12

Looking for Spectator Advice: Grandma's Marathon (Read 1319 times)


12 Monkeys

    Towns that put on marvelous marathons deserve better weather Karma.

     

     

    I know, right?


    Sigh.

      I know, right?


      Sigh.

       

      That's terrible!

       

      So far, the friends that I have heard from are doing OK.  

       

      My thoughts out to everyone up North!!!

      And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

       

      Rob

      DoppleBock


        Seeing someone 3 total places instead of 1 ~ I would not consider overly spectator friendly ~ Although I can say if you have kids in tow everything is harder. 

         

        In case somebody stumbles upon this thread in future years I wanted to insert a post race followup.  The advice given by Gopher Snail was spot on.  My DW managed to see me at two spots during the race as well as the finish.  Race day, I took the train from the DECC to the start.  About the same time she drove to the Knife River viewing spot to see me around mile 5 along the course.  After I went by she then headed to McQuade Road for our next rendezvous at mile 14.  Once I past her there she drove back to Duluth, parked at the DECC ($5) and walked over to around the 25.5 mile mark where she met me one last time prior to the finish.  She did not have any difficulty getting to each spot in time to see me.

         

        Some tips for spectators trying to get around race day: 

        1. The spectator viewing spots are off of the side roads going from the 61 Expressway to Scenic Drive (also called North Shore Drive).  Spectators drive up and down 61, park along a side road and then walk to Scenic to view the racers.  At each spot, park close to the 61 Expressway exit.  Then walk down to Scenic Drive.  If you park near Scenic traffic can make it difficult to get back out to the expressway and off to the next meeting spot.   If you park near the expressway exit you can make a quick getaway. 
        2. You should also take Trent's advice and do a practice run the day before the race.   The exact location of each turnoff is not obvious and on race day spectators will want to find them quickly.  A practice run will also give you some idea about where to park and how far a walk it will be to the race course from there.
        3. Getting to the finish line will require some routing creativity.  The direct roads from the race course to the DECC are closed and traffic in the area gets jammed early on.  To make it to the finish in time you need to have in mind a route that heads inland from 61 and then goes past the DECC and doubles back to park there.  That will let you get around the closed roads and route around most of the traffic problems.

        7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M

         

         


        12 Monkeys

          Seeing someone 3 total places instead of 1 ~ I would not consider overly spectator friendly ~ Although I can say if you have kids in tow everything is harder. 

           

          With a car and no kids, you can probably actually spectate 5-10 places along the way. But you'd have to be very familiar with the roads there.

           

          But yeah, there are other, more spectator-friendly marathons.

            Here is arguably the most specator friendly marathon possible, with regards to frequency of your runner passing your specating position (150 times) and they are never ever out of your sight.     www.zoomyahyah.com

            I suppose a treadmill marathon would be even closer.  But if Spectator friendly means beautiful scenery and seeing your runner often, I can't think of much better than Grandmas.  Twin Cities is good too, great crowds and good scenery of the city lakes, Minnehaha Creek, the Mississippi. And you can probably see your runner more than a dozen times if you tried... or rode a bike along the bike paths that run parallel to much of the course. 

             

            I'm glad my advice worked for you Twocat.

            Sad about the floods in Duluth. 

            DoppleBock


              The zoo's seal was able to swim out of its exhibit and was found on nearby Grand Avenue, the newspaper reported.

               

              The polar bear also got out but was quickly darted and is safe in quarantine, Johnson said. None of the zoo's dangerous animals got outside the zoo's perimeter fence, she added

               

              http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47889559/ns/weather/

              7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M

               

               

              DoppleBock


                My 1st marathon was Journey's Eagle River - Beautiful area and race is only 100-150 people and roads are not closed ... you could drive ahead of your runner as many times a you wanted, pull off the road and cheer - Hell if you were lazy enough you would not even have to get out of your car.

                 

                My wife likes her sleep too much - So she saw me at the finish. 

                 

                Here is arguably the most specator friendly marathon possible, with regards to frequency of your runner passing your specating position (150 times) and they are never ever out of your sight.     www.zoomyahyah.com

                I suppose a treadmill marathon would be even closer.  But if Spectator friendly means beautiful scenery and seeing your runner often, I can't think of much better than Grandmas.  Twin Cities is good too, great crowds and good scenery of the city lakes, Minnehaha Creek, the Mississippi. And you can probably see your runner more than a dozen times if you tried... or rode a bike along the bike paths that run parallel to much of the course. 

                 

                I'm glad my advice worked for you Twocat.

