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Life Style

How to enjoy Grandma’s Marathon without running

Not everyone finds running appealing, whether it’s tackling a marathon or a 5K. And that’s perfectly fine.

But even if your aversion to running matches a Minnesota Vikings fan’s distaste for the Green Bay Packers, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Grandma’s Marathon weekend in Duluth, Two Harbors, and along the North Shore without breaking a sweat.

Here are three ways to join in the festivities:

Indulge in a Marathon Meal

On Friday, June 20, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., head to the DECC for an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner, sponsored by Michelina’s. For $18 (kids 5-12 eat for $9; under 4 eat free), you’ll feast on spaghetti with marinara sauce, with or without Italian sausage meatballs. The spread also includes assorted bread, Caesar salad, coffee, milk, cookies, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

While the fare may not rival Duluth’s finest Italian restaurants, it’s a feast for those with hearty appetites — perhaps those who’ve contributed to the decline of Red Lobsters nationwide.

Watch the Runners

Grab a lawn chair, pack a cooler, and stake out a shady (or sunny, weather-permitting) spot along the marathon route on Saturday. Settle in and watch as runners push themselves to the limit. Feeling creative? Make a funny or witty sign to entertain passing runners.

For a more dynamic experience, roam between water stations located every two miles along the course. Enjoy live music ranging from orchestras to bagpipes, dancers, fire twirlers, and other spectacles that add to the marathon’s vibrant atmosphere.

Party at Bayfront

If the thought of waking up early on Saturday morning sounds unappealing, consider attending Rock the Bayfront instead. This free, two-day event kicks off Friday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Bayfront Festival Park.

Friday night features Duluth’s own The Reckoning, performing rock and pop hits from the 1980s, 90s, and today. On Saturday, catch Chris Kroeze, a rock and country artist who was a runner-up on NBC’s The Voice in 2018, along with PopRocks, known as the Hairball of pop music. In between acts, a DJ will keep the party going, with food and beverages available for purchase.

These alternatives offer something for everyone, ensuring that whether you’re a marathon enthusiast or prefer a more relaxed approach to the weekend, there’s a way to enjoy Grandma’s Marathon festivities in and around Duluth.

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