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Spectators make Grandma's Marathon runners feel spectacular

Duluth East High School dancers line up to hand out water to Grandma's Marathon runners. (Clara Hatcher photo)

Hundreds of raincoat-clad spectators lined the 26.2 miles of race course to cheer on the runners of Duluth's 37th annual Grandma's Marathon Saturday, June 22.

Budgeteer columnist Sarah Packingham wrote a piece about what it is like to be running in the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon rather than standing on the sidelines. She said, "Spectators and volunteers lined the miles of the racecourse, providing entertainment and support that could not be topped ... All of this, for the sake of the runners and the love of Grandma's Marathon."

More than 17,000 runners participated in Grandma's Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, the USA Men's and Women's Half Marathon Championships and the William A. Irvin 5K this year. Here are the results for the full and half marathons:

In the full 26.2-mile race, Bazu Worku from West Chester, Penn., won the men's race with a time of 2:11:14 and Sarah Kiptoo from Santa Fe, New Mexico, took the women's title with a time of 2:26:31.

John Klecker from Minnetonka, Minn., won the men's Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon title with a time of 1:09:19 and Mary Davies from Houston, Texas, won the women's title with a time of 1:11:07.

There were 5,618 finishers in the full marathon with an average time of 4:12:38 and 6,627 finishers in the half marathon with an average time of 2:08:32.

There is no doubt that fans will be lining up again next year to watch the 38th annual Grandma's Marathon race in 2014.