                Sad about the floods in Duluth. 

                7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M

                 

                 

                HCH


                  I know, right?


                  Sigh.

                   Is that your house, Trent? Yikes. This latest weather event probably brings back some bad memories. I don't know what to say. So sorry.

                  Only 26.2 miles more to go.

                    It's a bummer to hear what duluth is going through!!!!!  Good thing though is that it didn't happen a weekend sooner with the thousands of extra people in town.

                    Genipher 

                    "Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up." –-Dean Karnazes 

                     

                    "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing" Dave Landgraf

                    Josh O


                      Hello! I've never been to Grandma's before, but I'm running the full this Saturday. I'm wondering if those with experience (spectating/running in Grandma's in recent years) could please provide your 2 cents on the following:

                      1. The http://grandmasmarathon.com/marathon-weekend/starting-line/ page says "there is no access to the start for drop-offs", but I've heard from multiple friends of mine that lots of runners have a friend/family member drop them off by the Sonju car dealership (which is near the start line for the full marathon). If you think it's realistic for my wife to drop me off, then what time do you suggest we leave Duluth by on Saturday morning to head up there? (Or if you strongly recommend I take one of the buses then I could do that too - it just would be nice to get to hang out with my family right up until I go to the start - and I'd bet our Suburban is comfier than a bus.)

                       

                      2.
                      a) I've read the discussion on this thread, and given that I'm aiming to finish the full in just under 4 hours, is it realistic for my family to watch me run by at mile 14 and then for them to drive to/near the finish and make it there in time to watch me cross the finish line? If so, then would anyone suggest a different route for them than the following?: https://goo.gl/maps/eDZpA7kfkJn
                      b) Or will traffic/parking be too heavy/limited by that time - would it be best if they only watch me at the finish? I emailed the Grandmas Marathon folks to ask them about this, and they said "Due to the congestion the race causes, there may not be time to get from Mile 14 to the finish line in time. There also will be very limited parking up the shore.".

                       

                      So basically with both questions I'm wondering if the official info from the Grandmas Marathon folks is indeed accurate, or if it's overly conservative.

                       

                      thanks!

                        It can probably be done, but the parking is going to be a bit rough. Might be easier to have them find a spot a little way back from the finish line (around 25.5?).

                         

                        Most people that want to be at the finish will stake out a spot there early and stay there.

                         

                        A couple of years ago, I saw my son probably 5 times along the course by driving.  I did have the advantage of him being toward the front of the pack a bit...

                        And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx

                         

                        Rob

                        HCH


                          1. It's possible to get dropped off near the start but you will have to walk a bit (which personally I don't mind before a marathon.) Private vehicles aren't allowed anywhere near the dealership or start line. That said, a lot of people just pull over on the Expressway to drop off the runners. You could also get dropped off north and walk back. Obviously, the race discourages this practice because if all 10,000 runners arrived at the start this way it would be a nightmare. I don't recommend it, however, because it is a big hassle for the person driving you and really doesn't save much time. In my opinion, the high hassle factor just isn't worth it. The buses (or train) are very efficient.

                           

                          2. Last year, a lot of spectators got caught in traffic jams on the Expressway and missed their runners. It was hot, and there was a steady stream of emergency vehicles coming through. As a 4-hour marathoner, you're going to be right in the middle of the field so your spouse is going to deal with the worst of the traffic. They would be cutting it close to try to get from Mile 14 to to the finish in time. I would not recommend it, especially if you have kids in toe. Personally, I think the best places to spectate if you have kids are 1.) Lemon Drop Hill by the Edgewater (there is a coffee shop across the street for bathrooms, snacks, etc. and the Edgewater usually has a carnival atmosphere and stuff going on). Plus, at Mile 22 the runners really, really need their fans or 2.) Downtown at Superior and Lake Ave. (Mile 24.7) with a short walk to Canal Park to see you finish. This is by far the easiest way to see a runner more than once. My family has done this a couple times and it was really easy for them.

                           

                          BTW, if you are heading to Duluth from the Twin Cities this week, expect traffic delays.

                           

                          Good luck! Hope the weather gods are kind this year.

                          Only 26.2 miles more to go.

                          Josh O


                            Thank you both so much!

                            I am convinced - I'm gonna follow your advice - I'll take the train to the start, and have my wife & kids not bother to try to watch me at mile 14.

                             

                            Based on the previous posts it sounded like having my family see me at mile 14 might be realistic, but that will have to wait til someday when I'm faster and more toward the front of the pack like the other runners in this thread. Smile

                            12