We are less than two months from the start of the 2021 Grandma's Marathon and while the event still hasn't been given final approval, the plan is ready to go.

As you might expect due to the ongoing pandemic, certain safety measures are being implemented. For example. the field size of the races has been reduced by 50%, rolling starts are being implemented, social distancing and health screenings are being employed, and there are changes to the packet pickup process, the expo, and the famous spaghetti feed.

In addition to all of those changes for participants, two major atmospheric changes will make the 2021 Grandma's Marathon weekend very different. Organizers are discouraging large crowds, reducing the number of spectators during the race along the course and at the finish line. This also spills over to impact the musical celebration in Canal Park on Friday night and Saturday.

Grandma's Marathon officials announced today that there will be no 'Rock the Big Top' live music in Canal Park. Discouraging crowds of spectators and eliminating the musical events around marathon weekend wasn't a decision made lightly, as noted by representatives from the marathon organization.

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“Those things hurt because the people are such a big piece of the atmosphere that makes Grandma’s Marathon special,” Schneider said. “To ask supporters to stay home is not what we want, but it is what’s necessary so we can have the race and be good stewards of our community at the same time.”

Grandma's Marathon Executive Director Shane Bauer said in a press release, "We know what it felt like to not have the race, and that wasn’t fun. The amount of time, effort, and cooperation that’s gone into planning this 2021 race is phenomenal. It will be a great achievement for the entire area if and when we pull it off."

The full 25 page Grandma’s Marathon COVID-19 Mitigation Plan is available to read here, in it, you'll find everything you need to know about pre-race events, race day procedures, and what to do at the finish line. There is also the 'Ready to Run Pledge' which asks runners to acknowledge personal responsibility, communal respect, and commitment to health and safety.

14 Tips To Help First-Timers Train For Grandma's Half Marathon

Is Grandma's Half Marathon on your bucket list? The popular race is a huge part of Duluth culture and if you are thinking of taking part some day, here's a good place to start.

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