Retires as One of Longest-Tenured Employee in Organization History


(DULUTH, MINN.) — Longtime Grandma’s Marathon Finance & Operations Director Linda Hanson has retired after nearly four decades with the organization, it was officially announced today.


Hanson, who was raised in West Duluth and graduated from Duluth Denfeld High School, started with Grandma’s Marathon in 1987 and will retire as one of the longest-tenured employee in the organization’s history.


“Everything I’ve done at Grandma’s Marathon was super fun,” Hanson said. “They say, ‘if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life,’ and they’re right. I was extremely fortunate to have one of the absolute best jobs on the planet, and it’s truly been an honor to be part of this organization.”


In addition to handling the organization’s finances and a multi-million-dollar annual budget, Hanson also played an instrumental role in the event’s race operations as well as the annual spaghetti dinner and race weekend entertainment.


“Linda has been invaluable over the years to Grandma’s Marathon, and we’re certainly going to miss her,” Executive Director Shane Bauer said. “The institutional knowledge and experience she has with our race is second-to-none, and her work behind the scenes is one of the big reasons our race has become what it is today.”


One of Hanson’s favorite parts of working for Grandma’s Marathon has been the chance to travel the country as an ambassador for not only the race, but the community as well. In fact, she routinely participated in the events she’s traveled to as part of the event’s promotion.


“As much as I loved my job, and I truly did,” she said, “I love not working more. My husband and I are so excited to do what we want, when we want. Life is good and about to get better.”

Hanson has been married nearly 35 years and is the proud mother of two sons and has two grandsons, with whom she’s excited to spend a lot more time.



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.