Everyone knows that running a marathon is a lot of work that is the culmination of hours of training.  Most won't even attempt one and for those that do, crossing the finish line is an amazing accomplishment regardless of how long it takes to trek the 26.2 miles.

Now, imagine being in such good shape that you no longer find it challenging enough to run just one marathon on race day. That describes Eric Strand who is ready to run his 10th Grandma's Marathon Double this year.

What's a Grandma's Marathon Double? Grandma's Marathon explained it June 8 on their Facebook page:

Starting at 3am, he first runs the course backwards from Canal Park to Two Harbors, then turns around and runs with the rest of the participants - 52.4 miles in total.

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You read that right, he wittingly gets up in the middle of the night to run a full marathon, only to do it again later that morning with all the runners participating in the official Grandma's Marathon race.

It's a fantastic challenge and kudos to Eric Strand for doing it year after year, along with those who join him on any given year to complete this challenge. Strand also makes a video diary of the experience and you can check out the 2019 video below.

I've run the past dozen or so Garry Bjorklund Half Marathons and that's plenty long enough for me. One thing I've noticed is that it's those that are in the best shape that can do the interesting and crazy stuff.

I remember one year I got to about mile 10 on the course when I passed a half marathon runner who was running it backwards.  Not running the course in the opposite direction as Eric Strand and others do with the Grandma's Marathon Double, but he was facing the wrong way and literally running backwards. It was cool to see, but then I realized it took me 10 miles to finally catch up to up to him!

Good luck to all the runners during Grandma's Marathon weekend and a big thank you to all the volunteers.

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