Grandma's Marathon weekend is here, which is a tremendous Northland tradition. It's a weekend where runners will put months of training to the test, while volunteers and spectators cheer them on and make the weekend an amazing experience for all.

Of course, one thing that nobody has any control over is the weather. Having run over a dozen Garry Bjorklund Half Marathons, I know first-hand how weather plays a crucial role for everyone involved.

I had my best time when it was uncomfortably cold for those not running, and I've felt like I've never wanted to run again the year I finished when it was a humid 80+ degrees.

This year, neither bitter cold nor dangerous heat will be an issue. The weather, however, will have an impact, as everyone has been tracking the amount of rain potential storms that could hit the Northland on Friday and Saturday.

With that in mind, I reached out to Zach Schneider, the Marketing & Public Relations Director for Grandma's Marathon to ask him questions about how the weather may impact the races and related events.

Question 1: Would Excessive Rain Put Any Of The Races In Jeopardy?

At this point, Schneider doesn't believe any of the weekend races are in jeopardy from a rainfall standpoint. It would take more rain than is currently being forecast for that to even be of concern.

However, if lightning came into play, they have protocols in place and would act accordingly to protect all participants. According to a Thursday Grandma's Marathon Facebook post, its staff, board, and community partners work 100s of hours on contingency plans for exactly this reason. If severe storms do move into our area, it’s possible that any of the weekend events can be delayed or even canceled. Nobody wants that to happen, but they're ready if it does.

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As of now, all Grandma's Marathon races, as well as all related events, are on as scheduled. Their team will closely monitor the forecast and will first communicate changes for Saturday's races at 3:00 a.m. on race day.

Question 2: What Protocols Are In Place When Steady Rain Is Forecast?

Schneider acknowledges the rain could be a factor, but the good news is that the outside temperature isn't expected to be dangerously low. However, his focus now is on educating runners to do the best they can to face the rain.

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Some things to consider include:

  • Wear warm and/or waterproof layers.
  • Use anti-chafing products like Body Glide, Vaseline, etc.
  • Wear merino wool or similar socks.
  • Runner's bags should have dry clothes, including more waterproof layers. A dry pair of shoes would also be a great idea for runners to have waiting for them at the finish line.

Question 3: How Can Participants Get Updated Information Throughout The Weekend?

Everyone involved in any way with this weekend's Grandma's Marathon activities should download the Grandma's Marathon app and make sure to enable push notifications to receive updates right away.

You can also follow Grandma's Marathon on social media to get updated information, just remember to check it frequently throughout the weekend, especially if there are thunderstorms.

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