The 36th annual Grandma's Marathon weekend is set to get underway with a fantastic family event, The Whipper Snapper Races.  According to the Grandma's Marathon press release, about 1,000 kids ages 14 and under will kick off the weekend festivities Friday, June 15 in Duluth’s Bayfront Festival Park.

Registration for the Whipper Snapper Races for Kids, a free event presented by Delta Airlines, begins at noon with races starting at 2 p.m. All participants receive an official race number, participation ribbon and goodie bag.

“This event is all about family fun,” said race director Jon Carlson. “The children love running, and their families and friends have a great time cheering for them.”

Children and their families will have a chance to get up close and personal with some of their favorite mascots, including Wells Fargo Bank’s ‘Jack the Dog’, ‘Champ’ from UMD, the Coca Cola Polar Bear, ’Cariboo’ from Caribou Coffee, ‘Tiki Tom’ from The Edge, ‘Harley D. Huskie’ from the Duluth Huskies, ‘Sasquatch’ from Jack Links, ‘Andy the Armadillo’ from Texas Roadhouse and ‘Viktor’ from the Minnesota Vikings. These and other mascots get the event started with their own race at 2 p.m.

Members of the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders will be on hand for autographs and photos and an Advantage Emblem merchandise booth also will be open.

Kids races and Vikings cheerleaders?  I think I need to be a great dad and bring my kids this year.

Since 1991, the Whipper Snapper Races for Kids has been giving children an opportunity to experience the sport of running while getting into the spirit of Grandma’s Marathon weekend.

There’s something for everyone at the Whipper Snapper Races for Kids, presented by Delta Airlines.  Other sponsors include the City of Duluth, the Duluth Lions Club, maurices, Charter Communications, Super One Foods, Texas Roadhouse, Jack Links, Old Dutch, Dasani, the Minnesota Vikings, the Duluth News Tribune, Northland’s NewsCenter, the Young Athletes Foundation and Grandma’s Marathon.

Remember, you can hear 'live coverage of Grandmas Marathon on our sister station ESPN Radio 560, WEBC.  Just follow this link to get coverage beginning Saturday morning at 6am.