Near-Record Number of Finishers on Picture-Perfect Duluth Day
(DULUTH, MINN.) — Kara Goucher was adamant this week that her record in the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon was going to fall this year. Turns out, she knows something about running. On her first-ever trip to Duluth, Maggie Montoya ousted the hometown hero Goucher and etched her own name in the event’s record books.
Montoya won on Saturday with a time of 1:09:26, which was 20 seconds better than Goucher’s mark set in 2012 during the US Half Marathon Championships. She becomes now the seventh woman to hold the record at one point, dethroning Goucher after she had held the crown for more than a decade.
Jaci Smith finished more than two minutes off Montoya’s pace as the runner-up with a time of 1:11:27, while Allie Schaich finished third with a time of 1:12:57.
Joel Reichow, meanwhile, won the men’s race after finishing 10th here a year ago. His time of 1:02:30 marks a new personal best and the eighth-fastest men’s finish in Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon history.
Reichow needed nearly every bit after outdueling runner-up Afewerki Zeru by just 10 seconds in the end, and Habtamu Cheney also wasn’t far back, finishing in third place with a time of 1:03:49.
Jonah Grant, meanwhile, is the non-binary champion after finishing with an event record time of 1:12:59. Grant unseats Sarah Stuhr, who last year had become the first non-binary champion in the event’s history.
7,483 people (3,016 men, 4,445 women, and eight non-binary) finished this year’s Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, which was just over 400 shy of the all-time record set in 2016.
Full results of the 2023 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon can be viewed HERE.
ABOUT GRANDMA’S MARATHON
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.