If conditions hold, runners will have the breeze to their backs.
Wind: It can either be a runner’s best friend or a nightmare. This weekend at the 35th edition of Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, it’s looking like the wind will be a friendly one. Traditionally at Grandma’s, wind whipping off Lake Superior is an omnipresent factor.
“We had a head wind all last year at Grandma’s Marathon. Could be two or three minutes,” recalled race director Scott Keenan. On the other hand, a tail wind this weekend could give runners and extra 10 to 12 seconds per mile push during the length of the 26.2-mile course.
Similar to the Boston Marathon, Grandma’s is a point-to-point course.
If the conditions hold and the wind is favorable for runners, there is still doubt that Dick Beardsley’s course record (2:09:37) is in jeopardy.
“Back then, it was different than it was today,” admits Keenan. “Nobody was running for prize money. Garry Bjorklund and Dick Beardsley went out of the gate fast, five-minute miles. Today’s world, with the prize money, people are just running the first 20 miles very conservatively, cause they want to get a paycheck.”
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