Northland Sports Online

Northland Runners Break Grandma’s Marathon Record

June 21

Kerry Rodd-NSO

DULUTH – Last weekend marked the 34th running of Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth. It also was the 20th Annual Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon as well as the 17th Annual William Irvin 5-K Run/Walk.

The weekend started on Friday with the William Irvin 5K in which a record number of participants ran under near ideal conditions. In all, 1,653 runners took their place at the starting line with Scott Behling of Duluth winning on the men’s side and Carrie Tollefson of St. Paul winning on the women’s side. Cloquet’s Janet Rosen won her age division and finished 9th overall in the women’s race with a time of 20:41.

Locally ,the Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon saw a couple of northland records fall. In the women’s race, former Cromwell-Wright star Jennifer Houck, who now lives in Duluth, took fourth place with a time of 1:15:49. Her time was nearly 3 minutes faster than the former record held by Katie Koski, also of Duluth.

Brent Smith, who ran track and skied in Cloquet, but now resides in Esko, was third in the men’s 50-54 age group in the marathon on Saturday with a spectacular time of 2:53:41. Smith’s time was just 10 seconds behind his age group winner, Bob Jackson of Hobbs, New Mexico. Charlie Hennessey of Amarillo, Texas was second just six seconds ahead of Smith.

Kerry Rodd can be reached at

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