Each Has Played Major Role in Marathon’s Safety, Security

(DULUTH, MINN.) — Pete Goman and Mike Tusken have been named the 2023 Rudy Perpich Public Service Award recipients, it was announced today by Grandma’s Marathon.

Both men have been long-serving law enforcement officers in northern Minnesota, with Tusken recently retiring as chief of the Duluth Police Department and Goman still working as a Lieutenant with the Minnesota State Patrol.

Tusken’s role with Grandma’s Marathon dates to the early 1990s, and his role has increased from standing a post on race day to most recently serving as one of the leaders of the safety and security effort for the entire weekend.

After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Tusken played a major role in the rethinking and retooling of many strategies and protocols used by law enforcement agencies during large-scale events, like Grandma’s Marathon. Remembering it as a massive undertaking, Tusken was a leader in directing and marshaling the services of several local, state, and federal agencies for race weekend, helping to create a safety and security blueprint that’s still used today.

“The names have changed over the years, but our commitment to continuous improvement has been constant,” Tusken said. “Putting on such an amazing event is made possible by all the great people in this community, and I have fond memories of those people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to always make Grandma’s Marathon a safe and spectacular event.”

Tusken retired from the Duluth Police Department in July 2022 after 30 years with the organization, including the last six as chief of police.

Goman, meanwhile, still holds his role as Lieutenant with the Minnesota State Patrol and is another integral piece of the pre-race safety and security planning as well as the race weekend staffing of Grandma’s Marathon.

Having grown up in Duluth, Goman’s first involvement with the marathon came as a member of the Boy Scouts Troop 9 water station volunteer group. Today, he and the State Patrol assist primarily with traffic control and security during race day, but have also some years provided resources for air support and explosive detection.

“Each year, I’m amazed by the collaboration that occurs in the planning stages of the race,” Goman said. “Everybody comes to the table ready to do their part and, in many cases, more than their part. There are so many people who have spent countless hours developing, modifying, and executing a fantastic plan for Grandma’s Marathon, and I’m happy to have been part of it and to accept this award on their behalf.”

For several years now, Goman has held one of his favorite roles with Grandma’s Marathon – driving the lead Minnesota State Patrol vehicle to escort the lead elite runners on the racecourse from Two Harbors to Duluth.

The award, named after the late Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich, is presented annually to elected officials or public employees who have exhibited immense dedicate and service to Grandma’s Marathon.


2022 – Carey Johnson, Bob Shene

2021 – n/a

2020 – n/a

2019 – Phil Olsen, Joe Tarnowski

2018 – David Montgomery, William Stovern

2017 – Kevin Gray, Erik Rish

2016 – Don Ness, Roger Reinert

2015 – Kevin Hakala, Shawn McGovern, Brad Wick

2014 – Jim Benning, Bob LeDoux, Earl Stewart

2013 – Tom Ehle, Brad Miller, John Schlangen

2012 – Steve Anderson, Gary Doty, Paul Scanlan

2011 – Scott Collver, Joshn Foschi, George Lewis

2010 – Al Goodman, Kent Lunda, Ed Moroney

2009 – Jim Miles, Sharon Montgomery, Doug Nelson

2008 – William Amberg, Bob Troolin, Mark Wick

2007 – Helene Abbott, Roberta Dwyer, Jim Gorny

2006 – Bob Brandt, Richard Hansen, Lenore Johnson


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.