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(Duluth, MN): Grandma’s Marathon weekend officially kicks off this afternoon with the Essentia Health Fitness Expo. The free, two-day event is Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


The expo is held in the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) arena and is open to the public. Exhibitors will be showcasing the latest products and services available in the athletic industry.


Participants registered in the 42nd annual Grandma’s Marathon, the 28th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and the 25th annual William A. Irvin 5K may pick up their race packets at the event. Packet pick-up continues until 11 p.m. Friday in Paulucci Hall.


Advantage Emblem, the official merchandiser of Grandma’s Marathon, will be on hand with official 2018 Grandma’s Marathon t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and other merchandise.


Friday activities include the Essentia Health Fitness Expo, the Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner, a Pre-race Talk Show featuring Dick Beardsley, Carrie Tollefson, and Kara Goucher, the Whipper Snapper Races for Kids, and the 25th annual William A. Irvin 5K.


Grandma’s Marathon is Saturday, June 16 at 7:45 a.m. Preceding the marathon is the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon at 6:15 a.m.


For more information about the 42nd Grandma’s Marathon Weekend presented by Toyota and Members Cooperative Credit Union, visit