all the race weekend could not have gone better," said Bob Gustafson, Public Relations Director for Grandma's Marathon.

More telling of the day- almost everyone who started the race, finished. 99.8 percent of those signed up for the half marathon finished, while 99.7percent of those signed up for the full crossed the finish line.

"Everybody we've talked to, as well, says it was an ideal and perfect day to run,' said Carlson.

Carlson says there is one major thing they need to work on for next year

"I've talked to several race directors around the country, lf you had a porta-potty for everybody in the race, they would still complain there wasn't enough porta-potties so we're always looking at how we can increase the number and the placement of those along the race course," said Carlson.

Also, Carlson says the pick-up and drop off of runner's gear bags will be worked on, but overall Carlson gives his first year effort a B+.

"I think what he did in his first year was hats off and I'm looking forward to moving forward into 2015 under his direction," said Gustafson.

Carlson served as Grandma's Race director for ten years before being tapped to succeed long time Executive Director Scott Keenan.

Registration for next year's Grandma Marathon opens in July.

Written and posted to web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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