Pike Defends Title as Fesemyer Reaches Top of Podium for First Time

(DULUTH, MINN.) — Aaron Pike has become somewhat used to being on top of the podium at Grandma’s Marathon, while it was a new feeling entirely for Jenna Fesemyer as those two were crowned men’s and women’s wheelchair champions on Saturday.

Pike won the race for the second straight year and for the fifth time since 2017, finishing with a time of 1:27:34 that was significantly off the event record pace of 1:20:02 he ran in Duluth a year ago.

Still, Pike was more than minute ahead of runner-up Fernando Sanchez Nava, who finished in 1:28:54 and third place finisher Luis Francisco Sanclemente, who finished in 1:29:30.

Fesemyer, meanwhile, got a taste of the podium last year as she finished second, but this year was much sweeter as she won for the first time in Duluth with a time of 1:47:20.

Also significantly off her 2022 pace was Fesemyer, who ran 1:33:50 here a year ago in finishing second to eventual champion Susannah Scaroni.

Michelle Wheeler finished as the runner-up with a time of 1:52:03, and she was closely followed by this year’s third place finisher and 2021 champion Ivonne Reyes Gomez.

In all, 25 wheelchair athletes (21 men, four women), finished the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon.

Full results of the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon wheelchair division can be viewed HERE.


Grandma’s Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. After seeing just 150 participants that year, the race weekend has now grown into one of the largest in the United States and welcomes more than 20,000 participants for its three-race event each June.

The race got its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma’s Restaurants, the first major sponsor of the marathon. In addition to the 26.2-mile race, the organization has now added the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and William A. Irvin 5K to its weekend offerings.

As the popularity of Grandma’s Marathon has grown, our mission has stayed the same – to organize, promote, and deliver annual events and programs that cultivate running, educational, social, and charitable opportunities to our communities.

Grandma’s Marathon-Duluth, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization with a nine-person, full-time staff and a 17-member Board of Directors.